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Updated 2019. After 5 brilliant days on Koh Tao where we spent Christmas in Thailand it was time to do the short boat journey over to Koh Phangan to spend New Year on Koh Phangan which turns out is the best place to spend New Years Eve in Thailand!
When looking online for accommodation most places had a minimum of 7 nights stay so we headed there on 27th December so we had some pre party time before New Years Eve and then we also had some recovery days before moving on and this worked really well!
2x Important Tips for New Years Eve in Thailand:
Accommodation books up fast, especially on Koh Phangan so make sure you book that as soon as you know you’re going there! (Hopefully this post will help you make that decision!) I use Booking.com for all my hotel and hostel bookings including Thailand because it has so many options!
Transport (Buses & Boats) really book up in advance at this time of year too (Koh Phangan doesn’t have an airport so you have to get a boat there) so I would recommend booking your bus and boat to and from Koh Phangan in advance as you won’t be the only person wanting to get on the island before New Year and wanting to leave afterwards! You can book these tickets online now which makes it much easier and the prices are pretty much the same!
We stayed at Shenanigans Lazy House Hostel in Haad Rin, Koh Phangan. Our room wasn’t great but the atmosphere was great for what we needed it for and the pool was an well needed bonus and something that’s not common in other hotels and hostels in Haad Rin. We paid £230.00 each for a triple room for 7 nights so it was very pricey but one of the best options I could find online that wasn’t a dorm room.. I would recommend this place if you’re looking to stay in Haad Rin though, and I do recommend you stay in Haad Rin so you are in the centre of all the action and parties!
Although if you want to stay further out in a more relaxing area of Koh Phangan and head into Haad Rin for the Parties I suggest Shiralea Backpackers Resort, I stayed here in 2019 and loved it! They have dorm rooms and bungalows, a pool, a bar, great staff and it’s close to Haad Yao beach!
For more accommodation options in Haad Rin and on Koh Phangan, have a look at Booking.com here who offer great deals and flexible options.
Haad Rin is a town on Koh Phangan island where the full moon party beach is, be warned that it get’s especially busy over the Christmas and New Year period. Some people don’t like Haad Rin as its very backpacker-y and touristy but I love it because its such good fun and so convenient!
We didn’t do much during the day on our days there but we did have some great nights, each night we headed out onto the beach to Cactus bar, got some buckets, watched the fire dancers, had a dance, made new friends and then did it all over again the following night! The best way to enjoy a pre-full moon party or pre-new years eve party on Koh Phangan!
There are always pre parties away from Haad Rin but having stood on a broken beer bottle at the Jungle Party in 2014 which ended my trip in Asia I decided to stay away from that this year and we definitely saved money by staying on the beach and not paying entrance fees for the other parties! Plus, the beach is just as fun!
Before we knew it it was 31st December! Although New Years Eve didn’t have a Full Moon the New Year’s Eve party was exactly the same as a Full Moon Party.. everyone was wearing neon clothes, covered in neon paint and of course it was buckets gallore, my favourite!
I’d been to 2 Full Moon Parties before this and I knew being New Year this party would be a lot busier which it was but to be honest it wasn’t toooo busy! People were coming onto the island by the boat load from the near by islands of Koh Samui and Koh Tao and I had envisions of us not being able to get onto the beach due to the amount of people, it was busy don’t get me wrong, but it really wasn’t that bad and of course as the night goes on more people drop off and go to bed so the beach clears!
If you don’t want to spend 7 nights on Koh Phangan, you can stay in accommodation on Koh Samui or Koh Tao and get the boat over just for the new years eve party. The boats do book up fast though and I recommend booking them in advance, you can book a boat to Koh Phangan with full transfers at a range of times here:
Before we knew it we were counting down to the New Year and on cue as we were all hugging a firework show started and it was a great moment!
We spent pretty much all night at Sunrise Bar which plays Drum and Bass and we had so much fun!
Remember to get insurance before you go on your trip!
It’s something I know a lot of us forget or think isn’t important but it is! If you still need to purchase travel insurance I’d recommend World Nomads. Firstly you can get insurance even if you’re on your trip right now! Secondly they offer 24/7 emergency assistance, trip cancellation, protection of gear, and a lot more. Plus they’re flexible and simple! Just what we need! Get a quote here!
As I said, as the night goes on the beach gets lets busy so you can walk about a bit more and have less chance of losing friends and by 6:00am it was starting to get light and the sun started to rise out of the ocean.. this has always been my favourite part about the Full Moon parties I’ve been to but having an amazing sunrise and it being the first day of the New Year just made it that much more special and amazing!
Without doubt it was my best New Year, I would 100% consider going back to Koh Phangan for New Year.
For more ideas of what to do in Thailand have a look at these posts:
I’m Ellie Quinn!
I’m a travel addict who has been travelling on and off since 2010. In the Summer of 2018 I quit my office job in London, left my flat and I now travel and blog full time! Yes, I’m living that dream!
NOV-DEC: PROBABLY INDONESIA
If you want to join or read more about the details of the group tour.