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How to get to the Full Moon Party from Koh Samui
- transportation package to/from Samui hotel - 800 baht (US$24)
- entry into party at port - 100 baht (US$3)
- bucket drinks - 180-300 baht ($5-9), depending on alcohol; SamSong or Mekhong rum cheapest, good quality vodka the most expensive
The Koh PhaNgan Full Moon Party is one of the biggest tourist draws among the Thai islands, occurring every month around the day of the full moon. The event begins in the evening, and continues through the following afternoon, and typically pulls in 10,000-15,000 people from all around the world.
We attended on October 14, 2008, and had a great time. It's a perfect opportunity to get drunk (with bucket drinks), dance at around a dozen music stations along the beach, and see the sun rise above the Gulf of Thailand.
The tough part, and every web site will tell you this, is getting there, and, even more difficult, getting back, if you're staying on Koh Samui (if you didn't stay for the 5+ day minimum stay at the Koh PhaNgan hotels). I read plenty of horror stories (here they are: 1, 2, 3), all about the horrific return to Koh Samui at the wee hours of the morning.
Fortunately, at the hotel we were staying at in Koh Samui, they told us of a transportation package offered by Petchaburi Tours (I am in no way affiliated with this company, by the way). For 800 baht (about US$25), they arranged for a trip to the port via songthaew (a pickup truck with the bed converted into opposing benches), and then a speedboat from Koh Samui to Koh PhaNgan, and the same coming back. The best part was there were boats leaving every 20 minutes usually, but guaranteed to leave every hour on the hour from 6pm to midnight, and then returning every hour on the hour from 1am to 6am.
We bought the ticket on faith, and were pleasantly surprised:
- the songthaew picked us up on time and took about 15 minutes to get to the port
- at the port, they gave us laminated badges on a string, to hang around our necks - that was our entry to the speedboats
- the speedboat took only 15 minutes and didn't induce motion sickness because the sea was so calm
- you had to pay 100 baht entry to the party if you come in by boat, but you get a nifty commemorative rubbery red bracelet
- the boat was waiting when we returned around 6am, and we only had to wait about 10 minutes for it to fill
- the songthaew was also waiting back in Koh Samui to take us back to the hotel
No fighting for a spot, no waiting for hours, etc. Very smooth.
I can't find a Website for Petchaburi Tours, but ask your hotel/resort in Koh Samui. If they don't have any information, contact the reception of Amari Palm Reef Resort (+66 (0) 7742 2015-19) in Chaweng. We bought our tickets from them.