The Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan, Thailand is not an event you would immediately think to take your children to. But being the fun-loving, selfish parents that we are, it was always on our list of things to do whilst on this beautiful island. And I think it is safe to say… that it was a success, thank goodness!
Legend has it, that the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan originated in 1987 or 88, with a small group of friends celebrating someones birthday under the lovely full moon, on the beach of Haad Rin. The partiers had such a good time that they came back for the next full moon and it grew from there. Today crowds can range anywhere from 8,000 in the low season up to 30,000 in the high season. Travellers flock from all around to enjoy the party which begins in the early evening and goes right through until 7am the next morning. There are bars, D.J’s and stalls selling beverages (mainly of the alcoholic variety) and foods lining the beach.
I have now truly stopped writing my acceptance speech for the ‘parent of the year’ award. I thought that perhaps while I may have made a few indiscretions, that with all of the time and experiences I was gifting to my children, I might still be in the running. But no, I have realised that taking them to predominately an adult party, on an epic scale, has probably gotten me blacklisted. I am accepting my defeat graciously because honestly, it was absolutely worth it!
The evening kicked off with us donning our fluorescent clothing and being painted by each other with neon paints. This was almost my favourite part! I just love dress up parties and all that this entails. The anticipation of the evening ahead along with the getting ready and the cranking of some tunes is just so… oh, what’s the word for it?… FUN!
Next, it was time to enjoy a quick dinner and a cocktail, at the more family friendly beach of Haad Salad, before getting a taxi to our destination of Haad Rin. Buying the taxi ticket was amusing. Watching the ladies confused face contort from surprise to disbelief, before finally, realising we were serious and trying to work out how much to charge us for the children’s fare, gave us a taste of things to come. We knew that it wasn’t common to take children to the party but we underestimated how rare it was for the locals to see. Everyone would stop and look at the children, then ask us if we were really taking them to the Full Moon Party. The boys looked awesome in their dress up and paints, and being fluorescent we were all hard to miss so odd looks and questioning comments aplenty, came our way.
Unlike on Phi Phi, this time we even bought a bucket!! Well… a version of a bucket at least, filled with ice and Sprite. The kids, who are rarely allowed to drink anything other than water or freshly squeezed fruit juice were absolutely delighted. And then we danced, explored and danced some more. The boys just loved all of the fire displays, especially the ones with sticks that looked like Lego Ninjago fire swords. And Ricky and I were in our element gyrating to 90’s hip hop beats; Nelly, Ja Rule, Missy Elliot – yes please!
It was great fun, but as parents of young children will know, sometimes kid’s moods can change in an instant. Rory was having a ball break dancing and being thrown up in the air by Ricky whilst Ashton had a sulk on the sand. Until finally, a song came on that enticed Ashton to cut some shapes on the dance floor, and seconds later Rory decides he’s just not so into this whole dancing gig any more. Ricky and I were loving reliving our prior youthful Uni days of partying in costume, to hip hop classics, with hundreds of other people. But we are parents now, and responsible ones at that (I like to think so anyway). So at 10 pm, we left the party in search of a taxi to put our wee party poopers to bed.
Would I recommend taking children to the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party? Yes, yes I would. Get dressed up, it’s seriously half the fun, go for a look at the fire shows, the costumes, the lights and the music. Then leave early, before any of the crazy antics kick off. It was a great night out and one that the kids, as well as Ricky and I, will remember for a long time. And one, that I am OK with forfeiting any possibility of this elusive parents award for!
xx Travelling Fresh