Thai Law Authorities Allow Koh Phangan Parties Again, With A Few Rules
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Full moon parties on the southern Thailand island of Koh Phangan are being allowed again, with a few conditions that must be abided by. It follows a party ban imposed in April 2015 as Thai law authorities embarked on an effort to clean up the ‘party central’ image of the island.

After meeting with business operators from the island in late June, Koh Phangan district chief officer Krirk-krai Songthani said full moon parties will be permitted again but they must be free of drugs. They must also not be held on the beaches because of the environmental impact.

The district chief officer has agreed to allow only some business operators to hold the parties, but they must strictly abide by official rules and regulations.

The operators of full moon parties would first have to apply for permits to hold the events. If they met all criterion set down in the official rules and regulations then they would be allowed to hold parties on a case by case basis, Krirk-krai explained.

He cautioned business operators to make sure their parties were free of drugs. If there were drugs found to be in use, they would be banned from holding parties.

Staying clear of drugs and any such illegal activity is always a good rule of thumb for tourists visiting Thailand and indeed any country, noted the spokesman for one leading international law firm in Thailand. “Getting into difficulty with the Thai law isn’t what you want while on holiday”, he quipped.

There are many an international and Thai law firm which can provide legal advice and services to foreigners and Thais, ranging from Thai law in general to Thai labour law and the Thai visa service, obtaining a Thailand work permit, tax consulting and accountancy, and recommendations on starting a business in Thailand.

Krirk-krai three operators had been granted permission to stage full moon parties, which are the Half Moon Party, SRA Manohra Party and Cheeva Moon Party.

The owner of the Half Moon Party promised all business operators would give full cooperation in abiding by the conditions for the parties, and that operators not yet granted permits to hold parties would begin to improve their venues to meet the conditions.

Effective 5 April 2015, all parties on Koh Phangan with the exception of the Full Moon Party were banned following complaints from many of the island’s residents over the loud noise. There were some 25 parties being held a month at various coconut plantations around the island, including the Half Moon Party, Black Moon Party, Jungle Party and Experience Party.

Tourism has proved a big earner for Koh Phangan, bringing in some Bt7 billion in foreign exchange a year. Each month some 20,000 tourists visited the island, many of them young Westerners. That number increased to 30,000 during the high season and to between 60,000 and 80,000 during Christmas and New Year. The island’s famous parties were a big draw card.

The ban on parties enforced in April likely has likely affected that tourism and the revenue it brings Koh Phangan, including for the owners of local accommodation, dining and other related establishments.

Krirk-krai said he realized that the parties were the selling point of Koh Phangan and that the ban had started to affect business operators, which had prompted authorities to start talking with them on the situation.

Koh Phangan is situated 15 km to the north of Koh Samui, in the Gulf of Thailand off the coast of Surat Thani province on the Thai mainland. The ferry ride from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan takes around 40 minutes and there are regular departures in both directions from the early morning to early evening.

Ferry services also link Koh Phangan with Koh Tao 35 km to its north, and to the mainland which is about a three and a half hour trip.


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