Bangkok Post – Drug Free Party Island Koh Phangan Just say No to Drugs!



Koh Phangan No Drugs 01
Koh Phangan No Drugs

Long associated with debauchery and wild Full Moon parties, moves are afoot to change Koh Phangan’s image and make it a drugs-free island.

Koh Phangan, long associated with wild Full Moon parties, is undergoing an image change to make the island a family destination. The monthly all-night Full Moon party on the Surat Thani island’s Had Rin beach draws mostly foreign tourists and the event is synonymous with illicit drug use.

However, moves are afoot to rebuild the island’s image as a drugs-free haven for holiday makers, with drugs authorities, residents and tourism operators committed to the efforts. The Office of the Narcotics Control Board’s Division 8, responsible for the upper South, has implemented a joint operation with residents and tour businesses to prevent the use of illicit drugs at the beach side party.

“The operation is the vehicle of our social order campaign to ensure partygoers stay away from drug abuse at the party,” said Division 8 chief Surasak Klam-in.

The campaign is being conducted in consultation with stakeholders, including local leaders and tourism businesses from nearby Koh Samui, he said.

The division has asked locals to tip off police about any suspected drug-related activities on Koh Phangan. Police have set up checkpoints along the main roads and at piers on both Phangan and Samui islands. Police check partygoers at random for possession of drugs, such as cannabis, ecstasy and crystal methamphetamine, known as yah bah or ice. Undercover officers on the lookout for criminal activity mingle with the crowds.

Locals say the first Full Moon party was held 24 years ago. A resort on the island organized a farewell party for a group of about 20 foreign guests after an extended stay. Since then a party has been held on Had Rin beach every full moon. As the island’s nightlife capital, the beach is home to dozens of nightclubs, pubs and restaurants.

Sound systems are erected along the one-kilometre beach to cater for the thousands of revellers who flock to the party every month. Some revellers party too hard to be able to make the journey back to their guesthouses and end up sleeping on the beach.

Koh Phangan No Drugs 02
Koh Phangan No Drugs
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Koh Phangan No Drugs
Koh Phangan No Drugs 03
Koh Phangan No Drugs

“No one knows exactly when illicit drugs were first brought to the party,” says Nikom Somwong, chairman of the Samui-Phangan Community Strength project.

Mr Nikom said as a community leader he was well aware of drug use at the parties. But he also recognised the monthly event is a big cash-spinner for Phangan and Samui islands. Significant revenues are earned from food and drinks sold at the party.

Jongdee Thongchan, chief of Takian village in tambon Angthong on Koh Samui, said some people from the village go to the Full Moon party. He was worried they would be exposed to drugs and could develop a drinking habit.

Mr Jongdee said he worked closely with family networks and drugs authorities to raise awareness of the risks of taking illicit drugs at local schools and homes.

Many partygoers, however, say it is perfectly possible to enjoy the world famous party without taking drugs.

Ilkka Happonen, a 24-year-old Finnish student, could not hide his excitement about attending the Full Moon party for the first time. The Finn chose the island to celebrate graduating from the National University of Singapore.

“I’m very happy to be here. I have lots of fun and a great time with my friends. We drink and dance together and never take drugs,” he said.

Grant Ligon, 21, from the United States, said he heard about the party from a friend who spent time on the island last year.

“He told me the party was full of fun and also warned me to avoid taking drugs there or I would be caught and sent to jail,” said Mr Ligon.

Bangkok Post – The world’s window to Thailand
Writer: Anucha Charoenpo
Published: 12/09/2009 at 12:00 AM

32 thoughts on “Bangkok Post – Drug Free Party Island Koh Phangan Just say No to Drugs!

  • September 12, 2009 at 3:23 am
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    Ok, KPN is done now o.O.

    2-3 times checked on the way to a party is no fun @all.

    Hide them in your arse from now on lol

    Reply
    • September 12, 2009 at 8:57 am
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      ko phangan aint a fuckin family island so why try make it one.i hope they fuck up the tourism even more and there be no partys and no familys there then theyll be scratching there heads wondering why the fuck they aint got no money .leave the island what it is ,all u do fuckin do gooder wankers

      Reply
      • September 12, 2009 at 12:27 pm
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        About time they cleaned the drug freaks out of the FMP. They are a bunch of fucking parasites that fuck the place up for everyone else. No respect for themselves or anyone else. The less of the fuckwits on the Island the better for everyone.

        Reply
        • September 12, 2009 at 2:33 pm
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          i hope the drug problem on phangan and at the fmp can be gone soon, the island is not what it was mafia,greed,crouption and lawlessness! i stay far a way from had rin haad yao thong nai pan i got my place on this island and am not telling you.. i dont whant it to change so, have fun on had rin and ban kai.. i dont miss fmp,half moon or the others they have lost it`s charm long ago and its past their time eny way. so chill out smile be happy and stay a way from the party site. leave money other place on this island it`s much to do here as well not only party party dunk dunk am fucking wasted……..

          Reply
          • September 14, 2009 at 5:59 am
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            I agreed .
            I go to kho Phan ghan for 8 years and i love that place i never had any problems there.I dont go to the partys also.No night life for me there man.
            I just go some times to check it out sunset in Ban sabai.I love that place and i really like the family there.
            So enjoy the day time go to the beach, dance in the day time and stay away to the dark side the island.
            Peace bro

            Reply
  • September 12, 2009 at 3:27 pm
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    YAWN YAWN YAWN,

    I HAVE HEARD ALL THIS BEFORE, AND SEEN IT, IT WILL LAST FOR A SHORT TIME, AND THEN BACK TO HOW IT USE TO BE.

    I COULD BE WRONG, THEY WILL KEEP PURSUEING THIS POLICY, BUT THE NEW ENFORCERS WILL START SELLING THE DRUGS

    HISTORY WILL TEACH US THE FUTURE

    THIS GUY WOULD SORT IT OUT

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkO3dUGHMT8

    Reply
    • September 13, 2009 at 10:21 am
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      And love (if any still remaining) will “Will Tears Us Apart Again”….
      Michel (+the help of Joy Division)

      Reply
      • September 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm
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        Ian Curtis hanged himself out of despair…
        Then when New Order started, they always performed turning their back to the public.
        Actually, Peter Hook (ex-bass) has a club in Bkk, I should ask him for a gig (not gik!) next Songkran… Wondering if he will face the chavs!
        Michel (+ the help of Absolut -black currant-)

        Reply
  • September 13, 2009 at 4:53 am
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    That is very funny, clean up the drugs on Phangan… Then someone needs to replace the police, who are the source of the stuff. It’s strange how people seem to get dope given at full moon parties and the cops jump them almost immediately.

    Now this charade of a clean up is in response to the Bravo TV documentary. It’s like JJ the Jet Ski operator in Phuket who is now in jail. He was never approached to refund the money to the British Marine that was ripped off. I doubt he will do any serious time for his crime.

    I’m so glad that Phangan hasn’t yet recruited a bunch of British yobs to assist the police like they have in Pattaya. These wankers in black uniforms are totally pathetic.

    It seems the tourist industry is coming apart. The parties always had drugs and the impression I have is that there were less problems years ago when the police presence was very limited.

    I’m generally supportive of the parties, but have some mix emotions about whether or not they are good for the island if look at the big picture. Usually full moon party goers arrive a day or so before the party and leave just as soon after. The reputation of these parties has damaged the island image for other types of tourism. Hence, we have this cycle where the island is full on for a few days and empty for the rest of the month.

    The police on the island do nothing to help anyone but themselves and not one governing body in Thailand seems to care much either. As Becki would say Awesome! I’m not sure what the answer is. I know I don’t like being searched for no reason other than I have fair skin and blue eyes. It leaves a very bad taste in ones mouth. And all you can do is smile!

    Still I enjoy much of the island and its ambiance. The mood seems to be changing all over Thailand, so this isn’t just a Phangan problem. Have a great time when your visiting Phangan and be careful.

    Cheers n Beers Glyn

    Reply
    • September 13, 2009 at 11:58 am
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      they should leave had rin alone and let it become a fucked up mess before they clean it up. theres plenty of better places on the island for famillies to go to and stay, its only had rin thats the problem

      Reply
      • September 13, 2009 at 4:05 pm
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        tam dee dai dee used to be the rule of the game of life on the island during the days of today’s phanganians parents and grandparents parents generations,an unproblematic approach to life that made sense and felt right maintaining ……what a pity ..in such a relatively short time..all seems to have gone upside down…. in the last few years …it seems more and more clear that the few Alphas that give the tone for the general public to follow on the island are living a very bad example ….hence…corruption…..greed ….murder…..!!!!! decay of the so long valid social values……..will ..if not challenged , bring with it an avalanche of cataclysmic events that will most probably be the end of it all..with or without drugs(by the way alcohol and cigarettes are also very dangerous and seriously addictive drugs (as if you lot didn’t know that)!!!!they are legal….can you actually understand such a bigotry you are all giving reality to…???!!!aren’t you all at least a wee bit ashamed.not to seriously do anything to change this!!!!????)…so until then….. …………………long live life love good clean food good music fun partners and honest company…………..that could then turn out to the neverbeenthere- neverending wonderfully- magic farewell- party we’ve all been waiting for…………..take it acid comes baby………much love

        Reply
    • September 13, 2009 at 6:01 pm
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      I don’t agree with everything you say Glyn, but you have the balls to put your name to your comments. Anon is bollocks.

      Love Rob

      Reply
  • September 13, 2009 at 9:36 pm
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    you people from koh phanghan you don’t understand you have a treasure in your hands you can make this island the IBIZA of asia, a spanish isle full of happy people dancing and enjoying. Villagers will be rich and people will be happy. Try to find a solution as if you become a place for family nobody else will come to koh phanghan. A way to manage drug taker is possible. Find it.

    Reply
    • September 14, 2009 at 5:11 am
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      Thanks Rob, I’m glad you don’t agree with all I say on this forum. That is what makes people and life so interesting.

      I’m so saddened at all of the negitive news coming out of Thailand these days. Not just Phangan, but all over the place. I still really love the island and hope that somethings change for the better. If the police crack down was seriously about making it a better island I could support it. But we all know it’s just seen as an oppertunity to rake in money and eventually it will just go back to the way it was. If they are successful, I worry that all of the parties will die and with it the limited tourism Phangan enjoys. It will take a long time to turn this island into a family destination, due to its reputation.

      I post my name, I believe what I write to be correct and I’m not bashing anyone. Please feel free to disagree with my posts…

      Cheers and more beers mate! Glyn

      Reply
      • September 14, 2009 at 8:47 am
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        you fuckin arse lickers

        Reply
    • September 14, 2009 at 9:48 am
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      555…
      For sure you never been to Eivissa, or if you did you just stayed in one of those 18-30 camps mushrooming around San Antonio!
      Cannot compare apples & oranges…
      Michel
      PS: I’ll be back next month, of course for parties… but private ones, see you around?… don’t think so!

      Reply
  • September 16, 2009 at 1:58 pm
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    Were to start .

    Phangan is so damaged now and it will never be the same again,because the corrupt police and maffiagoverment have the taste of blood and money now so the will fucking ripp of your trousers off and take every single baht you have..So the only solution is that if you are a smoker or something else stay away from this island,and samui .go to the mountains if you wnat too do drugs.
    For your on safety allways carriie a knife,its your life not theirs.If the have weapons you have weapons..Koh phangan Fuck off you bad ass m_____rfuckers And jj i phuket haha you fucking corrupt ladyboy

    Reply
    • September 25, 2009 at 5:14 pm
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      its true, phangan is ruined, i stopped going a couple of years ago after many years of good times there. too much dodgyness

      Reply
      • September 26, 2009 at 9:02 am
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        Let’s try not to be so negative. It’s not too late to fix it! Your right it will never be what it was, but its still is good. The corruption obviously needs to be sorted out and the only way seems to be through the mainstream media such as the BBC. That is the only time the Thai government seems willing to act and not before.

        The guys in brown are the first thing that needs fixing the island. I could name a few more, but will resist the temptation. The current government in Thailand has a lot of problems to sort out and they seem to be working on them. Just staying in power is problematic to say the least.

        Phangan in the early days was like the wild west and it still is in many ways. It is only in recent years that taxes have been collected. The island people killed the first tax man that came here, so you can see the Thai’s on Phangan do things differently!

        A big question for the future is what will happen when the king is gone? He seems or he is the glue that holds the nation or should I say Kingdom together. So there are some interesting times to ahead for the LOS.

        Reply
        • September 26, 2009 at 9:56 am
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          KPG (and Thailand) is what you make it, what YOU want it to be, like anywhere else. The beaches, the food, the culture is still exactly the same! Show respect to the locals and the law and it will be and always has been reciprocated. Certainly, the tourists are changing, however that in itself is NOT a reflection on the local culture. Been going to KPG for nearly 15 years now and I still find it to be the same paradise it always was. Never had any problems with any of the Thais, indeed, I have made and maintained many many strong friendships with them. If only all farangs could be as genuine and sincere in their friendships, loyalty and respect as the Thais, then this world would be a better plcae.

          Reply
          • September 26, 2009 at 10:48 am
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            haha … that’s a funny one 😉

            “as genuine and sincere in their friendships, loyalty and respect as the Thais, then this world would be a better place.”

            what have you been smoking, dude 😉

            Reply
            • September 26, 2009 at 11:10 am
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              Well “dude”, you get back what you give out, its called KARMA. Enjoy your time on this planet, its what you make it. You treat the world with suspicion and disrespect and you wonder why thats what you get back in return? Some of my best and most genuine friends are Thai. They have NEVER asked me for anything, except to be treat them, the way I want to be treated in return. You lot go to another country as guests, carry on like a bunch of greedy fucking parasites with no respect for the locals, or your own position as a guest in their home and then you whine and snivel like spolit fucking children. You just make complete fuckwits of yourselves, so dont expect to be treated like anything other than a fuckwit untill you chang your lousy attitude.
              cheers “dude”.

              Reply
              • September 26, 2009 at 11:40 am
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                well … exactly what i suspected 😉

                “fucking parasites … spoilt fucking children … fuckwits … fuckwits … fuck … fuck … fuck!”

                yep … you must be a real genuine, sincere, loyal & also respectful person … similar to the Thai locals!

                well … from the nice words you have chosen I better stay away from your genuine, sincere, loyal & respectful friendship!

                wake up & be good to each other!

                Reply
            • October 19, 2009 at 8:23 am
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              I keep hearing about respect and I agree that we need to respect the Thais and their culture but there comes a time where respect needs to be urned.
              How can that be accomplished well we need to abide by the laws that the Thai government put in place to protect the people and by the way they are no diverant then the laws you have back home so for us it’s easy. But for the Thai’s it gets a little bit harder because they need a goverment that enforces the laws and the police to make that happen

              Fred

              Reply
  • September 26, 2009 at 5:52 pm
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    It good to see we have some positive comments. Yes KPG it is what you make it. I agree you can still have a good time and I still enjoy my stays on the island. However, with the risk of being totally negative I’m not convinced about the sincerity of most of the Thai’s. Note: I did not say (all)

    I forgot to post my name on Dummy 1

    Glyn

    Reply
    • September 27, 2009 at 4:14 am
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      Good point Glynne. As with all people, not ALL are the same, there is good and bad in all peoples. The point I was trying to make is that the majority of Thais I have taken the time to get to know properly and develop a friendship with, have always been sincere and respectfull in their friendship, towards me anway. They seem so happy and relieved that a farang takes the time to get to know them and shows respect to them as a person and towards their cutlure. They invite me to their homes for food, music, conversation and friendship etc etc. I see so many farangs arrive at KPG, suspicious of the Thais, projecting negative energies toward them, either consciously or subconsciously, so is it any wonder they recive the same back? KPG is a tourist Island, geared toward the tourist doller, dont forget that, but once you look beyond that business, there are many many wonderfull sincere people (Thais) on the Island. They are one of the reasons I have been coming back to KPG for close on 15 years.

      Reply
      • September 27, 2009 at 11:37 am
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        I don’t disagree, hey if you would ever like to meet and talk in person I’m copying a paragraph from a previous post.

        “Typically I’m at A’s Coffee Shop every morning for breakfast from sometime in late December to sometime in March. I like to sit as close to the corner of the bar as I can be. “Best Place on the Island” a plug for Mike! If anyone would ever like to discuss any of the issues that are raised on these forums I would be game to listen and provide my opinions too. Not a challenge but an opportunity!”

        There you have it. I will be in Thailand end of Oct and have no idea when I will be on the island, but I suspect it will be sooner than quoted.

        Cheers Glyn

        Reply
        • September 28, 2009 at 10:47 am
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          Yeah no probs Glyn, would be good to meet for a chat sometime. I will be back on KPG late December till Late Feb, so will remeber to look you up.

          cheers

          Reply
  • October 6, 2009 at 11:07 am
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    I travelled to Kohphangan with my friend 2 years ago,loved it so much I returned the following year with my 2 children and wife.It was the best month me and my family have spent together,paradise.We toured Koa tao,samui,Bangkok,and we all agreed that Kohphangan was the place,That,s what backpackin is about,finding your special place….And for us,Kohphangan is that.Me and my family met Job2do and a wide range of beutiful smiley people.You can find parties,or you can find true peace,One thing we never found was trouble.Party people and families,Do,nt listen to people who do not have the experience to comment…..Kohphangan is for peace and goodtimes,family or individual,same same but different

    Reply
    • October 21, 2009 at 7:05 pm
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      nice like this comment bang on

      Reply
  • November 8, 2009 at 6:10 am
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    I will be going there for the first time this year (x-mas-> new year).
    I have always been a Goa regular, been going there for the past five years, and this year I wanted to give it a change, so decided to go to Koh Phangan.
    Sooo…my question is: How risky is it to buy pot (am not a hard drugs fan), and how risky is it to smoke it publicly (ie on the beach during the day).
    Now I know that all the drug haters will tell me that I will go straight to jail and bla bla bla.
    I was told the same before going to Goa, and once there, things turned out the exact opposite.
    Was in a cafe one night with some live music, and every single person smoking a joint, when at 10pm the police busted the place, and all they did was ask the owner to lower the volume of music.
    So if you are a person that is not a drug hater, and enjoy the casual spliff, could you please tell me about the involved risks?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • November 8, 2009 at 8:47 am
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      in my opinion it is much more dangerous in kpg then in goa to get caught with pot.lots of roadcontrols and undercovers(cops in civil)hanging around the beaches,partys,markets.and if your catched up with weed,ask the cop how high he will charge you and then pay him out.samesame india but much more expensive.so take care and cover up a little.

      Reply

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