Haad Rin

Haad Rin is on the island of Ko Pha Ngan off the coast of Thailand. Every month it draws tens of thousands of party goers for the (in)famous Full Moon Party.

Understand

Fire and water at the Full Moon Party.

Get in

By boat

From Ko Samui: There are at least 3 ferries a day from Ko Samui's "Big Buddha" pier directly to Haad Rin. Other ferries go to Thong Sala, a short songthaew ride away.

By songthaew

Songthaews run as taxis and cost around 100 baht a ride. Try to pre-book a return trip to Thong Sala after the party to avoid paying the extortionate rates that drivers can charge drunken tourists in the early hours of the morning.

Get around

Haad Rin is compact enough to be walkable, although it might be better to take a motorbike to some of the resorts on the headland. Motorbike hire is widely available. Although there is minimal traffic, the hills around Haad Rin are steep and may challenge inexperienced riders. Resorts can order transfer by minibus, songthaew or motorbike to and from the pier.

See

The Full Moon Party occurs on the right most beach.

Do

Most people come for the party, but there are thing to do for the other 27 days between full moons.

Banana boat rides are not for the faint-hearted, the ride is hard and fast.

Buy

Eat

Haad Rin is packed with both small and large open air restaurants serving Thai and Western food. Street food is readily available all night and several restaurants near the beach are open 24/7.

Drink

Party time!

If you're after party heaven you can't do better than Haad Rin. It is most popular one night a month, the night of the Full Moon Party. Every bar is hopping, the beaches packed with trance, dance, buckets and various other suspicious substances. However, if the sight of thousands of bottles and other rubbish repulses you, make sure you leave the beach area before the sun comes up, or grab a garbage bag and help tidy up a little.

While the Full Moon Party itself is only one day a month, the 3 to 4 days before the full moon party each have several different "parties" per night at different locations in or near Haad Rin, the most famous of which is the Jungle Party and the Pool party. While the full moon party is huge, the days leading up to it are often considered better parties as full moon can be incredibly large, hectic and crowded.

The most popular form of drinking here is "buckets" which consists of a pint of alcohol, ice, and mixer inside a small bucket. These are generally sold at beachside or street side stands. Prices vary from 150-400 baht depending on the type of alcohol. Buckets of local spirits Sangsom and Hong Thong are the cheapest at 150-200 baht each.

Sleep

Anywhere up to a week before a Half Moon or Full Moon Party, the hotels in Haad Rin and the immediate surrounding areas get booked out as the population around the beach swells and most accommodation require a five night stay if you are staying during the full moon period, with the more comfortable places being taken first. If you're planning to visit about this time, look into staying outside of Haad Rin, and taxi in and out, rooms on the other side of the island are not only cheaper but also much quieter.

Stay safe

Be careful where you sleep and store your belongings if you're going to the Full Moon Party, as every month at this time many people have their bungalows broken into and valuables stolen. There are safety deposit boxes available at many resorts and in the town itself, but there are also reports of theft from some of these. Try find somewhere where you can at least use your own padlock, or stay at one of the higher end resorts if you can afford it. Alternatively, consider not staying at Ko Pha Ngan. You can get a boat over to the party from Ko Samui. If you do have stuff stolen, expect a long line queuing to report thefts at the police station the next day, and to have to pay for a report if you need one for your insurance. It might be a great night out, but it's not so great in the morning when you find yourself with no money and no passport.

Like most of Thailand, visitors should never attempt purchase drugs from numerous young Thai men around town and the beach quietly indicating to people they have them for sale. These sellers are nearly always either undercover law enforcement or in league with law enforcement, who will then promptly arrest you shortly after the transaction is complete. You will then be required to pay a very large fine of up to 5,000-10,000 baht or more on the spot. However, drugs in Ko Phangan may be purchased and used hassle free at various locations that specialize in them, but never from a street tout.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, August 14, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.