Full Moon Party

Full Moon Party

Koh Phangan, Thailand

(shot on iPhone 6)

To get to the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan from Koh Samui, Thailand, you had to drive to the dock where speed boats would take you to the other island. I sat in the front of the speed boat with men from India who were visiting Samui for their bachelor party. They were very kind and had a great and lively energy about them. I really enjoyed the speed boat ride, feeling the breeze on my face and looking over the ocean lit up by the moonlight. Upon arriving, I heard crowds of people talking and laughing, motorbikes, and music. There was a buzz in the air from all of the partiers. I walked through the town with a couple of my classmates. On either side of me were food and drink vendors. Buckets with juice and alcohol bottles were for sale, and a popular hit among the crowd. Once we arrived to the beach where the Full Moon Party was taking place, you could smell the soggy sand. It was hot, humid, and crowded. I went to the party sober, so compared to a lot of people around me, I was in a completely different headspace. As soon as I saw the amount of trash from the party that spanned the shoreline, I was dry of any party excitement I had inside of me. My outlook on the event shifted to a more negative one, getting annoyed by drunk partygoers. To see anyone indulge can be a disturbing thing to watch - and being sober did not help. The idea of the party on Koh Phangan also seemed questionable to me; the event brings in money for the local people of the island, but it also goes against many beliefs in Thai culture: half-dressed clothing, littering and disrespecting the land, being publicly intoxicated, blasting loud music and being loud in general. I could not tell if the people working the event were genuinely enjoying themselves or if it was playing it cool aka known as creng jai (cool heart) in Thai culture. Regardless, it was an experience for me like no other, and I did quite a lot of people-watching.