Time to sober up?
The full moon parties draw hundreds of thousands to Thailand each year, but dangers are growing for locals and visitors alike.
Today brings the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar, celebrated around the country as Loy Krathong. As Thais mark the occasion by releasing krathong (floats) on water and kom loy (candlelit lanterns) into the air, thousands of tourists from around the world will tonight gather on Koh Pha-ngan in the Gulf of Thailand for a “full-moon party“.
The world-famous dance festival has been held on Haad Rin Beach every month at full moon for more than three decades. The parties attract hundreds of thousands of revellers each year and have spawned gatherings at other locations on Koh Pha-ngan throughout the month.
Banned? Koh Phangan Half Moon Festival
Surat Thani’s governor has imposed a ban on beach parties in the province for security reasons, five weeks after the murder of two British tourists on Koh Tao.
However, the famous Full Moon Party held on Haad Rin beach of Koh Phangan each month will stay in place.
Governor Chatpong Chatphuti wrote to Thaweesak Inthaphrom, chief of the Koh Phangan district office, ordering him to prohibit any beach parties on islands throughout the province.
Koh Phangan’s Full Moon Party is the only exception to the rule due to its enduring popularity among tourists, many of whom visit the country specifically to visit the event.
Ban urged on some Phangan parties
Ban urged on some Phangan parties!
Koh Phangan police will propose scrapping the half-moon festival and black-moon party – closed gatherings that sprang from the full-moon parties – due to safety concerns.
Police had tried to push for a ban on the two gatherings earlier but the organisers lobbied soldiers to be allowed to continue them, said Pol Col Prachum Ruangthong, the Koh Phangan police chief.
Tickets are sold for the two parties, which are held in closed private spaces in secluded areas, so there is little police could do to protect party-goers, he said.
Police did not have the manpower to look after people going to the two parties.
Box Jellyfish warning on Koh Phangan Island
Phangan acting district chief Kasitdet Thongchu on Monday asked local administrative authorities and beach side hotels to post warning signs of poisonous jellyfish and prepared first aid in case they are stung by them.
The measures followed the death of the five-year-old boy from France.
Yongyos Thammawut of the provincial public health office in Surat Thani said the boy went into shock from stings from the poisonous tentacles of a box jellyfish while with his parents on Had Khuad beach Saturday. He died as his parents and a guide were taking him to Koh Phangan hospital for treatment, Dr Yongyos added.
Construction of Koh Phangan airport’s runway is in full swing!
A direct commercial air service to Koh Phangan, home of the famous full moon parties, is expected to begin this year.
It will follow completion of a greenfield airport on Thailand’s fifth-largest island and the inauguration of flights by commuter carrier Kan Air.
Somphong Sooksanguan, the airport’s investor and Kan Air founder, confirmed the first flight would take place by year-end.
Construction of the airport is 70% complete. The blueprint of the passenger terminal is under way with a conceptual design that blends with the natural tropical environment overlooking the sea.
Construction has already cost 500 million baht, while the outlay could reach 1 billion.
Koh Phangan Full Moon Party – The worst party in Asia!
Thailand’s Full Moon Party is debauched, depraved, and increasingly deadly. If only it were fun.
“HELLOOO, FULL MOON PARTY!” the touts holler.
Welcome to Koh Phangan… I guess. The host of tuk-tuk drivers and solicitors who await the tourist ferry-load arriving every hour make no mention of the actual island. It’s all about the party. Or rather, parties. Every night.
The next greeting is a giant billboard that warns, “MARIJUANA AND MAGIC MUSHROOMS ARE ILLEGAL IN THAILAND.” Bottom-right is a photograph intended to terrify anyone fresh off the boat: a white-haired foreigner, eyes blacked out, seated before a bunch of cops. Oddly, one policeman flashes a sinister grin.
Koh Phangan Island gets EcoZone Protection
New ‘green’ rules to regulate commercial development on Koh Phangan Island!
The Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (Onep) has declared Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan districts in Surat Thani province part of an environmentally-protected zone after nine years of efforts to regulate commercial development on the islands.
The Onep declaration, which came into force on May 30, means all commercial activities on Koh Samui, Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and 39 other islands in those districts will be restricted to preserve the environment, said Onep deputy secretary-general Noppadol Thiyajai.
Killed: Stephen Ashton (left) is said to have been shot by a stray bullet. Ekkapan Kaewkla (right) was jailed over his death
A 26-year-old Thai man who shot dead Briton Stephen Ashton during a Full Moon New Year’s Eve Party on the holiday island of Koh Phangan has been jailed for 34 years.
Ekkapan Gaewkla who opened fire with a homemade gun on Haad Rin Beach on Koh Phangan, in southern Thailand on New Year’s Eve 2012/ 2013 initially denied the charge but later apologised for killing Ashton, 22, a city trader from London.
The Thai man was involved in a gunfight a fight between rival Thai groups and Stephen Ashton was caught in the crossfire and shot in the stomach.
Curfew Lifted! Full Moon Party to go ahead!
The June 12th Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan Island will go ahead as planned after the Thai army gave the operator the green light.
Koh Phangan acting district chief Kasidet Thongchu was informed by the Surat Thani Army District that the party could be held as this monthly event had nothing to do with politics, demonstrations or activities that might violate the announcement of the National Council for Peace and Order.
Curfew will curb next Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan Island
Koh Phangan tourism operators are banking on the army to relax a curfew for the next Full Moon Party with the fun set for June 12 2014.
Wannee Thaipanich, president of the Tourism Promotion Association on Koh Phangan, said on Sunday a letter had been sent by the group to the Surat Thani Army District to allow the party to be held all night.
She said the party date had been set in advance and the curfew could spoil the fun for tourists who planned to visit the island in Koh Phangan district for the party.