We have to open with a classic. Phuket is well established as a party paradise and isn’t known for being classy in any way – to set your expectations correctly. If you’re simply just looking to get drunk, dance and have a good time…this is it. No questions asked, no judgements made, just straightforward, cheap, unadulterated fun (just be responsible, obviously, we don’t accept any responsibility for misjudged drunken antics).
The epicentre is Patong Beach, which is wild with colours and drinks flowing. More inland, the party continues at Rock City and more. Live long and prosper here folks.
Koh Phangan, Thailand
Famous for its Full Moon Party (there is also the Half Moon Party, and it doesn’t have to be half as crazy if you don’t want it to be), Koh Phangan is firmly on the backpacker trail for those who love a good beach party. By the end of the night, if that even exists, you’ll be covered in neon paint, have consumed bucket after bucket of alcohol and have sand in places you didn’t think possible.
This is the place where you could easily wake up somewhere other than your hostel dorm with an item of clothing missing but having somehow acquired a sombrero. It’s all fun and games here, but now for some adult advice: keep an eye on your drinks and always make sure a friend knows where you are.
Just an hour from Kuala Lumpur by plane, the point of Langkawi is simple: enjoy island life. With umbrellas dressing up your cheap drinks, great access to the beach and a nightlife that just won’t quit, Malaysia has created the perfect place for party lovers. Pentai Cenang beach is where it’s at until late, and then hop on over Sunba Retro Bar, where you’ll party into the early hours.
Boracay, The Philippines
While it might be the most touristy place in the Philippines, Boracay sure is fun. There’s a reason people swarm here, with the paradisiacal White Beach, good weather and plenty of bars. Relative to some areas of Southeast Asia, Boracay can be on the pricier side, but you don’t have to break the bank if you know where to look.
Most of the action will take place at Station 2 (Boracay is split into three areas, based on the old boat terminals) but the real party starts at 10:30 pm, but there are happy hours on the beach until it begins, for example at Wave Bar and Lounge and Coco Bar.
Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
The largest of the Gili Island archipelago and definitely ‘The Party Island’ of the three, Gili T is where you want to go for a good time. The bars here are so committed to nightlife that they coordinate one huge party a night and that lasts until 4am, multiple times a week. It’s likely that you’ll end up partying until sunrise, however. Check out Blue Marlin rave party and the Drunken Monkeyz yacht party.
Another of the classics, the city of Kuta in Bali is party central. Surf or build up that tan during the day and let loose at night at the multitude of bars and clubs where you’ll meet backpackers and travellers all over the world. If you want a slightly more sophisticated setting for lively after-dark antics, check out Seminyak.