Dancing Elephant Hostel Review from Koh Phangan, Thailand

The party doesn’t stop on Haadrin Beach, Koh Phangan, Thailand. Everyday music is blasting throughout the beach and buckets of alcohol are sold in every corner. Once a month though, the Full Moon Party takes the beach on full force. Many backpackers flock to Koh Phangan making it difficult to find accommodation in such a small town. Most places require a minimum of three to four nights stay for the party as well. Booking ahead is essential and finding the proper place to stay is just as important to take full advantage of the party.

This would be my second time attending the Full Moon Party – mostly because Stephanie has never been. I had a memorable time at the Dancing Elephant Hostel last year and thought I’d contact the owner to find out if there was room for that week and if he was interested in a review. He gladly accepted and even remembered when I came last year.

Pros

The owner, David, has a memorable personality himself. He’s a French expat that has been in Thailand for years. He’s been running the Dancing Elephant Hostel for over two years. His high energy gets him running in circles as you seem him all over town running errands for his hostel. His silliness makes him random and funny.

David and I - In front of Dancing Elephant for the Full Moon Party August 2009

David and I – In front of Dancing Elephant for the Full Moon Party August 2009

Everyday and sometimes several times a day, David gathers up his new guests for a thirty minute introduction meeting. I have never in almost two years of travel have had an introduction quite like David’s from a hostel. The Full Moon Party can be a dangerous place if you’re not careful. David explains the Full Moon Party security, how to avoid trouble, and recommends places to party and eat. I really love that he does this. Great deal of good information of the area.

The atmosphere is the strongest selling point. The lounge room has a great setup for a hostel. There a large television and projection that has movies picked out by the guests themselves. He has a large collection of DVD’s and a satellite connection. The free Wi-Fi gathers everyone to the lounge as well. The couches make the area comfortable. It’s extremely easy to meet other travelers and have a new party partner. Having a friend at the Full Moon Party makes the partying 100% more enjoyable.

It manages to stay centralized while still being in a quiet street. Huge bonus.

Half of the lounge area of Dancing Elephant

Half of the lounge area of Dancing Elephant

Cons

Like most hostels, there are dorms. However, the beds are organized is a strange fashion. While some beds are single, there is one area that has five or so beds in a row next to each other. This could be easily resolved if there were some sort of divider between each bed. The beds themselves are reasonably comfortable with a bamboo framework.

There’s a baby, the owner’s niece, that sleeps in the lounge room. In a hugely popular party town, people come in drunk and loud often. I felt bad coming in late. Sometimes the baby would cry in the middle of the night which was annoying. There were some nights I had wished I could hang out in the lounge but the baby was already asleep fairly early. It makes it difficult to pre-game in the lounge as well. Of course, this may change soon and the baby will finally get her own room with the rest of the family that seems to sleep in the lounge. This was not an issue last year though.

Hostel guests from the Dancing Elephant gather round in front of hostel preparing to party.

Hostel guests from the Dancing Elephant gather round in front of hostel preparing to party.

If you’re by yourself and looking for new friends to have a good time with, Dancing Elephant Hostel could be the perfect choice. However, if you’re a couple or with a large group of friends, it may be a better option to get a private bungalow. David is partners with another accommodation company that offers bungalows. They offer a beautiful view, nearby quieter beach, large rooms, and a balcony that includes a hammock. You’d still be able to take advantage of the lounge room as well.

You can book directly on his site or through HostelWorld.
The Bungalows are called Sun Cliff Bungalows Resort

7 Burgers

The restaurant is not connected to Dance Elephant Hostel but it’s by the same owner just a few blocks away toward the beach. The small, trippy looking room has one of the best burgers I’ve had in Asia. He provides his guests a discount for their first order. Go straight for the 7 Burger. It’s a monster of a burger.

Disclaimer: In return for this review, he provided us accommodation free of charge during our stay.

17 Comments

  1. Clairergibson on February 14, 2011 at 9:43 am

    I love finding a cool hostel and remembering it forever 😉 As for the one you wrote about above, never been there, but I sure do like the name!

  2. Clairergibson on February 14, 2011 at 10:43 am

    I love finding a cool hostel and remembering it forever 😉 As for the one you wrote about above, never been there, but I sure do like the name!

  3. Thomas Aylmer on February 15, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I want 7 burgers … right now! Sounds delicious. Not sure if the Full Moon Party is something I’d like… but if your into crowded parties… maybe it would be nice! Is it mostly foreigners at the party.. or is there a good deal of Thai as well?

    • Michael on February 16, 2011 at 6:13 am

      Not really that crowded because the party is on a huge beach. I think you’d like it. Some really chill areas.

    • Michael on February 16, 2011 at 6:14 am

      Oh and it’s mostly all foreigners. Not really any Thai’s besides maybe a few Thai lady boys here and there.

  4. Thomas Aylmer on February 15, 2011 at 11:19 am

    I want 7 burgers … right now! Sounds delicious. Not sure if the Full Moon Party is something I’d like… but if your into crowded parties… maybe it would be nice! Is it mostly foreigners at the party.. or is there a good deal of Thai as well?

    • Michael on February 16, 2011 at 7:13 am

      Not really that crowded because the party is on a huge beach. I think you’d like it. Some really chill areas.

    • Michael on February 16, 2011 at 7:14 am

      Oh and it’s mostly all foreigners. Not really any Thai’s besides maybe a few Thai lady boys here and there.

  5. enrolled agent course on February 15, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    The hostel looks pretty good and something that I would consider in case I’m going there for a Full Moon Party. But one thing that I won’t surely miss for the world is to have a bite at 7 Burgers.

  6. enrolled agent course on February 15, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    The hostel looks pretty good and something that I would consider in case I’m going there for a Full Moon Party. But one thing that I won’t surely miss for the world is to have a bite at 7 Burgers.

  7. greg on December 13, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    does anyone have the email of the owner? thanks.

  8. greg on December 14, 2011 at 12:44 am

    does anyone have the email of the owner? thanks.

  9. Anneliese on July 13, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    This article brings back a lot of good memories for me. I stayed here in the beginning of 2010 and had a great time. David is  definitely quite the character! I remember having to go into his bedroom to wake up him one morning because I was checking out and he had my passport in the safe. 

  10. Anneliese on July 13, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    This article brings back a lot of good memories for me. I stayed here in the beginning of 2010 and had a great time. David is  definitely quite the character! I remember having to go into his bedroom to wake up him one morning because I was checking out and he had my passport in the safe. 

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