Whenever I travel I’m pretty concerned with money. How much money should I bring? How much money can I splurge with? How much does a beer cost? You know, the essentials.
Money matters; especially when you are traveling somewhere specifically to party your butt off till the break of dawn.. Hey, you want to make sure you can buy as many drinks and grub as possible, right? If that’s true, you should prepare a budget.
Hotels, hostels and bungalows are peppered all across Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. The key to finding one comes down to location, location, location. If you are staying on Haad Rin, the beach that hosts the actual Full Moon Party, you may pay quite a bit. However, most hostels sprinkled around Koh Phangan or Koh Samui will cost you about $USD 15-25 a night.
Accommodation: $USD 15-25
WARNING: If you intend on staying anywhere on Phangan, book your lodging well in advance. I mean months in advance. It fills up wickedly fast.
There’s something really iconic about renting a cheap scooter in Southeast Asia and cruising through the streets from party to party and buying water bottles full of petrol from locals’ living rooms. It is part of the backpacking experience. It is a right of passage. I did not do it. Honestly, it freaks me the hell out. As such, I can only give you advice on the taxis.
First off, don’t worry about flagging one down. If a taxi is on the road near you, they will honk, wave, swerve, and do pretty much anything until you either gesture them over to you or shoo them away.
Second, do NOT pay over 100-150 Thai Baht per person. Period.
Third, many people like to think Thailand is a haggler’s paradise. While that may be true elsewhere, during the Full Moon Party you will not be haggling with any taxis. You are just one loose party goer out of thousands and the drivers know it. Accept the price and move on.
Taxi Transportation: TBH 100-150 = $USD 3-5
Clothes & Face Paint:What’s that rule about parties? Dress to impress? The same principle applies for the Full Moon Party. I’d avoid buying anything in Haad Rin or the major town centers and instead pick something up from the more “remote” areas in between hot spots, like Baan Kai, for example. It is literally all the same designs and you can buy what you want for 200-300 Baht cheaper. Furthermore, when you get to the party that night, you can buy body painting for around TBH 200. However, if you wait until you get inside, you can find free body painting stations. So don’t waste your money.
Average Clothing Costs:
Tank Tops – TBH 120-400
Dresses – TBH 200-600
Body Painting – TBH 150-400 or free w/ drink purchases
Drinks & Food:
The main attraction at the Full Moon Party lies in what can only be described as an alcoholics’ wet dream: A sand castle bucket filled to the brim with a 350 ml bottle of liquor, an energy drink, and some kind of juice. These buckets’ prices range anywhere from TBH 100 for a bucket from sketchy salesman in the jungle to TBH 500 at booths on the party front lines.
1 Regular Chang Beer – TBH 30 = less than $USD 1
1 Large Chang Beer – TBH 60 = Less than $USD 2
1 High Beer (Heineken, Budweiser, Guiness) – TBH 100 = $USD 3
1 Bucket – TBH 150-500 = $USD 3 – 15
Putting the party aside, food fits the usual patterns of being more expensive on major streets and far less expensive on side streets and back alleys. Be aware that western food will be TBH 100-150 more than any Thai food, which hovers around TBH 60-100.
Luckily, these prices do NOT inflate during the night of the party and you can buy any food your party hazed mind may want for around TBH 100-150. Food Stalls around the village and on the beach will be presenting literal feasts of kebabs, chicken schnitzel, pizza, and even panini sandwiches.
1 Kebab – TBH 100 = $USD 3
1 Pizza Slice – TBH 120 = less than $USD 4
1 Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich – TBH 150 = $USD 5
1 Crepe – TBH 100 – 200 = $USD 3-6
1 Cheese Sandwich – TBH 28 – 60 = less than $USD 1 – 2
1 Pad Thai – TBH 60-80 = $USD 2 – 2.5
Honestly, my favorite was the cheese sandwich. I found the sketchy, fold up table of a food stall in front of one of the many hostels in Haad Rin and could not pass up a ham and cheese panini for less than 1 dollar. It was worth it.Pre-game Parties:
There are many bars and hostels that hold parties to get people ready for the night. They usually offer all you can eat buffets, paint stations, and good times. Most charge an entrance fee that equates to around $USD 20-25. For an all you can eat buffet, it isn’t the worst. Keep in mind, however, you still have to pay for your drinks.
One of the best options for a pregame party is to hit up bar Same Same for an all you can eat buffet party with two or more DJ’s all for the grand price of TBH 600. You can find information on them here: http://www.same-same.com/
Pre-game Costs: Cover Charge – TBH 300 – 600
Overall, you really don’t need to be spending a lot of money. Use this guide to help you figure out how to budget then let loose and go wild for a great night!