Whether you live in South East Asia or on a vacation to this vibrant side of the world, there’s an interesting façade that’s hip, rocking and rolling. If you thought SEA is only all tropical weather, pristine beaches, towering palms and year round summer vibe, then perhaps, you haven’t partied here! Its eclectic cities have no shortage of options that can set the right mood for party. Excellent nightlife, great pubs and bars fixed to an epic level.
Here’s a list of best party cities in SEA where you can dance the night away and have the party of your life.
1. Kuta, Bali
Although there’s places to go out and have a good time at in most tourist areas of Bali, it’s in Kuta where most of the action happens, particularly along Jl. Legian where there’s a “strip” of nightclubs and bars within walking distance from each other. The nightlife in Kuta is geared mainly at the younger crowd and visiting backpackers who stay along the laneways of Poppies 1 and Poppies 2 nearby. That being said, there are many older folks who enjoy what the area offers.
2. Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City’s nightlife scene varies from one district to another though venues that play live music close soon after midnight due to Vietnam’s rather strict laws. If you’re looking to party in style, District 1’s rooftop bars and posh nightclubs stay open until 03:00 or later, offering excellent service, dance tunes, stylish ambience, well-dressed crowds, and panoramic views of the vibrant city and beyond. Moving down several kilometers into Districts 3 and 5, Saigon’s Pham Ngu Lao is lined with boisterous street bars and pubs, cheap eats, live music, and casual ambience – great options for backpackers looking to mingle with fun-loving locals.
3. Boracay, Philippines
When most people are backpacking through South-East Asia, they tend to skip the Philippines. I’m not quite exactly sure why, because it’s easily one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. Boracay, specifically, is stunning. With that being said, people have often complained of the over-commercialism, and how it’s “too touristy” these days. Yeah, there’s a McDonald’s and a Starbucks, but it’s still amazingly beautiful, and has amazing nightlife. For starters, you have to experience The Boracay Pub Crawl. It’s an absolute blast, and really does “Turn Strangers into Friends!”
4. Vang Vieng, Laos
A tiny rural corner of Laos, Vang Vieng that has earned a terrible reputation based on its part scene. A small hippy village nestled alongside the river and surrounded by Karst limestone mountains, it might seem like an unlikely party place at first glance. In fact, Vang Vieng used to hit the news across the world on a regular basis due to the antics of drunken and drugged up backpackers.
Spending a day drinking and tubing on the river was basically a rite of passage for travelers in South East Asia and after a spate of injuries and deaths Vang Vieng was forced to clean up its act. Turns out that it’s done a pretty awesome job and has managed to combine beautiful landscapes and adventure activities with a laid back yet awesome party scene. Nights out here typically start in the late afternoon at one of the many riverside bars where groups congregate to enjoy Lao Beer, ‘hippy shakes’ and watch the sun go down across the mountains. Next stop is the main strip where you’ll find everything from low key Rasta bars to thumping bass in a series of small shacks along the street. One place you can’t miss is the infamous Sakura bar, which is open every night and stays open til the party ends. Vang Vieng may not be what it used to be, much to the dismay of some travellers, but if you know where to look it’s an amazing place to party a few days away on your travels in South East Asia.
5. Koh Phangan, Thailand
When it comes to partying in South-East Asia, you can’t miss out on the craziness of Koh Phangan. Yes, it is home to the notorious Full Moon Party, but there are actually so many better parties on the island. I like to refer to this as the “Ibiza of South-East Asia”, because every night of the week, there is a different party, at a different venue on the island. Thousands of travelers flock to the island every month for a night full of dancing, music, neon paint, and buckets of cheap drinks! It is like an oversized frat party. If you’re making your way to Koh Phangan anytime soon, make sure you check out a website called the Phanganist.com. They go over all the parties, hostel information, and other useful tips for visiting Koh Phangan.
5. Singapore, Singapore
When it comes to nightlife in Singapore, the city-state practically transforms itself from an ever-so-efficient business hub to a buzzing network of bars and nightclubs as soon as the sun goes down. Busy executives loosen their ties and kick up their heels in one of the many rocking bars around Clarke Quay, earnest students-by-day let down their hair for some laid-back bar-hopping around Orchard Road, whilst many visitors with only a few days to spare take full advantage of the thriving rooftop bar scene – lapping up the incredible views over the iconic skyline whilst sipping a sumptuous cocktail. Pubbing and clubbing here is a must if you want to feel the true night-pulse of the Lion City; experience the country only by day and you get just half of the picture.
Have you partied in South East Asia? Which raving party place did I miss? Let me know in the comments below.