Haad Rin is on the island of Ko Pha Ngan off the coast of Thailand. Most famous for their Full Moon Party.
From Ko Samui: There are at least 3 ferries a day from Ko Samui's "Big Buddha" pier directly to Haad Rin. Other ferries go to Thongsala, a short songthaew ride away.
Songthaews are the island's official form of taxi and cost around 100 baht a ride. You might want to consider pre-booking a return trip after the Full Moon Party to avoid paying the extortionate rates that drivers can charge drunken tourists in the early hours of the morning.
Haad Rin is compact enough to be walkable, although for some of the resorts on the headland you might want to consider a motorbike ride. Motorbike hire is widely available from many vendors. Although there is minimal traffic, the hills around Haad Rin are steep and therefore it's not advisable for inexperienced riders to tackle them. Resorts will order transfer by minibus, songthaew or motorbike to and from the pier.
- Sea Walk, (opposite Sea Gardens Resort a few streets down from Chicken Corner.). Various good shops, bars, and restaurants, including the best Italian restaurant I have found in Thailand! I think it was called I Sapori. edit
- Jetskiing is available on the beach.
Beware: There have been some scams on the jet ski rental. When you return the jet ski's they will accuse you of causing many scratches and damages (whether you made them or not). Then try to charge you up to 90,000 baht! Avoid at all costs. If you still really want to enjoy some water sports, try the banana boat ride. Although this is not for the feint hearted - the ride is hard and fast.
- Train in Muay Thai Boxing
- Play games of pick-up volleyball
- Just-Some-Shop, Next to the 7-11 near the beach.. A large, Thai family's shop that sells everything from dinner plates to buckets to fireworks. Pretty cheap and you can find everything you need - including that luminous body paint you've wanted. edit
- All Arena, Soi Drop Inn, . Italian Restaurant, very good pizza, not far from the beach. Big building. edit
- Casanostra, located near the 7-11. Real home made Italian food.
- Kingfisher. Good breakfast, fresh seafood and grilled steaks and big burgers.
- Little Home, off Central St (next to Arena Gym). Great food cooked in front of you in a roofed, but open restaurant. Nothing pretentious about this place -it really does feel like someone's home, with the owner's kids running about after their pets and the person on the till watching Thai soaps. Always busy, even in low season and non-FMP weeks. It's almost impossible to get a table on the night of FMP! Good food and as cheap as anywhere. A must. edit
- Om Ganesh, (next to the ferry pier). excellent Indian restaurant serving tasty curries edit
- Same Same Burger. Western-style hamburger and chips. Different burger and meal types available. Good for late night meal, open 24 hrs. edit
If you're after party heaven you can't do better than Haad Rin. It is most popular one night a month, the night of the Full Moon Party. Every bar is hopping, the beaches packed with trance, dance, buckets, and various other suspicious substances. However, if the sight of thousands of bottles and other trash repulses you, make sure you leave the beach area before the sun comes up, or grab a garbage bag and help tidy up a little.
- Cactus Bar. A busy place that tends to play R 'n B, pop and all the other chart rubbish that you can hear in any cheesy nightclub the world over. Serves its purpose though as it separates the hardcore ravers from the annoying "spring break rules!" types.
- Coral, Coral Bungalows (Along the road into town, on Hat Rin Nai (Sunset Beach)). Pool parties to give some craziness on nights where there isn't some lunar celebration happening. Free taxis cruise the town to take you there. Don't arrive too early. Some people arrive at 19:00 expecting a party to find hotel residents eating dinner and swimming at sunset. Lots of sweaty, luminous dancing on tables and questionable activities in the pool. Not quite full on Full Moon madness, but certainly memorable. Decent little resort, nice pool, right on Hat Rin Nai beach. Basic but clean rooms, air-con, tiny safety deposit box. Resort also has lots of facilities like a gym, laundry, restaurant, water sports and, if you're lucky, you can get a free taxi to your hotel if you act like you're going to the pool party. Rooms 300-1.200 baht. edit
- Drop Inn Bar At the top end of Haad Rin is one the biggest bars on the beach. Cocktails are cheap, they have plenty of beach seating and great fire shows. Music is generally commercial dance mixed in with house. One of the best music selections on a regular night.
- Mellow Mountain Built into the side of a cliff. After a precarious ascent up the stairs, expect to find 'special shakes' (the "Happy Shake" is the house special) and a very chilled out, laid back atmosphere. Perfect if you want to escape the bustle of the beach party.
- Vinyl Club Is more for dancing to techno, but serves drinks as well. Right next door is Zoom Bar which offers more of the same.
Anywhere up to a week before a Half Moon or Full Moon Party, the hotels in Haad Rin and the immediate surrounding areas get booked out as the population around the beach swells, with the more comfortable places being taken first. If you're planning to visit about this time, look into staying outside of Haad Rin, and taxi in and out, rooms on the other side of the island are not only cheaper but also much quieter.
- Black & White, (Sunset Beach, near the pier). Basic apartments, a little noisy with revellers, but to be expected in a party hotspot. Laid back family running the store and apartments, quite happy to let you wait while they finish dinner before you book in. Seems to cater specifically to Israelis, with Star of David flags and Hebrew script on every sign. 500-1,000 baht. edit
- LunaC Bar/Hostel, (behind Drop Inn Bar on the full moon beach about 10 seconds from the beach), ☎ +66 26 935 037, . Fun, cheap hostel right next to the beach. They have one dorm with air-con and give you discounts off the bar below. Great if you want to meet people or want to be right in the action for full moon party! 400 baht. edit
- Palita Lodge, Haad Rin Nai Beach, . Peaceful atmosphere and a beautiful beach. 1,800 baht. edit
- Phangan Sunrise Resort . All rooms have twin beds with light comfortable duvets, shower and bathtub, large balcony, safety box, mini-bar, Wi-Fi throughout.
- Phanganburi Resort (Best Western), Haad Rin Nai Beach, . checkin: 11:00; checkout: 12:00. One of the finest and largest hotels on Ko Pha Ngan. Walking distance to the Full Moon Party. Offers accommodation at reasonable prices. 2,375 baht. edit
- Sarikantang, . checkin: noon; checkout: noon. All bungalows have been tastefully furnished blending traditional Thai and modern design elements to create very comfortable open air environment. Each bungalow has a private balcony with hammock and balcony furniture. Swimming pool and beach bar. 1,400+ baht. edit
- Seaview Sunrise Resort, ☎ +6677375160, . checkin: 13:00; checkout: 11:30. Affordable beach front accommodation in the middle of the renowned full moon party beach. 600-1,600 baht. edit
- Tommys Resort, (90/13 Haad Rin East), ☎ +66 77 375 215-6. Beach front bungalows, lively bar playing music throughout the day and great for a drink at night and at the Full Moon Party. 1000 baht. edit
- Sojourn Villas (Sojourn Villas), 9/2 Moo 6, Baan Haad Rin, ☎ +66 086 092 4179, . checkin: 2:00pm; checkout: 12:00pm. All of the villas are safe, modernly furnished with comfortable beds, AC, in room fridge and a spacious design to create very comfortable atmosphere. Most of the villas surround a 2.5 meter deep swimming pool with a cascading water fall. Sojourn Villas is an excellent escape from the party when you're ready to relax. 1,500+. (9.681108,100.059971) edit
Be very careful where you sleep and store your belongings if you're going for the Full Moon Party, as every month at this time many people have their bungalows broken into and valuables stolen. There are safety deposit boxes available at many resorts and in the town itself, but there are also reports of theft from some of these. Try find somewhere where you can at least use your own padlock, or stay at one of the higher end resorts if you can afford it. Alternatively, consider not staying at Ko Pha Ngan - you can get a boat over to the party from Ko Samui. If you do have stuff stolen, expect a long line queuing to report thefts at the police station the next day, and to have to pay for a report if you need one for your insurance.
It might be a great night out, but it's not so great in the morning when you find yourself with no money and no passport.