It has probably happened to other people reading this article. It may happen to you. In any case, I’m sure I’m not the only one to have passed out at one of the parties on Koh Phangan. Overcome by lack of sleep, relentless dancing and an excess of alcohol, having a quick tactical nap sometimes seems like the best, if not the only option. Although there are plenty of things to do on Koh Phangan besides partying, it is arguably the main attraction of the island.
What started as a casual tendency to nod off at the many parties on Koh Phangan evolved into a quest to find the very best spot for a good night’s rest in the island’s vibrant party scene. In addition to letting you more fully connect with the party location, mainly through being sprawled out somewhere on top of it, this clever accommodation alternative also saves money otherwise spent on a hostel or guest house.
Having dozed off at most of the parties on Koh Phangan, and by now considering myself rather an expert on the topic, I would like to share with you the findings of this research project. Presented here is a list of parties on Koh Phangan, ranked by their quality as an accommodation from worst to best.
Koh Phangan Party: Shiva Moon – 1/5 stars
Shiva Moon is a small, intimate party location in the jungle of Baan Tai beach, which is home to many of the best parties on Koh Phangan. It is not the biggest of Koh Phangan’s trance parties, but it has a steady crowd of regulars who swing by to enjoy the pounding beats and stunning natural decor. However, the small surface area of the location, combined with the lack of chill-out spots, makes it difficult to sleep at Shiva Moon. The trick to sleeping at parties is to be close enough to the sound system to be gently rocked to sleep by the vibrations, without being blown away by them. Getting away from the sound system is somewhat of a challenge at these parties on Koh Phangan. As far as snoozing goes, Shiva Moon is a poor choice.
Koh Phangan Party: Eden Garden – 2/5 stars
The Eden Garden Party, tucked away in a secluded beach on the east coast of the island, has over the years become one of the Koh Phangan’s best-known party destinations. Notorious as it is famous, parties on Koh Phangan are held regularly with guest DJs and residents laying down heavy techno and house until well into the next afternoon. However, finding a place to lay down your head on the bar’s rocky coastline is a challenge, and at high tide one does risk being washed out to sea. Although the refreshing sea breeze does wonders for your constitution, I managed to sleep here for some thirty uncomfortable minutes at most.
Koh Phangan Party: Full Moon – 3/5 stars
Although it is the most popular location for passing out when it comes to parties at Koh Phangan, and in fact my first, sleeping at the Full Moon Party can be a daunting and at times dangerous undertaking. It is best to sleep at the Full Moon Party with as few belongings as possible and with someone watching over you. I must caution unseasoned party sleepers as well as lone females against trying Haad Rin’s Full Moon beach out for an accommodation alternative, unless you make use of the provided sleeping area.
However, for those looking to take on a new challenge, and who have sufficient supervision, I have to say I was not disappointed with the accommodation offered at the Full Moon Party. There is plenty of space, and if you don’t mind waking up with sand in every pore and crevice of your body, the beach makes for a reasonably comfortable bed. I managed to sleep for several hours here, twice, although I am unsure as to what degree this was voluntary.
Koh Phangan Party: Baan Sabaii – 3.5/5 stars
Baan Sabaii, a beach bar which has gained the loyalty of long stayers and short-term guests alike, is a relatively small trance location in Baan Tai. The place sports colourful UV decorations and a consistently outstanding lineup of DJs. One of my personal favourite places for an evening out, the only qualm one could have with the place is that it closes relatively early. Indeed, this is also its greatest flaw as an accommodation. While the many hammocks strewn around the beach make for excellent resting places, sleepers are generally removed when the bar closes, which is relatively early compared to other parties on Koh Phangan. As such, it is impossible to get a full night’s sleep here. My personal record is around 1.5 hours.
Koh Phangan Party: Jungle Experience – 3.5/5 stars
Although I have personally not had the pleasure of sleeping at Jungle Experience, credible sources have informed me that it is a decent party to sleep at. One of the largest techno and house parties on the island, it offers plenty of space to rest in privacy and comfort. However, if you are intent on staying awake through the entire ordeal, the party’s feathery dancers, impressive decorations, fire shows and top DJ lineup are sure to keep you entertained until the very morning.
Koh Phangan Party: Half Moon Festival – 4/5 stars
Half Moon Party is an excellent choice for partygoers looking to doze in an idyllic jungle location, while still being able to appreciate the thrill and excitement of a Koh Phangan party. The island’s largest trance-only event, Half Moon regularly draws huge crowds colorfully painted in neon green, pink and orange. The location is sprawling, making it easy to find a place to curl up in the bushes. For those used to more modern creature comforts, and indeed are less experienced in sleeping in the surrounding natural environment, a long line of hammocks is provided aimed at providing you with a high-quality sleep.
Koh Phangan Party: Guy’s Bar – 5/5 stars
Saving the best for last, Guy’s Bar is located at walking distance from Eden Garden, and has also made a name for itself as one of the island’s best techno and house parties. While not a five star resort in the conventional sense, Guy’s Bar is a fantastic place to get some sleep, despite the pounding sound system. Not only are cushions and mattresses provided in excess, but the other clients are generally very accepting of one’s sleeping habits. In fact, one fellow partygoer kindly sprayed me with mosquito repellent while I slept. Having had a full five hours of sleep, I rate Guy’s Bar the best party accommodation on Koh Phangan.
And there you have it: the best parties to sleep at on Koh Phangan. If that’s not floating your party boat, then choosing where to stay in Koh Phangan and booking accommodation is easy. If you decide that you’d rather have a place to crash for the night (or somewhere to rest your aching head the next day, you’ll find a place to stay easy. It’s not as fun though…
Although the idea of sleeping at Koh Phangan parties does not occur to everyone, I would argue that it is a practical, fun and inexpensive alternative to traditional resorts, hostels and guest houses. In addition to the valuable travel experiences gained from waking up covered in sand and with a throbbing head, it lends a certain authenticity to your Koh Phangan trip which would be hard to achieve otherwise.