Haad Rin beach on Koh Phangan island off this southern coastal province was packed with revellers for the first full-scale Full Moon Party since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic on Saturday night.
Following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, more than 10,000 tourists – mostly foreigners – enjoyed an event that ran smoothly throughout the night with marine police, tourist police and immigration police and more than 60 administrative officials led by Surat Thani deputy governmor Suthipong Klai-udom deployed to maintain law and order.
The road leading to the beach was restored to its erstwhile vitality, with shops selling snacks and beverages, body-painting kiosks and clothing stalls.
After the party was over, most of the tourists returned to the mainland by ferry to Don Sak or to Koh Samui. Others remained on the island, which has seen many rental accomodations fully booked over the past month.
On Saturday, Raja Ferry announced its ferries departing at 8.00am, 11.00am, 2.00pm and 5.30pm were fully booked. It had to arrangers two more trips, departing Don Sak at 12.30pm and 6.30pm.
Manop Sae Tiew, a Koh Phangan resident, said the return of a large number of foreign tourists indicated the Full Moon Party was still in their minds after a long suspension.
“Koh Phangan’s beaches are most beautiful on full moon nights. We also have many other attractions which must be preserved.
The party went on without problems last night. I believe the next party, scheduled for May 16, will definitely draw even more tourists,” he said.
The last full-scale Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan was on Feb 8, 2020 during the onset of the first outbreak of Covid-19 in the kingdom.