Full Moon Party has completely returned to pre-Covid numbers, as tourists from around the world flocked to Haad Rin, Koh Pha Ngan for the massive knees-up. News reports estimated the crowd size to be anywhere between 20,000 to 50,000, and accommodations including hotels and hostels were almost fully booked at 99% capacity. The pier and boats were overwhelmed with large numbers of revellers making their way to the island.
Last night’s event saw the biggest crowds since before the pandemic in 2020, with packed beaches and throngs of people streaming onto Pha Ngan to drink buckets full of booze and dance to DJs until sunrise.
The party shut down around 6am, a few hours earlier than the original 8am finish time, but afterparties started around 7am. Many people spent several days eschewing sleep for non-stop parties as pre-parties like Jungle Experience and OXA Beach go until sunrise on the nights leading up to Full Moon Party.
Haad Rin Police reported no major serious incidents and a relatively peaceful and safe party last night. A variety of government and law enforcement agencies were on hand and scattered throughout the event to ensure safety.
The Koh Pha Ngan District Police were joined by the Koh Pha Ngan Police Station, Immigration Police, Tourist Police and marine police to act as a chaperone to the tens of thousands of mostly young backpackers and travellers getting wild on the beach.
Authorities also monitored the speedboats that run all night from neighbouring islands for safety. They instructed operators to require all passengers to wear life jackets and warned boats to count the number of passengers to avoid overcrowding the boats.
The huge crowd brought a festive party atmosphere to the island and it also brought in big money. Bars and bucket stalls churned out cocktails as fast as they could make them while restaurants collected wads of cash from drunken tourists in need of late-night snacks after the party.
Accommodations were nearly sold out a month in advance with the final last-minute hotel room fetching 25,000 baht for the night, and even the last dorm bed being booked for 10,000 baht. One hostel owner explained that booking early for Full Moon Party was key now.
“For years, Full Moon Party beds needed to be booked at least three months in advance. Before Covid, the market flooded and budget places were selling off their final beds at huge discounts to walk-in customers. But not anymore. Last-minute bookings at most places were double or even triple the original pricing this month.”
Next month will see the first conflict of 2023 where the Buddhist holiday of Makha Bucha Day will be celebrated on the full moon date, March 6. As the sale and consumption of alcohol is prohibited on this Buddha Day, Full Moon Party will be held the following day on March 7, while Jungle Experience the night before will begin at 12.01am, technically the 7th.
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