I'll be in Bangkok for two weeks and the Full Moon Party happens to fall right in the middle of it. I've never been to, so I'd like to check it out. Does anyone know the best way to get from Bangkok to the islands down south? Is this even doable in the amount of time I have?
If you have at least three days to spare, or even two (three is the best, though), definitely. I would fly out there the day before, or if you have to, the morning of. Flight prices between that route are really reasonable. In the summer of 2012, I paid about $150 round trip. What you would do is take a flight from BKK to the Surat Thani Airport, and from there, take a ferry to Koh Phangan, which is the island that the Full Moon Party will actually be on.
Here's how I would plan out the three days:Day 1: Fly from Bangkok International Airport (BKK) to Surat Thani. Then either stay in Surat Thani or ferry directly to Koh Phangan. There's always mini-Full Moon Parties at Haad Rin Beach in the days leading up to the actual party that you might want to check out. Day 2: Day of Full Moon Party. Make your way to Koh Phangan if you haven't already or if you have, explore the island, then head to the beach for the party at dusk or after dark.Day 3: Assuming you survived the Full Moon Party, make your way back to Surat Thani by ferry, then fly back to BKK.
Here's how you do it in two days if you're hardcore enough: fly into Surat Thani from BKK on the day of and ferry directly to the party on Koh Phangan. Party all night and sleep on the beach or a resort, then make your way back to Surat Thani via ferry, then fly back to BKK.
I took the slightly more relaxing three day route, but if I had the time/had it my way, I would've taken a week-long road trip down the countryside by car or train just to take in the scenery and see more of Thailand, then ferry over to Koh Phangan for the mainland.
Have fun at the Full Moon Party! It's, um, really something else (you'll see when you get there ;).
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