In the 1980s, as legend has it, a few brave backpackers made it to the island of Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand and declared the place an island paradise. And so began a steady trickle that soon became a flood of visitors to the island. At the same time a few even more intrepid travellers made it to the next island, Koh Phangan. The first beach area to start catering for these travelers was the gorgeous double beach of Haad Rin.
In the early days Haad Rin Nok (sunrise beach) and Haad Rin Nai (sunset beach) catered nearly exclusively for ‘hippy’ clientele. The accommodation on Haad Rin at that time were just basic coconut thatched bungalows but the prices were cheap and locals friendly.
Over time Haad Rin expanded and more travelers and tourists started staying on Haad Rin. The small village quickly expanded into roads lined with businesses and bars, and at the same time 1 star and 2 star hotels appeared. Also the small beach on the headland between the Haad Rin beaches, Seekantang or Leela beach started getting a growing following of returnees.
And the explosion happened when Paradise Bungalows decided to hold a Full Moon party for someone’s birthday. All involved thought it was a great party and so they decided to do the same thing the following month, or so legend goes. That was in 1987.
Now in 2011 the Koh Phangan Full Moon Party on Haad Rin Nok has grown into an enormous rave that attracts up to 30,000 people each cycle of the moon. International DJs play alongside their Thai counterparts. Hard psy-trance, drum and bass, pop, rock, electro and house are all to be found among the many sound systems on the beach.
And recently, Haad Rin has developed a fledgling land and property market. Initially the business had some success but with the recent troubles in Bangkok and the general downturn in the world economy that has yet to really prove itself as the next chapter in the story of Haad Rin.