Thailand: Koh Phangan – Full Moon Festival

Having done most of the big European and US dance music festivals (Tomorrowland, Burning Man, Mayday, Electric Zoo, Street Parade, Nature One, Mysteryland, Electric Love, Defcon One, and so on), it’s time to branch out globally. The original Full Moon Party is legendary and happens once at a month at full moon on the island of Koh Phangan in Thailand. People from all over the world come here just for that, bracing long international flights, domestic flights, and ferry rides to the island. And it’s total crap! 30,000 people converge on a large beach, paint their faces and bodies with fluorescent paints, and consume insane amounts of cheap alcohol sold by buckets (a typical bucket includes a couple cans of cola and a quarter-liter bottle of vodka or cheap whisky or gin). Music is worthless, with a couple of no-name local deejay wannabes playing mostly top-40 or some mediocre psy trance without any skill or effort – the inebriated crowd doesn’t really care. Entertainment also includes jumping through fiery hoops and urinating in the sea (by the middle of the night – almost everyone is peeing in the water, while some go bathing and swimming). At midnight – a massive structure with “Full Moon Festival” sign is set on fire. And there are special areas for those completely trashed to sleep in. You pay $3 to get into the “festival”, so I guess in the end you get what you pay for. This is most definitely one “festival” I wouldn’t repeat or recommend.