While the Full Moon Festival has been happening on the Haad Rin Nok beach since 1985, around 16 years ago, a young local DJ decided to move his party from the beach to within the rainforest at Ko Phangan. This created the Half Moon Party, a tropical paradise that erupts into life every half moon. Since then, the Half Moon Party has grown to eclipse all other parties on the island with its organisation and production quality.
What is the Half Moon Party?
Symbolising the power of freedom, love, unity and free expression, the Half Moon Festival is held on half-moon nights. It takes place twice every month, one week before and one week after the Full Moon Party. Though it complements the Full Moon Party, it has its own venue. It takes place in a forest north of the Ban Tai village, between Thong Sala and Haad Rin. Local DJs use CD decks for a night of partying.
While the entry fee to the Half Moon Party entry fee is higher than the Full Moon Party, the Half Moon Party is organised by a private company and is less chaotic. In addition, you get access to proper bathroom facilities, and additional security makes the Half Moon Party much smoother and safer.
Tickets for the Half Moon Party Thailand
Tickets for the Half Moon Party are available at the official website - https://www.halfmoonfestival.com/, and cost from TBH 1799 to THB 10,000. Sales close at 3 PM on the date of the party.
Dates for the Half Moon Party in Thailand
Here is the list of dates for the Half Moon Party in 2022
Here is the list of dates for the Half Moon Party for 2023
Where Does the Half Moon Party in Thailand Happen?
The half moon party takes place on the island of Ko Phangan, in the Surat Thani province in southern Thailand.
How to Reach the Half Moon Party Koh Pangan?
Air - Koh Samui is the airport nearest to the island. There are frequent flights to Koh Samui from Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya. In addition, you can take a ferry from the mainland to Ko Phangan. Tickets start from THB 900 and can go up to THB 5,800.
Train - Trains from Bangkok’s Hualamphong station go to Surat Thani, from where you can take a ferry to the island. Tickets cost between THB 500 to THB 2,000.
Water - Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Chumphon and other major locations offer catamarans to Ko Pha Nang, and some even offer to pick you up from your hotel. Depending on your starting location, prices range from THB 200 to THB 1,000.
If you’re staying in Ko Phangan, you can take shared taxis to and from the parties. If you’re staying in one of the neighbouring islands, you can go for speedboat ticket packages, especially if you’re travelling in groups.
Where to Stay for the Half Moon Party
Resorts near the party's location usually have a minimum stay of three nights. Hansa Resort is a short taxi ride from the party, and prices start from TBH 1,500 per night. Fancier resorts such as Morning Star Resort start from TBH 1,600 per night, while Munchies Resort is a cheaper option at TBH 500 per night.
You can stay at Koh Samui and take a ferry to Ko Phangan on the night of the party. You can also stay at Koh Tao and take a ferry to Ko Pha Nang on the day of the party. Koh Tao Central Hostel is a great option, with rooms from THB 342 per night.
Make sure to book ahead of your visit, as rooms fill quickly the closer you get to the party date.
What to Wear to the Half Moon Party?
You don’t really have to dress up for the Half Moon Party. Just wear something colourful enough to blend in and comfortable enough for dancing and partying.
You’ll see a lot of people with neon paint on their bodies. You can get neon body paint from several artists at the party, and prices can be negotiated, especially for groups.
Music at the Half Moon Party
Music plays simultaneously across three stages at the Half Moon Party, and you can have a great time at either.
If you’re in the mood for hip-hop, R&B or Trap, you can enjoy the urban vibes at the UV wall painting lined Cave Floor.
Near the river, the G-Floor plays techno and house music, ideal if you want electronic sound.
The biggest party is on the main stage. Amidst UV lights, fluorescent decoration and fire, you can groove to Psytrance and Progressive. The main stage has plenty of room if you’re in the mood for some dancing.
Food and Drinks at the Half Moon Party
Entering the party, you face the first bar. This is where you get the alcohol included with your ticket. You can choose any two drinks or get a mixing bucket with a bottle of vodka. Beyond the first stage are more bars and food stalls. While the bars offer a variety of drinks, the food stalls are relatively simple and serve pizzas and Thai cuisine at affordable prices.
50ml tall drinks cost around THB 200, while bucket drinks cost around THB 750.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Despite the security measures, you’ll always be safer if you’re out with friends or in a group you trust. You’ll also have a lot more fun dancing with people you know!
- Do not accept food or drinks from strangers. It could be drugged or poisoned, and you really do not want to pass out and have your belongings stolen from you in a foreign land.
- As you will be partying with people drunk out of their senses, you should try to keep yourself within your tolerance limits. You won’t have people looking after you, and it is best if you take care of yourself.
- Fix meet-up locations beforehand with your friends in case any of you get lost.
- Drugs are illegal in Thailand, and with the security at the party, you should definitely avoid taking any drugs. You do not want to have to spend a night in jail when you could be partying instead.
- Speedboats to the party are usually overcrowded. Try carrying lifejackets with you.
- Pickpockets are aplenty at any party or festival, and you should avoid carrying valuables or too many belongings. Keep an eye on your things.
- Try taking a hat, sunscreen and some lotion with you. It could get hot at sunrise.
And finally, enjoy yourself! This is a party, after all.