Should I book for the full moon party?

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First published 1st December, 2005

The best way to get a good guesthouse for the full moon party is to get there early. By early we mean 4-5 days before the party -- not a day or two. This will give you time to find a flophouse to crash in and then spend time triping around Haad Rin and or the island to find the place you want. Remember ALL beaches on Ko Pha Ngan will organise transport to get to the party -- you do not have to stay on Haad Rin to party -- in fact an increasing number of people trip over from Ko Samui just for the night. Also, remember a LOT of people leave before the party.

Many guesthouses have three to four night minimum stays over a FMP -- six to seven day minimums is not unheard of. In our experience, these are not negotiable, though individual mileage will vary.

If you MUST have a reservation, use a phone and make a telephone reservation once you are in Thailand. Don't bother calling from overseas as you'll rapidly run up the cost of a weeks accommodation on your phone tab. Not all places have a phone, but those that do will almost always speak enough English to take a reservation. If you make a telephone reservation do your best to get there early -- the later you arrive the more likely the guesthouse will dishonour your reservation and give your room to backpacker #125,432 today that has walked in asking for a room. You can gets phone numbers for many of the Ko Pha Ngan guesthouses from Travelfish.

Another option is to go into a guesthouse/travel agent in KSR and ask them if they can book a place for you. Most have pictures (which vary in their accuracy!) of resorts, if they make a booking for you, they may even be able to take a deposit from you, which will help to guarantee you a room.

The reason we suggest you use the phone over the web is that most (though not all) of the cheaper places that take bookings online are dumps, and places have been known to run photos of other resorts on "their" booking page -- book online with caution -- look for reviews where possible. The mid-range and upper cost places are limited in number and generally well profiled on the web, so they tend to fill up quickest and they are often outrageouly overpriced.

If you can't get a reservation and arrive too close to the party to get a room near Haad Rin, the best beaches for overflow are Baan Tai, Baan Kai and Ao Thong Sala, Ao Plaay Laem, and, if you don't mind a boatride, Haad Yuan.

Lastly, consider staying on Ko Samui. Mae Nam has stacks of bungalows in the 150-300B range that are great value, and there is transport over to the party on the night.

The last time we were on Ko Pha Ngan across the xmas season was a few years ago -- we arrived on a packed boat from Ko Tao on Christmas Eve in the late afternoon. At the wharf there was a big banner reading "Ko Pha Ngan is full" There were people sleeping in the restaurants of Thong Sala and apparently over 200 sleeping in the wat just outside Thong Sala -- Merry Xmas.

Luckily we were staying with friends who run a resort there -- though we still had to sleep on their floor. We would guess almost half the people on the ferry we were on gave up on the wharf and got together to head to Samui.

Ko Pha Ngan is a big island with a lot of accommodation options, but it does fill up - particularly at this time of year.

Just our two cents - hope it helps to keep you off the restaurant floor!

Looking to make a reservation?

If you do want to reserve ahead, below are some guesthouses on Ko Pha Ngan that can be booked online.

About the author:
Stuart McDonald co-founded with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.

Read 7 comment(s)

  • Do you know of any accomodation that allows for 3 nights accomodation around full moon new years period?

    Posted by catherine on 23rd August, 2010

  • Try the salad beach resort - we booked over the Internet for 4 nights (they have a minimum of 3 nights). Quite reasonable as well.

    Posted by Olivia on 24th October, 2010

  • Hi,
    We are looking for accommodation from the 29th December - 2nd Jan. We will be attending the Full Moon Party.
    There are at the very least 3 of us but we have some other friends who have booked to stay on Koh Toa but are planning on coming to the Full moon party as well so could need a booking for 9 people.


    Posted by Claire Knox on 15th November, 2010

  • Spending the holiday’s in Koh Pha Ngan when there’s a full moon party, that would be really nice. I can’t believe that the guesthouses fill up that quickly during the Christmas, that’s extraordinary. So you probably need to make a reservation several days before if you’re going to get a chance to sleep inside the rooms.

    Posted by Simon Coleman on 7th December, 2010

  • I am trying to find the phone number or email for Silvery Moon Bungalows, is anyone able to help out?

    Posted by David on 7th February, 2011

  • I can't see the 'list below' of places that are okay to book online - what are the names?

    My friend and I are travelling to Koh Phangan from 6th - 11th Jan 2012 (FMP on 8th Jan) and want to book in advance.


    Posted by Elle on 17th October, 2011

  • Hey! Who still needs a room for the Full Moon Party this weekend? We have one left as some friends won't make it.

    Hotel directly at the Full Moon Beach (drop in club resort and spa)

    It's booked from August 2nd-7th TOTAL of 10390 THB... fewer days possible!

    Posted by Sara Stern on 31st July, 2012

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