All About Thailand Full Moon Parties
The party scene of the Asian-Australian Pacific rim is fairly diverse and colorful. While each nation by the water has its own unique celebrations, some of these scenes are more open to tourists than others. While most elements of the Indonesian party scene are localized events, for instance, the island of Baali is notorious both parties, tourism and the shadier elements of sex tourism. Meanwhile, the Australian party scene on the coast is open to practically anybody who can find the location and pay the cover charge, while the Tokyo party scene is far more open outsiders and their tourist money than the rather limited Beijing party scene.
One location in particular pings the radar of most global thrill seekers. The Thailand Full Moon Party is a prominent event happening in Thailand that, while popular for three decades, is falling out of favor with the ruling military government. The party is a large beach party that lasts all night, taking place in Haad Rin, on the Thai island of Ko Pha Ngan. A celebration of music dedicated to various strains of electronic music, as well as a global party spot, the Full Moon Party sees local bars in Haad Rin playing reggae, house, drum and bass, dance, R&B and psychedelic trance music from late in the evening until the next sunrise.
Are Thai Full Moon Parties safe?
The initial party was actually an improvised event done for a group of about twenty to thirty travelers to the town, thanking them for their business on the island. Held at the Paradise Bungalows in 1985, word of mouth quickly spread that these parties were wild and entertaining. Since then between five thousand and thirty thousand people descend on the town every full moon night. Travelers come from a variety of locations on the Pacific Rim. They are primarily Australian and Chinese, with other tourists coming from Europe, Japan and the United States. When the initial Full Moon Parties proved wildly successful, the locals of Haad Rin established Quarter Moon and Half Moon parties to bring in more tourist spending to their region.
Are Thai Full Moon Parties legal?
However, local authorities have since banned all but the Full Moon Parties for a variety of reasons. The first is that the parties were causing a great deal of noise pollution and, when they were held so frequently at one party location or another, tended to keep residents up all night for up to twenty five days a year. When complaints about the noise pollution reached critical mass, Ko Pha Ngan authorities shut down all but the Full Moon Parties. Additionally, due to the sheer amount of drinking, drug use and periodic outbursts of violence during the parties, Thai officials have been trying to discourage tourists from coming to these parties. The ruling junta of Thailand is aiming for a wealthier sort of tourist that ideally will not be in the country to drink heavily and do drugs.
Drug use is particularly dangerous for tourists as the police are out in force during these parties, oftentimes with undercover officers enforcing the country’s notoriously strict drug laws. It is also not unheard of drug dealers to turn in their own customers to the police. “Buckets” of alcohol, bulk alcohol purchases sold by locals in plastic buckets, are widely available during these parties and they are notorious for the sheer amount of alcohol consumed. Other warnings are in effect for party goers at this event. Foreign partiers are advised to be careful by most national governments, as the increasing number of drugs, alcohol and general chaos reigns, assaults and robberies are growing more common during these parties, as are break ins to hotel rooms.
Additionally, due to the sheer number of broken bottles and lit cigarette butts, partygoers are advised to wear solid shoes when attending these revels. The parties have attracted some controversy over the years. In addition to the current Thai government finding most of the tourists undesirable to their overall plans for the country’s tourism industry, some journalists have uncovered other negative affects to the lives and economies of the areas that host these over the top parties. Overall, visitors to these parties should be highly cautious and very courteous to their hosts to keep the Thailand Full Moon parties going strong.