Hey people. I will be in koh phangan for the full moon party in january and was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions for the best place to stay. I will be there about 5 days to a week before the party and wanted to stay somewhere as social as possible as I will be travelling alone but don't really want to be attending alone. Do these places throw pre party warm ups or something? Also if anyone knows a reliable site to book through that would be of great help. Any advice is much appreciated.
Getting to Ko Phan Ngan a few days before the party is always a good idea as accommodation gets booked up pretty quick. You can just turn up and find somewhere you like as you will be there with plenty of time. The party is on Haad Rin beach which you could stay on if you want to be in the thick of it. However if you want to be in the party but be able to escape at some point there is a little beach just round the corner on the Sunset side, literally 5 minutes away which is a bit more chilled out (only slightly) but way more beautiful and you don’t have to deal with all the rubbish on the beach in the morning and the music in your ear when you finally want to sleep.
Don’t know a website or anything but you won’t have a problem finding somewhere I’m sure.
If you want somewhere sociable then I'd say the best places are either Coral Bungalows or one of the hostels.
I've never stayed at any of the hostels myself but I've spoke to other people who have recommended them for meeting people (but nothing else). There's four hostels that I know of, 2 on Sunrise Beach (Lunacy Hostel and one in the next lane along that I can't remmeber the name of) and two in the middle of Haad Rin (just up from the 7-11) and I'd say the two away from the beach are probably the best bet if you want to sleep at any point.
I've stayed at Coral before and I really like it. It's rooms not dorms but it's pretty sociable anyway. There's a pool where guests hang round and you sometimes get talking to people at the pool. Coral have got a website if you google it but the website prices are slightly higher than if you just turn up and book in person. If you're getting there a week before you should be okay to just turn up, but getting there five days before is getting towards the cut off point for places being fully booked so depending on when you arrive you may want to book to be on the safe side. A week before is fine though if you're flexible about whre you stay.
If you want to book one of the hostels then a couple of them are on hostelworld. They ask for a minimum booking of 5 days (I think) but that won't be a problem if you're getting there early. Except if you decide you want to move somewhere else once you get there cos they don't give refunds once you've paid.
Personally, I never pre-book anywhere and just try to get there a week before Full Moon and I've never had any problems finding somewhere. The latest I've left it is three days before and then I had a bit of bother finding somewhere (had to try about 15 places) but I found somewhere in the end. The later you leave it the more you'll pay though.
The more quieter beach that Rambler1 mentioned is called Leela Beach. I think the official name is Haad Saikantang but it gets known as Leela Beach. It's only a ten minute walk over a head land but I personally prefer staying in Haad Rin if you're there to party. Haad Rin Sunrise Beach is actually a really beautiful beach for most of the month, although like Rambler1 mentioned the day after the Full Moon Party it's always a total mess, but the locals get to work at cleaning it up straight away.
As for warm up parties, basically every night on Haad Rin beach is a big party in the week building up to Full Moon, and every night you can notice it getting busier and busier and the party atmosphere building up more and more.
The best pre-Full Moon party though imo is the pool party at Coral Bungalows. The only thing nowadays is that they tend to overdo it a bit now by having a pool party every other night. This means that some of the earlier parties aren't that busy, but the pool party 2 or 3 days before the Full Moon is generally the best one.