Let me start off by saying… This is the biggest party I have ever been to… 50,000 people on the beach drinking buckets of alcohol and having a dance party until well after the sunrise was an epic way to bring in the New Year of 2015. We have so many great memories from that night, but also a lot of warnings for people who plan to party there.
Places to Stay
Haad Rin: The beach party is located in Haad Rin. There are a lot of places to stay, but the prices are 10 to 20 times the normal low season rate. In this area, places are very expensive and you don’t get what you pay for. We have also heard that people have problems having their stuff stolen from lockers in the area.
Thongsala: This area has great accommodation prices along the beachfront. We paid 500 baht ($15) for a fan room at high peak season. If you stay in this area you can get a sang tao for about 300 baht per person and it will take you into Haad Rin. Its pretty easy to get one back into town the next morning.
Bann Khai: This area is located half way between Haad Rin and Thongsala. The sang tao should be less then 300 per person, and it isn’t as loud and crazy as it is on Haad Rin.
By boat from the Islands Koh Tao and Koh Samui: Many speed boat companies offer full moon party packages that include transport to and from the party for about 1000 baht ($30). The cool thing about this option is that you can stay in a quieter, nicer place for a fraction of the price and still enjoy the party on NYE. The boat takes people over from Koh Samui every hour starting at 3pm and goes back on the hour from 1am until 7am. The boat from Koh Tao is a bit more limited as the island is much farther away.
Activities at the Party
One fun activity that you can do is get black light glow in the dark body painting. There are a lot of places that are set up with painting stations where you can get different paint designs. We noticed that the prices got cheaper once we were on the actual beach.
A lot of the clubs and parties have black lights so seeing everyone painted is pretty cool. Bars and clubs are literally at every space along the beach. All of them have slightly different vibes, but one thing is clear, everyone is partying HARD.
Fireworks and other fire type activities are also going on up and down the beach. As we expected, the fireworks were again a bit put of control.
- Don’t bring anything important that you would be bummed if you lost to the party. This includes cameras, phones, credit cards, passports, jewelry, etc. Things get extremely crazy and everyone is a target for pickpockets. Believe me you don’t want to end up losing something that is difficult to replace especially while you are traveling.
- As easy as it is, try not to get too inebriated. The buckets of alcohol are cheap and you drink a lot more then normal. It becomes easy get drunk very quickly, and believe me this is not the place to blackout. I’m not saying not to have a good time, just be careful.
- Don’t leave your drink alone or accept any “free” drinks from strangers. This is where the real problem with the buckets lies. It is extremely easy for someone to slip something into your massive bucket with out you noticing. Believe me, it happens. We saw one girl lying on the beach, eyes rolling back into her head, and violently throwing up. I asked her friend if she had taken any drugs. She said that they had only had one bucket. She wasn’t sure if she’d drank anything else from anyone else. Needless to say, it was only 11pm and the girl was spending New Years Eve taking her friend to the hospital.
- Do not get a motorbike for any reason. The roads are busy and are full of dangerous drunk drivers. Put a westerner who doesnt know the roads on a motorbike and it is a recipe for disaster. Brandon and I rent a lot of motorbikes in a lot of busy places, but not here on NYE.
- Go with a group. This is the type of party that can get extremely big and out of control. There are a lot of bad people out there, and this party is the type of place that is a predator’s paradise. Girls especially, don’t go alone or even in a small group.
- When you arrive at the beach area discuss a meeting point and a time in case your group gets separated. The place is crazy busy and it is easy to loose people in the massive crowds.
- Be sure that you have a way to get back to your guesthouse. Carry a business card from there so that you can show the driver where to go. Also, if you come by boat, be sure you have your return ticket on you so that you can get back if you loose your group.
- Take a trip up to Mushroom Mountain on the left side of the beach for a great view of the entire beach.
- Be safe and have a blast!