Koh Phangan is still one of the centres of the world’s Psytrance scene. Even at the famous Fullmoon party on Haad Rin beach you hear Psytrance pumping by the “Dark Psy of the Moon tribe” all night long in front of Tommy’s resort. They started recently with a new location on the beach in Ban Khai. The Thai Psy scene started as early as the 90s when the hippie scene moved to Trance – a similar development as in Goa.
Legendary parties on Haad Rin and Leela beach attracted nearly all psychedelic music talents to Koh Phangan. Many famous producers and djs started here in the Vinyl and Zoom bars right on the beach. The Paradise waterfall NYE party 2001 boosted the scene on the island to one of the most favourites of everybody globally. The Green Spirit NYE parties lured thousands from 2004 to 2006 to Ao Nang beach at the Andaman Sea. But now the Experience Festival in Ko Tao – organised by the Ban Sabaii family – has taken over for many years as one of the best NYE open air parties in the world. 2,000 people joined in the season 2012/13 and more than 60 international and Thai live acts and djs played non-stop for 5 days. Famous Thai djs are Sabaii Sabaii, Tripical, Note, Leung, Koi and also foreign resident djs like Apnea, Sanuk, Venus Vibes, Templeton and many others belong to the local scene and play there frequently. In Koh Phangan parties lasting more than one night are not allowed anymore. Nevertheless the scene is awake like never before – especially in Ban Tai in the southern part of the island. In Ban Tai don’t miss to visit the 7/11 shop, where all fraggles meet before the close-by parties. The monthly Halfmoon festivals of Jao (DJ Tripical) and the Harmony team, Shiva Moon parties, Black Moon Culture parties at Mac’s Bay resort charge between 300 and 600 Baht. Most of these parties run all year. Halfmoon even gets around 4,000 people in the winter season around NYE. The Ban Sabaii family with Leung, Jonnie, Jo Moontribe and others are the only organisers without charging entrance fees: Ban Sabaii is THE place to go for after-parties the whole day until late night. Other locations such as Jungle Experience don’t play Psytrance anymore these days. But there are also other places and beaches to explore for hidden Psytrance parties in the jungle or even on boats going out for 2 or 3 days.
In south Koh Phangan you get numerous shops like Moontribe, DMT Shirts and 4 shops of Psychedelic Alien to buy your fluoro-shiny Psy-clothes from the most famous labels between Moscow and Bali. Beware of drug checks by the police! Motorbike accidents hit almost every newcomer! Before going to Koh Phangan it’s worth visiting the Ooze bar in Soi Rambuttri next to Khao San Road. Hotananka Papa and the Thai DJ Jackie play Psytrance until 2 a.m. almost every night in the winter season. Papa is also famous for his parties on house boats in Kanchanaburi.
journalist and psyronmental activist Tom Rom
Apart from Ko Phangan
Ooze Bar in Bangkok, situated in the parallel street of Ko Sarn Road is the place to meet your fellow Trancers in Bangkok. A small open air bar run by Jacky and his family is the best place to get an update about coming parties and to hook up with friends.
Jacky is also one of the organisers of one of Moon Mountain (with Papa from Goa), a very special party, only recommendable for those who don’t mind being stuck on a huge raft village in the middle of a lake for 3 days. If this sounds tempting, connect with the Ooze Bar family for more details. It usually takes place around xmas, around mid February as well as in April, but dates are subject to change. The location is stunning: a beautiful lake near Kanchanaburi (3 hours north of Bangkok) in the middle of a lush natural reserve. If you want something authentic, go for this one! A maximum of 200 people, up to 10 rafts towed together and a massive sound system plus excellent djs: one of the best parties I personally have played at!