Koh Pha Ngan springs back into gear with the July Full Moon Party
This holiday weekend hosted the largest Full Moon Party since February of 2019 before the pandemic, with the biggest crowd the beach and venues of Haad Rin on Koh Pha Ngan have seen since the party restarted tentatively in November 2021. Some estimated as many as 20,000 people flooded the island to take part in the festivities – the first after the full lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and mask requirements.
The party marked a sharp rise in attendees after the event peaked in April when it coincided with the Songkran festival and the Christian Easter holiday and drew over 10,000 people, with May and June seeing slightly lower attendance.
Locals boasted high occupancy levels for the hotels on the island, particularly along Haad Rin Beach where most accommodations were sold out. Last-minute rooms were selling for 15,000 baht and beds in hostel dorms reached up to 5,000 baht to be close to the party event. Authorities claim that 98% of the visitors to the island for the event were foreigners, though local vendors reported surges in Thai guests enjoying the 5-day holiday because of Wednesday and Thursday’s Buddhist holidays – Ashanha Bucha Day and the Start of Buddhist Lent.
Full Moon Party July 2022 (via Zohra Taha Zindani)
With the 2 days prior to the party being Buddha Days where drinking and partying are strictly forbidden, there were palpable tensions between tourists who came to party and local drink stands and bar businesses straining to follow the law. By 12:01 am on the evening before Full Moon Party, venues around the island were flooded with partiers who could finally drink as it was technically the next day and no longer a Buddha Day.
Popular party venues like Cult and WET! Pool Party were packed with attendees and the gates of OXA Beach – usually the biggest event the night before Full Moon Party – were nearly overrun by crowds pushing to get in but being turned away due to the surge in tourists on the island and an unforeseen high tide causing two-thirds of their beach dancefloor to be underwater. Still, the Haad Rin Police chief said there were only two major injuries and a handful of small incidents reported.
The chairman of the local business group along Haad Rin Beach says most of the foreign visitors to Koh Pha Ngan were from European countries, with travellers from the UK seeming to be most prevalent, along with an increase in Indian, South Asian, Malaysian, and Saudi visitors.
After a rousing success this month, local businesses are looking forward to continued big parties next month. The August Full Moon Party date has created confusion as the party was planned and advertised on August 13 due to the Queen Mother’s Birthday holiday on the 12th, but that is NOT a Buddha Day and drinking IS permitted, so some listings have changed the party date back to August 12. Locals will likely make the Full Moon Party a 2-day event in August due to the mix-up.
The Full Moon Party schedule for the rest of 2022 is:
- Friday & Saturday 12 & 13 August
- Saturday 10 September
- Tuesday 11 October
- Tuesday 8 November
- Thursday 8 December
- Saturday 31 December
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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