24 hours in Koh Phangan

Want to go for the Full Moon Party but don’t want to live on Koh Phangan? Stay on sister island Koh Samui instead. It’s quieter, less flooded with drunk backpackers, food prices are less inflated, accommodation is slightly cheaper too!

You can easily book a boat ride from any of the tour agencies to Koh Phangan for the party and return the day after. But since you’re going to another island for a beach rave with no accommodation whatsoever, that also means no disco naps, no breaks, no running back to your room for a quick wash up or to use the toilet etc.

I’ve gathered important tips that you might need:

1. Pack light but bring the essentials

If you have to carry a bag and party, it’s going to get tiring and chances of losing that bag when you’re no longer sober is very very high. Bring a waterproof pouch thingamajig (they sell that everywhere on the island), sling that over your shoulder and bring what you need.

My recommended list of things to bring

  • Some form of ID or photocopy of your passport
  • A name card of the guesthouse you’re staying at (even if it’s not on the same island)
  • Waterproof disposable camera if you want to take any pictures
  • Cellphone (only if you’re going with people and need to locate them after)
  • Money

2. Stash away emergency money for the ferry ride back to Koh Samui.

Yes, you’ve already paid for a return boat ride back, but in the morning when the party is almost over and there’s hundreds of drunk folks demanding to get on the next boat back, you’re going to have to find another way. Your “ticket” will be disregarded once people start waving money at the local’s faces. My personal experience left me hanging by the jetty like a half-dead jellyfish, not being able to get onto the ferry. Thankfully I had just enough money to pay my way out of Koh Phangan. That was literally every single cent I had at that point. If i spent on another bucket, I wouldn’t have been able to get back to Koh Samui.

3. If you want to buy a Full Moon Party T-shirt, buy it before the party starts. 

If you decide to wait til the next morning to purchase a souvenir before you leave Koh Phangan, I’m afraid you might go back empty handed. Chances are that you’ll never be able to see that shop again. And since you’re  staying on Koh Samui, those amazing neon t shirts won’t be available back where you’re going. If you’re worried you might lose the shirt, just put it on, or tie it to your hips.

4. Try to arrive early, but not TOO early.

Of course you’ll feel the tingling need to explore Koh Phangan if it’s the first time you’re setting foot on this amazing island. Reaching early would give you time to explore a little bit of the island, do some LIGHT shopping (refer to #3), and even catch the alluring sunset at Sunset Beach. However if you’re going to turn up too early, you might wear yourself out and won’t last til the next morning. I recommend the best time to go over is some time around 5pm. Explore just a little bit, buy some face paint, watch the sunset, grab dinner and start partying.

5. Pace yourself

I’m not sure if this works for everyone but it seems that if you keep yourself hydrated enough you’ll be able to last longer at a party or not get too wasted. I’ve seen people face flat on the sand, lying in their own vomit and it’s a really repulsive sight of gagged out Pad Thai. Since you don’t have a room on the island for a quick rest, hydrating yourself regularly prevents you from concussing too early. Even if you decide to tap out before sunrise, there won’t be ferries to take you back to Koh Samui that early.


The party has finally ended on Sunrise Beach and now the sun is scorching but you can barely open your eyes from partying all night. The ferry ride back will be a 30 minute squinting torture if you don’t remember to bring those sunnies!


Last but not least, enjoy the boat ride back.


Or if you’d rather stay on the party island, that’s not too bad of an idea too. The only problem would really be the best rooms being all booked up at peak periods of the month whenever there’s a party. (Full moon, half moon, even NO moon. Go figure) Then you’d be left with all the alternative resorts and overpriced hotels. My best bet would still be to stay on Koh Phangan’s sister island.

Find out more on how to survive the full moon rave!


Wanderer of lands, searcher of souls. Last seen tree hugging and running wild into the mountains. Might have eaten all the ice cream in the tub.

4 Responses

  1. Nice tips, I’m going this summer!

  1. May 21, 2013

    […] related post: 24 hours in Koh Phangan (Staying on Koh Samui but going to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon […]

  2. May 21, 2013

    […] RELATED POSTS: Read more about the Full Moon Party, or find out how you can stay at sister island, Koh Samui, but still party SMART at the full moon rave: 24 Hours in Koh Phangan […]

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