Koh Phangan is an island famous for it’s weekly raves dotted around the island at intervals during the month. Travellers are draw to the island for this party scene, often staying for more than one of the parties.
The Half Moon Festival is held around twice a month, between the bigger, more famous Full Moon Festival. Rather than being held on the beach, the Half Moon is located deep in the jungle in Ban Tai. Located about 5-10 minutes away from the Blue Dram/Nomads/Cats in Space hostels, it’s very easy to get to. Hostels offer taxi tickets for a reduced rate (around 90 baht); they pull up outside the hostels just before midnight.
Officially, the party starts at 9pm, however people tend to turn up around midnight. Depending on which of the two Half Moon Festivals you go to depends on the closing time. We went to one that finished at 6am, but the other apparently closes at 2am. So keep that in mind, as you may want to turn up earlier.
With around with only about 3000 guests, it is about half the size of the Full Moon, Do not be put off by the smaller size: it actually makes it more personal and there is space to move around! It is possible that fewer people go to the Half Moon, as there is an entrance fee of 1000 baht, which includes two free ‘alcoholic’ drinks. The fee is used to cover the security and maintenance of the beautiful location of the Half Moon Festival.
Like the Full Moon, everyone paints themselves in fluorescent body paint, which can be purchased at your hostel. But if they do not, you can pay for someone to paint a design on you at the festival. The colours do not stop there: there is a large, brightly coloured tree in the middle of the dance floor.
As the Half Moon is deep in the jungle, the surrounding trees make you feel hidden from the rest of the island, creating a secretive vibe.
There is one main stage at the Half Moon, where techno/club music is played by resident DJs. On this stage there are also fire dancers that dance throughout the night. For those who are not a fan of techno music there are two smaller dance floors, one playing Hip Hop and the other with some form of Latin music. Make sure you wander through the jungle to find them!
Food and Drink:
There are drink stalls all over the grounds, but be aware only two (one but the entrance and one by the food stalls) that will take the free drink ticket.
There is also a small food market stall area, where you can grab burgers and kebabs and falafel. It is somewhat pricey, but that is expected at a festival.
We had an amazing time at the Half Moon Festival, even if we only did stay a couple of hours. I was sober and did not feel put out by being so at all, so do not feel like you need to drink to have fun at the Half Moon. If you do chose to drink, do so responsibly. Please, do be aware that if you are travelling solo I recommend you watch how much you drink and of people spiking drinks (we had to help a solo female traveller back to her accommodation after she was spiked).
Have fun and be safe!
Have you ever been to a party on Koh Phangan? Tell me about your experience in the comments!