The Half Moon Party, officially Half Moon Festival, is known for symbolizing the power of freedom, free expression, love, and unity. Among the well-known international open-air events on Koh Phangan, the festival is one of the most acknowledged and famous of all. This techno, house and urban party is held twice a month in the mystical rainforest of the island.

The festival takes place every two weeks. As the name would suggest, the party is on the night of the half moon. In other words, one week before and one week after the official Full Moon Party.

Many people will wonder if it is worth to join Half Moon Party instead of Full Moon Party. Are there any differences? Which one is better?

Check it out below!

Half Moon Party vs. Full Moon Party

Many of you might be wondering how the Half Moon Party is different from the Full Moon Party, well aside from that each party celebrates a different cycle of the moon they are very different.

The Full Moon Party is also located in Koh Phangan and takes place at Haad Rin Beach and is known to be one of the biggest and most popular raves you could ever encounter in Thailand.

While the Half Moon Party takes place at a small forest which clears 2 km from Baan Thai inland on the southern coast of the island and features an amazing and lively atmosphere with top-notch local DJs spinning some records from different genres of music like House, Techno, and Trance.

The Half Moon Party has a more of a festival vibe as it is more organized and properly staged as opposed to Full Moon Parties where it is more chaotic.

The Full Moon Party takes place once a month while Half Moon Parties are thrown twice each month due to the presence of two half-moons each month.

The event is held in a much smaller venue than the full moon party, which as a result gives you a more secure environment and a better-organized event because organizers get to focus on a much better sound quality and provide a free-spirited state of mind for the party goers. The party has more than 5 food stalls and bars with 2 big main stages performing vast styles of music.

Of course, because it is thrown by a private company which is well known for hosting this festival called Half Moon Festival, it is properly organized and doesn’t have the same "free for all" system of the Full Moon Parties. There is an entry fee of 1,000 Baht which will grant you entrance and a free bucket.

But this also means there are more proper bathrooms and security to keep the event running more smoothly and free of trouble.

Check out the ultimate guide on Full Moon Party

What happens if there is no moon? No worries, check out Black Moon Party

What to expect

When you first enter the party, you will notice how organized it is, and the first thing you will see is artists waiting to do some body painting with black-light paint which is at a cost of course, though it is much cheaper if you painted yourself before the party.

Also, one of the first things you will see is the bar where you will receive your free bucket then moving past it; you will encounter the first stage, however, it is smaller than the actual main stage, and is a great way to take your breath and escape the heavy crowds for a moment, in addition, this stage offers good music and precious vibes to who appreciates it.

As you continue on you will find another food area and bar. The food area has all the simple foods like delicious Thai food and pizza and the prices aren’t high for a special festival like this.

And after you pass all of these areas you will officially arrive at the main stage area where there is a lot of room for dancing, it doesn’t matter if you are chilling right in the lower area or face to face with the speakers.

The crowd there is a mix of different people from different cultures they are mostly backpackers, not hippies who can be found in many festivals like this. It is more advisable to go with a friend or a group just to be safe.

The Music

No festival is complete without music pumping through its veins. The type of music played in this festival can’t be put in a box, it is an array of different genres, although it is mostly electronic music the DJs spin some mainstream music and old school beats which anyone can enjoy. The DJs cater to every person in the crowd they know what the people want and they give it to them.

Don’t be surprised when some R&B jams are played with some remixes or if a saxophonist shows up to charm the crowd with some enticing melodies. Anyone can enjoy the music at this festival, although we advise (your call) if you want to listen to more mainstream music go at about 11:00, which is the time when the party gets started anyways.

The Stages

The Tribal Stage

It is the main stage or floor of the festival. It is a huge dancefloor with the best progressive, psy-trance and underground music you will ever hear, and this stage hosts the best international DJs in the game. It is given by the name of it, but the stage truly has a tribal vibe especially because it is set in a jungle. But the mix of modern music and lighting with the tribal decorations will give you a truly unique experience.

The G Floor

This stage is the definition of funky! Once you get there you wouldn’t help yourself from dancing or clapping, due to the lively funky energy projected from the speakers playing house music. This stage is younger and less crowded than the main stage.

The Cave

A true embodiment of a concrete jungle! This is the urbanest of all of the stages playing some Hip Hop, R&B and groovy tunes that will make you lose yourself and get down to the beat in a beautiful and interesting cave-like setting with UV paintings and smoke all over the place.

Food and drinks

Along with the stages there is also a section to buy food and snacks. The food at the Half Moon Party is simple with pizza, Thai food, etc. and it’s actually pretty reasonably priced for a festival. If you’re planning on a big night you might want to eat before you get there to avoid cutting into party time, as well as pre-lining that stomach!

Half Moon Party dates 2021-2022-2023

Check the agenda for the complete list of parties when you come to Koh Phangan.

YEAR 2021 2022 2023
JANUARY 6th & 21st 9th & 25th 14th & 29th
FEBRUARY 5th & 19th 9th & 24th 14th & 27th
MARCH 6th & 21st 10th & 25th 14th & 29th
ARPRIL 5th & 19th 9th & 23rd 12th & 27th
MAY 5th & 19th 8th & 23rd 12th & 27th
JUNE 4th & 17th 7th & 22nd 10th & 25th
JULY 2nd & 17th 6th & 21st 10th & 25th
AUGUST 1st & 16th & 31st 5th & 20th 9th & 24th
SEPTEMBER 14th & 29th 2nd & 17th 9th & 22nd
OCTOBER 14th & 29th 2nd & 17th 7th & 22nd
NOVEMBER 12th & 27th RENOVATION 6th & 20th
DECEMBER 12th & 27th 16th & 30th 6th & 21st
*If there is any change of schedule, you can check it here

 

Ticket & entrance fee

General entrance ticket

As this party is an officially organized event, and not a free for all on the beach, there is an entrance fee. Tickets cost 1,500 Thai Baht, which is about $45USD, if you buy them at the gate. We’d recommend buying them online, or through your accommodation if you can, to avoid longer lines. They’re also cheaper if you buy them online, costing 1,390 Baht ($41USD). Both tickets come with a free drink and a Half Moon Party neck strap.

VIP entrance ticket

For those looking for a little more comfort in the jungle you can also buy VIP tickets to the festival. These go for double the price at 3000B ($90USD), or 2750B ($82USD) for online, but offer a bunch of extras.

Along with your VIP entrance you also get VIP access to your own bathrooms, 2 free drinks, a Half Moon Party t-shirt, a private bar and a VIP zone next to the main stage. For those that like to party it up, but also have a bit of personal space, this might be a better option if you have the extra cash.

How to get to Koh Phangan?

Getting to Ko Phangan is pretty straightforward no matter where in the region you’re traveling from. Here are your main options for getting to the Half Moon Party:

Air

If you decide to fly from Bangkok, one hour and 15 minute flights to Surat Thani’s airport (URT) cost around 900–2,500 THB on AirAsia, Nok Air, or Thai Lion Air. From the Surat Thani airport, you can take a one-hour bus to Donsak Pier and catch a ferry from there.

Flights from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) to Ko Samui (USM) are at least 4,500 THB since Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways keep a monopoly on the airport and see no reason to lower prices with demand so high. During the high season and around New Year’s Eve, ticket prices can get as high as 5,800 THB!

Train

Nine-hour trains from Bangkok to Surat Thani leave three times a day and cost between 519–1,200 THB per person.

In Bangkok, you can leave from the Hua Lamphong or Thon Buri train stations and head to Chumphon on a Thai Railways (thairailways.com) route. Book a combo train and boat ticket because you will usually get a free transfer from the train station to the pier this way. You should plan for the whole trip to Ko Tao to take 14–15 hours (train, transfer, boat, waiting in between).

Tickets cost 500–2,000 THB depending on booking class, route, and season (with discounts for children).

Trains leave daily from Hua Lamphong in Bangkok to Chumphon (and then to Surat Thani). The journey usually takes between 8-11 hours. There is only one train that leaves daily from Thon Buri in Bangkok to Chumphon and it takes around 8.5 hours.

Bus

Travel agencies from Khao San Road in Bangkok offer bus and ferry combinations to the island. They will usually offer a bus and boat combo ticket. I recommend getting one of these for convenience (the one that includes the Songserm ferry is usually the cheapest).

In Bangkok, you’ll leave from the Southern (Sai Tai Mai) Bus Terminal and Morchit (Northern) Terminal (VIP buses only), it’ll take around 14 hours to get to Ko Phangan (8 hours on the bus) and cost about 700–1,000 THB (350–720 THB for the bus ticket only). Buses leave daily.

Boat

There are a few ferry companies that operate routes to Ko Phangan: Lomprayah High Speed Ferries Co., Ltd (the fastest and most expensive), Seatran Discovery, and Songserm, Raja, and Phantip (the slowest and cheapest). Here are some popular ways to get to Ko Phangan:

Boat from Chumphon (mainland):

  • Matapon Pier: Leaves daily, takes 5 hours, and is operated by Songserm. 850 THB.
  • Tung Makham: Leaves daily, takes 3–4 hours, and is operated by Lomprayah. 1,000 THB.

Boat from Surat Thani (mainland):

  • Tapee Pier Lomprayah: Leaves daily, takes 2.5 hours, and is operated by Lomprayah. 700 THB.
  • Surat Thani Seatran (van+boat): Leaves daily, takes 4.5 hours, and is operated by Seatran Discovery. 550 THB.
  • Surat Thani train station (van+boat): Leaves daily, takes 4 hours and 45 minutes, and is operated by Songserm. And a Lomprayah boat leaves daily and takes 3 hours and 45 minutes. 400–700 THB.
  • Surat Thani airport (van+boat): Leaves multiple times an hour daily, takes between 3.5 hours to 6 hours. This route is operated by every ferry company in the area. 500–800 THB.
  • Donsak Pier: Leaves multiple times daily, takes about 2.5 hours, and is operated by either Songserm, Seatran Discovery, or Raja. 210–450 THB.

Boat from Ko Tao:

  • Mae Haad Pier: Leaves daily. This route is operated by Lomprayah (takes 1 hour and 10 minutes), Seatran Discovery (takes 1.5 hours), and Songserm (takes 2 hours). 450–850 THB.
  • Boat from Ko Samui
  • Bangrak Seatran Pier: Leaves daily, takes 30 minutes, and is operated by Seatran Discovery. 300 THB.
  • Lipa Noi: Leaves daily, takes 1.5 hours, and is operated by Raja Ferry. 150 THB.
  • Na Thon Ko Samui: Leaves daily, takes 30 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes, and is operated by either Lomprayah or Songserm. 200–300 THB.
  • Samui Airport (van+boat): Leaves daily, takes 1 hour, and is operated by Seatran Discovery. 450 THB.

Where to stay for the Half Moon Party?

There aren’t many accommodation options for the party, and we suggest booking in advance because some hotels or resorts might be booked. However, there are options with various prices depending on where you want to stay.

You might want to stay at a resort or a fancy hotel which are mostly located in 3 places which are Ao Baan Tai, Ao Bang Charu, and Ao Ban Khai. If you stayed at Ao Bang Charu; resorts there are mostly located in Thongsala Town which is not far from the main pier, it is only 5 minutes away.

You will also find some resorts near the location of the party like Hansa Resort which is a minimum 3 nights stay resort with a short taxi ride to the Half Moon Party, prices range from 1,500 Baht per night.

If you are looking for a fancier accommodation you can stay at Morning Star Resort which has a beach bar and a pool with huge bungalows, prices range from 1,600 Baht per night, minimum 3 nights.

If you are looking for a more simple and humble option you should seek Munchies Resort which offers great bungalows with an island hut style, also is a minimum 3 nights stay with the price ranging from 500 Baht per night.

Another accommodation option is staying at Koh Samui which offers endless possibilities of accommodation and is near the location of the party as you can take a ferry to the party’s destination.

Dangers & Annoyances

Although this is an organized festival with security, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take some precautionary acts and watch out for anything that could happen in those kinds of parties and places due to the number of people there.

It is advised that you go with a group of friends that you trust because it is more fun when you dance the night away with people you love and also you can look out for each other in case of anything happening.

Don’t accept any stranger’s offers of drinks or food as they may not have good intentions about their offers, it might be drug infused or poisonous and you do not want to end up passed out with no money or worse.

This party is full of wild people partying under the influence of heavy alcohol which may lead to dangerous situations, so take care of yourself because no one else will so you won’t end up drunk and in a bad situation.

There is security involved in the festival and it is not advised that you partake in any drugs while you are there especially illegal drugs in Thailand, no one wants to spend some time in jail because they were partying irresponsibly.

Speedboats can be overcrowded so you should carry a life jacket and be cautious.

Do not carry any valuable objects to avoid any pickpockets there, as it is not uncommon that someone will lose an object or two in a crowd like this. If you must take a valuable object with you keep an eye out for it and don’t go around showing it off.

When it is time for sunrise it can get really hot, so take some sunscreen, lotion and even some clothes and a hat.

Facts and figures about the Half Moon Party

The story of the Half Moon Festival began over 16 years ago. At that time, a young DJ from the island decided to move his events away from the beach to the mysterious rainforest of Koh Phangan. He found a beautiful area in the wild tropical forest and began growing his vision. His party paradise was a tropical wonderland that would come alive during every Half Moon Festival. After that, the Half Moon Festival outshines other events on the island by the quality of its production and organization.

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My name is Jolie, I am a Vietnamese girl growing up in the countryside of Hai Duong, northern Vietnam. Since a little girl, I was always dreaming of exploring the far-away lands, the unseen beauty spots of the world. My dream has been growing bigger and bigger day after day, and I do not miss a chance to make it real. After graduating from the univesity of language in Hanoi, I started the exploration with a travel agency and learning more about travel, especially responsible travel. I love experiencing the different cultures of the different lands and sharing my dream with the whole world. Hope that you love it too!

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