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Since the late 1980s, thousands of revelers have been making pilgrimages to the Koh Phangan for the Full Moon Party (Emmons, 2011). Specifically, the Isle of Haad Rin Beach has attracted thousands of people from various parts of the world in the last three decades. The event started in 1985 after a group of tourists realized that the new moon was beautiful when watched from Koh Phangan. They decided to set up a party because the beach was “crescent-shaped” to celebrate the new moon. Within a few years, the event became popular with westerners, local and regional tourists. Currently, it is one of the most visited destinations in Thailand.
A number of attractions are available in the area, including a white sand beach and a rising yellow moon. In fact, statistics indicate that more than 30,000 people from different parts of the world visit the facility every month (Hampton, 2013). The event occurs roughly after every 28 days, specifically on the night before or after the full moon. An all-night party involves dancing, music, drums, and other forms of entertainment. In addition, music from a wide range of cultures is played to entertain revelers.
However, it is worth noting that the face of the event has changed drastically from its original form. For instance, the original blue moon party at Koh Phangan had few people and varieties of music, dance, foods, and entertainment joints. Morever, various critics have shown that the party has hanged from a humble moon-watching event to a modern-day destination popular for indulgences that proceed towards “Gomorrah”. They note that while the early new moon party was mainly an event for adult tourists, the current event is predominantly occupied by young revelers. Critics argue that the blue moon party is not only affecting the youths but also becoming a possible target for terrorists and criminals.
Despite the popularity of the facility, the factors that have led to the popularity of the region remain largely unknown. For instance, there are several other regions of the country and the world with similar or even more attractive features than the Koh Phangan (Brash & Bush, 2010). In fact, information about the presence and attractiveness of the full moon party at Koh Phangan spread by word of mouth (Chungsiriwat & Grossman, 2012). In addition, Thai authorities did not make efforts to document or create awareness of the facility. In fact, few researchers have attempted to describe the phenomenon or determine the aspect that attracts people in the region.
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the factors or features that have created awareness of the region, making it a famous tourist attraction. Specifically, the proposed study will attempt to determine the actual aspects and features that attract people to the Full Moon Party at Koh Phangan, Thailand.
- To investigate the tourist attraction features at the full moon party in Koh Phangan
- To determine the tourists’ perception of the facility
- To determine and document the factors that attract people to the event
- What are the perceptions of the tourists towards the facility?
- What type of information is known to individuals prior to attending the event?
- What features/aspects of the facility are the most attractive to individual tourists?
The proposed study aims at describing the phenomenon based on data collected from the site, including the people’s perception and information available before and after visiting the party. In addition, the research aims at providing evidence from observation in two full moon parties at Koh Phangan. This study will be a qualitative study, whose purpose is to describe the phenomenon based on data collected at the site and from the people. In this context, the study will use primary sources of data through questionnaires. Questionnaires will be developed and distributed to the study participants. The study targets 300 tourists in two full moon events at Koh Phangan. About 250 of the selected participants will be tourists aged above 15 years visiting the facility for the first time. The rest 50 participants will be tourists who have visited the facility on a previous occasion. Questionnaires will be sent through email, hardcopy, or postal address.
The researcher will visit the two full moon parties at Koh Phangan and record the events from various aspects. Observation will be done and information recorded through video, audio, and photography. Data analysis will involve analyzing the questionnaires and the video/audio and photographs.
Upon the completion of the research, it is expected that the information obtained will describe the aspects that attract people at the Koh Phangan. In addition, the information will be useful in promoting tourism in Koh Phangan and other parts of Thailand. Moreover, the information will create a foundation for additional studies to investigate other aspects of tourism in the region.
Brash, C., & Bush, A. (2010). Thailand’s Islands and Beaches. New York: Lonely Planet.
Chungsiriwat, G., & Grossman, N. (2012). Thailand at Random. New York: EDM.
Emmons, R. (2011). Frommer’s Thailand. London, UK: Wiley Publishers.
Hampton, M. P. (2013). Backpacker Tourism and Economic Development: Perspectives from the Less Developed World. London: Routledge.