Coronavirus Cancels Thailand’s Full Moon Party 2020
As the effects of coronavirus spread worldwide, Thailand has taken the almost unprecedented step of cancelling the full moon party on Koh Phangan until further notice.
The March 8th event will not go ahead despite numerous tourists already having arrived on the island ready to party, and future dates are currently on hold until the virus is brought more under control.
This is big news in a country that relies on the tourist trade for a big chunk of its income. The island’s economy is built around the monthly influx of visitors that come to drink, dance and party on the beach, so this will hit local businesses hard.
Thailand is Putting Safety First
This decision is obviously incredibly disappointing for anyone hoping to go and experience this incredible and hedonistic event for themselves. The full moon party appears on many peoples’ bucket lists and there is obviously a financial implication for anyone who has already booked flights, ferries and accommodation with the party in mind.
However it’s a sign of how seriously Thailand is taking the Coronavirus threat, as the party has only ever been cancelled once before, for the funeral of the much-loved King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
This time, it’s a decision that has been taken from a public safety point of view. With so many travelers from all over the world coming together in close proximity, it would have been impossible to guarantee that the virus wouldn’t have spread over the course of the festival. This could potentially have led to more infections elsewhere as those travelers dispersed again.
Official notice of the cancellation has been served to local tourist businesses, so this isn’t something which is still under debate- the parties are definitely off for the time being.
What does it mean for you?
If you were hoping to travel to Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party then you have two options. The first is to cancel your trip to the island and redirect elsewhere, either in Thailand or abroad. If you do that, however, then you’ll be missing a trick. Koh Phangan is an absolutely beautiful island and is about much more than just the party beach in the south.
You could decide instead to still visit the island, and spend the time discovering hidden treasures like Haad Salad beach in the north and Sri Thanu village to the west. Your tourist dollars will be extremely welcome in the local community at a time when they really need all the help they can get.
For the Reckless Backpacker
There have been rumors swirling around that the Full Moon Party will still happen unofficially and without the normal cover charge. The Full Moon Party festival organizers aren’t legally liable for anyone attending this way. We don’t recommend going to Koh Phangan until a reputable organization on the matter like the WHO confirms its safety.
Our insider sources haven’t been able to confirm or deny these rumors. Check out the Full Moon Party 2020 dates and plan accordingly. Hopefully the situation improves and the festival returns later this year.
It’s not just Thailand cancelling events due to coronavirus.
The cancellation of the full moon party due to coronavirus mirrors decisions taken elsewhere in the world, with events such as the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas also being called off.
Even the Tokyo Olympics are currently under question, which really puts things in context. Hopefully the outbreak will be brought under control quickly and the full moon parties will start up again, bigger and better than ever before.
Until then the best thing you can do is travel safely, practice good health and hygiene practices as recommended by the World Health Organization, and make the most of seeing the rest of this beautiful country.
Note from the Editor, Chris Tweten: It’s not just the tourism industry that’s being affected by the coronavirus outbreak. I was planning on attending MarTech Summit Singapore and that was postponed until further notice as well. I’m supposed to give a session on the ethics of marketing automation for their Bangkok conference but who knows how coronavirus will play out?
All we can do is practice precautionary measures, hope for the best and watch the news unfold.