There’s party cities, and then there’s party islands. Because nothing is much better than being semi-stranded in a tropical oasis with 4,000 other people dancing, drinking and eating local cuisine in the most remote parts of the world. From Texas to the wild islands of South East Asia, we’ve rounded up the world’s most badass party islands that are worth checking off your bucket list. This week we’re fixated on a Thai island that isn’t just wild because of its tiger-filled jungles.
Where you need to party Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand
What it’s known for: Backpacking, techno-fueled beach parties, beautiful women
Music you can expect to hear: Reggae, house, techno
What you should eat: Local favorites like Pad Ga Pao Moo (fried pork with basil), green chicken curry and Pad Kee Mao Sen Yai (stir fried noodles)
What you should drink: Yadong, the street-brewed local moonshine of choice
Why you need to go: Halfway between the islands of Ko Sumui and Ko Tao, Koh Pha Ngan is not only a must for avid backpackers because of its tropical rainforests, but to partake in its ridiculous beach parties known world-wide. The island’s Full Moon Parties, the mini electronic dance festival held on the night of, before or after every full moon, sets apart the location from the other hundred islands in Thailand’s jurisdiction. Locals and tourists from all over the globe come together to celebrate the full moon by you know, dancing to house music and raging on a tropical beach.
Bikini-clad local dancers roam the beaches with fire-sticks, partiers paint themselves in UV colors and DJs keep the party going until the sun rises. There’s a lot alcohol, a lot of traditional Thai food and a lot of music. But the best part about the island is that there’s a much needed balance—during the day you can explore Buddhist temples and even chill in renowned spa and meditation retreats, but then get totally weird at night with thousands of other explorers.
In summary, if you’re touring South East Asia and don’t make your way to Koh Pha Ngan for a wild full moon party, you’ve just missed out one of the coolest international beach parties in the world.
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Nicole Theodore is an editorial assistant at Playboy. She enjoys traveling to dangerous countries and partying in them. Follow her on Twitter.