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Group of travellers at the Full Moon Party, Koh Phangan, Thailand

Full Moon, Black Moon & Half Moon Parties - What's What?

By Gap 360

Last updated: 25th November 2015

With the arrival of Black Friday and the recent #manonthemoon John Lewis Christmas advert (love it!),  we’ve been getting all excited for the festive season and wondered how we could add to this excitement but also fill you in with some useful travel information?! Well here you are people… this blog is all about the different Moon parties you can experience whilst out in Thailand! "How does this have anything to do with Christmas and Black Friday?" I hear you ask... Allow us to explain.

For Black Friday we have some massive deals for you all, one of which is our Thai Adventure which always includes a Moon Party of some sort (beaut!), whether that’s a Full Moon, Black Moon or a Half Moon Party is dependent on the date. Coincidently this year there is a Full Moon Party falling on Christmas Day (say what!)!!! Something even more ridiculous is that another Moon Party falls on New Year's Eve?! You just couldn’t make this stuff up! 

A Little Information

Moon parties supposedly started in the early 1980’s and were pretty different to what they are recognised as today (we’ll touch on this again later). Time to check out another Leo DiCaprio film (like you need an excuse!), 'The Beach' is a great visualisation of where Full Moon parties originated from. Koh Phangan wasn’t always as accessible as it is today so it was your experienced long-term travellers who initiated these great occasions. Thailand soon became a place for partying, relaxation and soul searching, similar to what it is today.

There are a few varieties of moon parties, all relatable but different in their own rights. Some take more of an old-school approach and are trying to get back to that secluded smaller island party feel, whilst others are more comparable to festivals, with 30,000+ people on occasion. All of the following moon parties take place on Koh Phangan (home of the full moon party) and are available on our Thai Adventure.

Full Moon Party

The notorious Full Moon Party occurs on a Full Moon (makes sense right), unless it clashes with a buddhist holiday, in this case it takes place either the day before or the day after . This is of course down to a gesture of respect but you also cannot buy alcohol on major religious days in Thailand or at least not very easily!

The Full Moon Party takes place in Haad Rin, a beach town on the southern tip of Koh Phangan. This is an absolutely massive beach party event and most comparable to a large festival feel, thousands of travellers partying until the sun comes up! There are lots of different arena’s, stages and bars which you can choose between with DJs and genres varying throughout.

To differentiate a little bit more we would compare this to a festival like Creamfields, there’s an element of familiarity with a mainstream feel and ‘in your face bass’ atmosphere. You’ll have some David Guetta or Martin Garrix inspired tunes for sure. For those of you who have done Fresher’s week or have it coming up – this is a similar environment but you are on a freaking beach with the most gorgeous moon you’ve ever seen!!!

Black Moon Party

Black Moon Parties started more recently by those who wanted a different vibe and experience from the big and boisterous Full Moon Parties. We’d label these as being a little more underground and edgy but without the snootiness – everyone’s there for a good time! There’s definitely a less ‘in your face’ atmosphere, but those beats will still be dropping!

We’re not saying people aren’t going to be going wild it is a moon party at the end of the day, but there will usually be a limited number of people or at least on a smaller scale than the full moon party. You can think of this with more of a Bestival or Hideout festival feel.

The locations of these do change from time to time, keeping a fresh feel to things. The Black Moon Parties are currently based near Baan Thai beach on Koh Pangan. This is perfect for those of you staying at the amazing beach huts over on Mac Bay!

Half Moon Party

The Half Moon party is definitely relatable to the Full Moon and Black Moon parties however it is also completely differentiates itself. We’re going to label this one after some European festivals, perhaps something along the line of Sonar or Hideout festival but on a much smaller scale. The main principle stands close to the other moon parties but with this taking place in a Jungle it has its own unique feel! There is usually only one set of decks so it’s a much more unified set-up with different DJ sets throughout the night. Of course the music is going to be pumping, you’ll get some mega drops but also some deeper and soulful sounds blended in.

A Half Moon Party doesn’t yet have the bragging rights associated with the other two moon parties but it’s all about experiencing something different and new, which is why some people prefer the smaller scale more intimate parties. We’re sure in time this one’s going to be recognisable in its own rights. You get that open air rave feel but this time within the trees of a Thai forest. This is going back to the roots of the moon parties with a more intimate and unique feels.

If you can’t attend all the moon parties, we would recommend that you choose the one which most suits the kind of party vibe you enjoy the most.

Alternatively, if you're the adventurous type (like us!) and want to experience something different and new, why not go for one that you don’t know too much about or completely unlike anything you’ve ever done before. We’ve had great reviews of all these amazing nights so whatever you choose it’s going to be a good shout!

Remember, all our Thai Adventure dates fall on either a Full, Black or Half Moon party – so you’ll definitely get to experience some great nightlife in some astonishing locations. Any questions get in touch

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