Thailand – KOH PHA NGAN

If your idea of the perfect holiday involves three-day beach parties, Koh Pha Ngan is the place to be. Famous for its full moon parties at Haad Rin’s Sunrise Beach (pictured), this island is for hardcore partygoers and dreadlocked travellers. During peak season, the island can see 20,000 visitors dancing, drinking and cavorting on the white sands under the full moon. If you can’t make it at the right time of month, don’t worry – there are half-moon and black-moon parties in intervening weeks, and there’s action every night of the week at the island’s beach and cocktail bars.

The morning after, sleep it off in the shade of a palm tree while a Thai masseuse kneads you back into shape. There are secluded beaches far from the crowds (like hippie favourite Bottle Beach, arguably one of the best beaches in Thailand), and plenty of spas where you can check yourself in for an afternoon of recovery, from the basic to the deluxe (such as the Ayurvana Spa at Santhiya Resort on Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach in the north of the island).

But if you just want to party, it’s unlikely you’ll spend much time anywhere but Haad Rin. The island is due to get its own airport in 2013, making full-moon fever more accessible.