…until further notice.
The next Full Moon Party, scheduled for March 8, has been cancelled. The memo from the Mayor of Koh Phangan says that the hugely popular monthly party has been cancelled due to fears associated with the Covid-19 virus. The memo also says that there will no further monthly parties until fears over the outbreak pass.
The cancellation of next week’s party will add another challenge to Thailand’s tourism which has been hi hard in the past month as fears over travel and the coronavirus start biting. Tourism provides an estimated 18% of the Thailand’s GDP.
The first Full Moon Party was originally a once-off thank you party at Paradise Bungalows on the beach in 1983 for about 20–30 travellers. There remains a certain level of dispute about the party’s origins but this one has ‘stuck’ and become at least a reliable urban folklore about the party origins.
The parties then gained fame through word of mouth throughout the 80s and 90s, and the event now draws a crowd of about 8,000 – 30,000 every full moon evening (roughly once a month). The parties are an all-night affair with party-goers hoping to make it through to the next morning (with assistance from dubious cocktails mostly hawked around in small buckets).
Haad Rin has two main beaches – Sunset Beach to the south and the larger Sunrise Beach to the north. The Full Moon Party takes place on Sunrise Beach. The bars along the Sunrise Beach stretch of Haad Rin remain open and are rigged up with massive sound systems blaring out dance music unter the wee, small hours. The modern event has become a right-of-passage for the world’s young backpackers visiting Southeast Asia.
Plenty of copy-cat full moon parties have started around the world since the huge popularity of the Koh Phangan event.
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