In a recent change of fashion the immigration office has officially decided to ‘monitor’ the Full Moon parties around the Islands of Koh Samui, Koh Taow & Koh Pang Yang, in what appears to be a backlash against the recent attacks of the two British tourists who were tragically killed after attending a Full Moon party in September.
This controversial move by the office will cause a big wave across the Full Moon party culture, as drunken and drug fuelled tourists will not only be the target to protect, but as most raves go, will also become the targets of the polices unavoidable law enforcement. Where before the ‘mob rule’ effectively policed these events, allowing for revellers to partake in most substances as long as they behaved, now the sight of any elicit substances will force the police to act, taking out one of the major attractions which draws many of a devil-may-cry tourist to the events.
Not only will this new ‘protection’ operation hurt the very tourists it plans to protect, but they plan to impose and ‘entrance fee’ and taxes on all alcohol served. Which ultimately will disgruntle many of a Thai bar owner who will see their profits shrink beyond recognition. And with the combination of the immigration police charging the 100 baht ‘entrance fee’, a strong feeling of resentment towards the officials will not be easily forgotten.
Official offices all around Thailand are on a clean-up operation ever since the Coup not 6 months ago, with statistics since the takeover showing an estimated 400 out of 700 official departments in Thailand having revived a corruption or negligence complaint. In light of this many departments have taking big, but carful steps, with the aim of ‘cleaning up’ in mind.
While this new interest in the Full Moon Parties from the immigration police is expected to cause a stur, party tourism to these islands is expected to rise in the coming months, forcing the police to walk a tightrope of law enforcement without destroying all their tourism economy, a delicate game indeed.