Secret Parties in Koh Phangan, Thailand
Tens of thousands of people flock to the beaches of Koh Phangan to take part in the infamous Full Moon Party each year. Many swear up and down that the Full Moon Party is the be all and end all of beach parties in Thailand. However, others like myself would argue that getting squished like a sardine in an endless sea of frenzied, neon-clad partygoers and the mania of drunken gap-year students puking everywhere is just slightly overrated. Not to worry though, Thailand didn’t get its reputation as one of the best countries to party in solely based on the Full Moon Party. Here are five lesser known parties around Koh Phangan that you should consider going to instead.
Get Trippy at The Black Moon Culture
Black Moon Culture caters more to the alternative music tastes. Each month you’ll find an impressive array of underground and progressive trance DJs pumping psychedelic beats into the night. The neon theme is not just exclusive to the Full Moon Party as you’ll find the Baan Tai beach on Koh Phangan decked out in neon during the BMC festivities. The Black Moon Culture party has been held outside of Mac Bay Resort since 1999 and still brings in an impressive (but not overwhelming) crowd.
Experience Ibiza in Thailand at The Jungle Experience
Think Ibiza in Thailand. The Jungle Experience is a festival-like dance party. However, instead of being held on the beach, The Jungle Experience is held (you guessed it!) in the jungle of Baan Tai. Most of the music played is progressive and tech house, with actual Ibiza DJ’s such as Sean Hughes, Marco Loco and Doorly making frequent appearances. This rager occurs twice a month, one day before and ten days before the Full Moon Party. This means that if you wanted to, you could easily attend both and see for yourself which type of atmosphere you prefer. What’s great about The Jungle Experience, that you don’t get at the Full Moon Parties is that there are multiple cozy areas that you can chill in if you prefer to sit while you listen to the music. Additionally, you’ll be privy to some amazing fire spinning dancers and other performers and artists.
Hit up The Full Moon After Party on Baan Tai
After the Full Moon Party dies down, the early morning after party of Baan Sabai held on Baan Tai beach is just getting started. If you’re not one to enjoy massive crowds then consider snoozing during the Full Moon Party and just making an appearance at this after party. Not only will there be less people, but all of the insanely drunk ones will have likely passed out by now so you can enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere.
Party in a Floating Bar at Loi Lay
This is as fun as it sounds. Loi Lay offers a floating party every Sunday on Koh Phangan’s only floating bar. Enjoy tech, funky and deep house music played by local DJ’s starting at 9pm while sipping on Loi Lay’s signature cocktails. Loi Lay is special in that it is most frequented by expats and locals and so you’ll get much less of a touristy scene.
Hangout at Same Same on Haad Rin
If you’re not the dancing type, then Same Same is the perfect party for you. Enjoy Beer Pong tournaments, quiz nights, and body painting contests leading up to the Full Moon Party. Additionally on the night of the Full Moon, you can instead hang out at Same Same to enjoy live music, free body painting and an international buffet.
Dance With a View at the Pirate’s Bar
The Pirate’s Bar is one of my personal favorites. You’ll find it located in a cove on the south end of Haad Chao Phao. My favorite part about it is that you can listen and dance to local DJ sets while gazing out at the backdrop of sparkling turquoise water and stunning rock cliffs. This is another party that is mostly frequented by expats and locals. However, don’t let that deter you! I met amazing people from all walks of life while partying here.
Get Funky at The Guy’s Bar
The Guy’s bar is an outdoor platform located in a coconut tree jungle. This is the ideal place to relax and sip on Mai Tai’s while swinging in hammocks or lounging on the comfy beanbags scattered around. All while listening to resident DJ’s spin deep funky house tracks. Be warned: it gets a little toasty here during the day. Though, that doesn’t stop anyone from having a good time and dancing their butt’s off.
Listen to Deep House at The Merkaba Beach Club
The Merkaba Beach Club is hidden away in a secluded part of Koh Phangan and so it is a well kept secret. However, it’s only a ten minute drive from Haad Rin Beach. As you approach this venue, you’ll start to hear the deep bass of deep house as you get a view of the color changing neon swimming pool. The dance floor is spacious and so you’ll have plenty of room to show off your moves. There’s also an entire level dedicated to chilling out and hanging with your friends. The drinks here are reasonably priced and the party begins at noon so this is the place to be!
Lose Yourself at the Eden Garden Party
Last, but certainly not least, is the Eden Garden Party. This party is not for the faint of heart, but many who know of it consider it to be the best party in all of Thailand. Tucked into giant rocks that overlook the gorgeous bay of Haad Yuan, you’ll find a bar called “Eden Garden”. To get there you need to take a boat or four-wheel drive taxi and carefully make you’re way over an extremely rickety old bridge. Be aware that the walkway is very narrow and on a steep ledge! Approach with caution, especially when you’ve been drinking. Once you arrive safely, dance until the sun comes up and watch it rise from the water. It’ll be a memory you’ll never forget. As far as parties in Thailand, this one is definitely one of the more eccentric.