Asia Boats Cambodia Sihanoukville Travel Disasters

Sihanoukville’s Not-So-Great Full Moon Party

Sihanoukville's not-so-great Full Moon Party. A rainy stay in the Cambodian beach town, an island rave, a swarm of flying insects and more!


When we were in Sihanoukville in Cambodia, there was a full moon. The weather hadn’t been great since we had arrived, actually, it had been terrible. It rained so much at one stage we thought the sea was going to flood. In between showers, we saw a flyer for a full moon party on an island and thought that Sihanvoukville’s version of a full moon party could be good. We bought tickets for a hefty $10.

Everyone was told to meet up at a bar and we arrived sober. After experiencing full moons at Kho Phangan, this looked like a bit of a let down. There were other people standing around, many wearing full moon t-shirts from Thailand. We didn’t have time to finish our first drinks before we were ushered onto a small boat with no lights. The second we got on the boat, it started to rain, like, lashing rain.

Within minutes we were soaked through. We tried to keep our heads somewhat sheltered by gripping onto the rickety sticks that held up a sparse strip of ripped blue tarpaulin above, and stretching our necks into unnatural angles in an attempt to fit under it. The boat was really rocky, and we all kept banging into each other. The drinks we had brought with us were spilling all over the place and mixing with the heavy downpour.

On our boat were some other Irish girls, and so we joked around about how this rain was nothing really. It’s always raining back home. Although, at home we tend not to be out on at sea in little boats, cradling whiskey dressed in flip flops and sun dresses in the middle of a storm in the dark, but hey.


After half an hour, we had made it to the other side. We fell out of the boat, knee deep in the sea, and waded to shore. We were happy to see a bonfire, but everyone there was just standing around. There was no music and the bar wasn’t open, so we all just hung around in the dark.

We didn’t really get what was going on, as there were plenty of people already there. It was dark and yet there was no party. People were hovering around the tables that were to become the bar, probably making the bar staff a little nervous, as they wiped imaginary water from the counter, and kept busy unloading tempting looking cans of soft drinks from boxes. We thought maybe they were waiting on a generator, because there didn’t seem to be any other reason why a party would be in the pitch dark with no music.

Eventually there was light. And music. And then the bar was finally opened. We queued for quite a while, as everyone wanted to have a drink in hand as fast as possible. The three of us went in on a bucket, and it was NASTY!

The whiskey was like paint stripper!

A far cry from the Tiger whiskey in Laos and Samson in Thailand that we had become fond of. I was almost gagging as I tried to get some down me.

They started to serve the food and we practically ran to the queue. I was starving and looking forward to having something to help me wash the alcohol down with. We were served pinkish-grey hot dogs with chips that were the colour of bone marrow, dripping with grease and also not cooked.

All in all, it was pretty disgusting, from the whiskey to the wiener.

After a while, we started to dance and my mood improved. They were playing dance music, that was better than anything else we had heard so far! The neon paints were glowing on everyone’s faces and we all had a great time drawing on each other.

But then A started to scream hysterically and jump around. This could only mean one thing. Insects. She was screaming that she could feel something in her hair. There were a lot of things flying around, and we had thought we had been imagining the feeling that something was on us, but once A had said it out loud, they seemed to increase. We soon learned that they were massive winged cockroaches, and who likes winged cockroaches flying around you in the dark?

We could see these black things zipping around the crowd and could feel things in our hair, and rubbing off our legs, and what the hell, was that something under my dress????

None of us are that fond of insects, but after a night of hysterics in Don Det, I knew that A and B really freaked out when confronted by them. And now A had reached her point of no return. It was time to leave.

We went down to the shore to find out when the boats were leaving. We had to wait until a boat filled up so we tried to settle on the sand.

Then I began to get a little freaked out by all the things hitting off me. We were down by the water, where it was darker and there were less people, surely this was an even worse place to be sitting? We would attract all the winged beasts.

After an unpleasant wait, we were finally able to get on a boat back to the Sihanoukville mainland. It wasn’t as stormy coming back, but the acid-like whiskey sitting in our stomachs was being sloshed from side to side, much like our boat.

When we finally made it back, we were in need of a pizza. So we walked up the top of the road and got ourselves a big one. On the way back down, the smell of pizza was just starting to improve our moods. Then B tripped and went flying along the gravelly path, along with the pizza.

It looked really, really, really funny, but, perhaps as a result of the crappy night, B really didn’t think so and burst into tears. Then it was kind of awkward as A and I tried to suppress our snorts of laughter while arranging our faces into a show of sympathy, and also trying not to show more concern for our pizza. It was hard not to laugh.


All in all, a far cry from the full moon in Thailand.



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  • Reply
    November 12, 2014 at 6:55 am

    Oh no! That sounds like an awful experience. I’ve heard crazy things about Sihanoukville’s parties in general so I’m surprised it was such a dud. Those flying bugs sound horrible. I would have freaked out too!
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  • Reply
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie)
    November 12, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Oh no! It sounds perfectly awful. The bugs would have me completely freaked out. So I guess now you can say…been there!!! But I’m sorry it was such a dud!
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently posted…Parenthood… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

  • Reply
    November 12, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    I know those flying cockroaches all too well and they can be a little menacing at best. Sorry to hear the party was a bust; probably should have stuck to beer. I am with you though in regard to the whiskey of Thailand and Laos. Drinking Sangtip and Kratang Dang in Thailand was a nightly ritual for many of us for a long time. I guess it was fitting that the pizza should go down in flames but at least two of the three of finally got to laugh at something 🙂
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  • Reply
    November 12, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    I am so glad that I wasn’t with you – what a horrible experience. We just had a bat flying around and I thought that was awful, can’t imagine having flying cockroaches, yuk. Anyway, glad you survived to tell us about it.
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  • Reply
    November 13, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Yikes! What an ordeal. I have a friend who is about to leave for a 23-day trip to Viet Nam and Cambodia. Your post makes me wonder what stories she will bring back with her 😉
    Jeri recently posted…Group Activity: The Chocolate Game #SocialJusticeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Ken Dowell
    November 13, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    You can’t really enjoy a party without cockroaches and paint stripper. Did anyone see the moon?
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  • Reply
    November 14, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Feel sorry to hear about such horrible experience. What about the moon did you see it???? These bugs also make me mad. I can feel what you have experienced.
    andleeb recently posted…Harassment and HijabMy Profile

    • Reply
      November 27, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      I did see the moon, but I have no memory of it now, thanks to the bugs! 🙂

  • Reply
    Paula Through the Looking Glass
    November 19, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    oh my! I will definitely be avoiding that next time I visit. Such a shame seen as Sihanoukville is such a party town
    Paula Through the Looking Glass recently posted…2015 Big Move to Asia: Dubai Calling?!My Profile

    • Reply
      November 27, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      Yeah, it was a bit of a fail, but maybe it was just that night. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 21, 2014 at 1:40 am

    that sounds like the worst party ever…. I’m not sure anything is fun when you’re being pelted by winged cockroaches! At least you guys were laughing at the end of the night!
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    • Reply
      November 27, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      I think you’re right, there is no fun to be had when winged cockroaches are involved!

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    September 10, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Wow that’s one heck of party experience. So now I know what Not to do in Cambodia 😉
    Thanks for sharing
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    Bootylicious Babes
    April 10, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Hey, I could feel that you have gone through a horrible experience that night… and thanks for sharing your experience with us,.

  • Reply
    February 16, 2018 at 4:28 am

    Just what one needs to attend. A full moon party on an island.

    Sounds like a lot of fun.

    Cheers Sharon…
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