The 15 Best Places To Party in South-East Asia

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Looking for the best places to party in South-East Asia?

You’ve come to the right place…

Whether you move over here to teach English, book a short vacation, or embark on long-term backpacking trip — you are going to fall in love with South-East Asia.  The food, the culture, the beaches, the islands, the cities, the hostels…and the epic parties.  This region of the world has it all.

I’ve spent over 18 months in total traveling around South-East Asia, and I’m always down for a good rager.  I’ve always said that I’m happiest when I’m on a tropical beach, listening to good music, and watching the sunset (or sunrise after a long night of dancing).

I’ve put together this list of which I believe to be the best 15 places to party in South-East Asia.  If you’ve been to any of these places, I’m sure you can agree that they are all amazing places to get a little boozy, meet fellow travelers, and have a solid night.  If you’re planning a trip to any of these destinations, feel free to Contact Me with any questions you have.  I’d be happy to help out anyway with any questions.

How many have you already visited…?


1)  Koh Phangan, Thailand

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While most people head to Koh Phangan just for the infamous Full Moon Party — this island actually has so much more to offer.  I like to refer to Koh Phangan as the “Ibiza of South-East Asia”, because there is literally a different party every night of the week.   If you’re planning a trip 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.

Parties On The Island To Check Out Other Than The Full Moon Party  

  • Merkaba Beach Club — A really cool Ibiza style club with a pool, and amazing underground house music.  Check the FB page for upcoming party dates.  I actually went here one night instead of the FMP!  Located just a short drive away from Haad Rin Beach.
  • Maya — A beautiful and colorful venue in the jungle.  The type of music varies for each party, but it’s definitely worth a visit.
  • Guy’s Bar / Eden — An absolute must attend during your visit to Koh Phangan.  Tucked away in the deep part of the jungle, these are two of the best places to party on the island.  Known for it’s long hours, it’s the party that doesn’t stop.  It’s hard to get to, where you have to take a jungle taxi or boat to get to, but it’s well worth it!
  • The Jungle Experience — Normally happens before and after each Full Moon.  A bit expensive for the entry charge at 400 baht, but it’s a solid party with amazing music.  You’ll meet a ton of people, and see some pretty interesting characters dressed up in crazy body paint.
  • Sandcastle — A small club venue located in Haad Rin that is the best place to party during the Full Moon Party.  It’s not located directly on the beach, but definitely cruise here for a couple drinks.
  • Backyard Afterparty — If you go to the FMP and don’t see the sunrise, consider yourself a failure.  As well, part of the Koh Phangan experience is going to an afterparty.  Go to BACKYARD.  It’s amazing.

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2)  Vang Vieng, Laos

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The hedonistic party capitol of Laos has gotten a bad reputation in the past decade for being a destination fueled by booze, drugs, sex, and irresponsible backpackers.  Several years ago a few backpackers died in Vang Vieng, and the local authorities finally cracked down on the city.

While the current party status of Vang Vieng might be a little bit more tame than “the glory days”…have no fear– this place is still absolutely insane.  If you’re not careful — you will lose your mind.

Tubing in Vang Vieng is an absolute blast.  It’s basically a bar crawl, but instead of walking from place to place, you float down your tube (beer in hand), and get pulled back to the mainland with a rope at the next bar.  The backpacker vibe is awesome.  Everyone is here to meet people, drink, and have a good time.

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One of the bar stops while tubing in Vang Vieng

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When you’re not tubing,  you’ll most likely find yourself paryting at one place — SAKURA BAR.  The motto of this place is “Drink Triple, See Double, Act Single.”  This place gets ridiculous at night, and you’ll definitely love it.  They offer free alcohol every night before 8 P.M, decent drink specials, and sell large laughing gas balloons.

If you happen to find yourself in Vang Vieng on a Friday night — make sure you check out the weekly Jungle Party.  It’s about a 15 minute drive away from the main strip, but there is free transportation available outside Sakura bar.  The venue is really cool, the party lasts all night, and it’s amazing underground house music.  Don’t miss out!  They also sell mushroom shakes there if you’re feeling like taking a trip down the rabbit hole.

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3)  Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

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The largest of the three Gili Islands has been nicknamed “The Party Island” — and for a very good reason.  Gili Trawangan isn’t just one of the most beautiful places in South-East Asia, it’s by far one of the craziest places to get your drink on.  There is a “weekly schedule” on the island for which bars / clubs to go to, and each and every one of them is a pretty damn good time.

As well, Gili Trawangan has two booze cruise parties that are too epic for words.  You join dozens of other young backpackers on a beautiful boat, sail around idyllic islands, and listen to amazing music.  The booze can get really pricey, but it’s all worth it for the experience.  The atmosphere on the boat is awesome, and watching the sunset while sailing around Indonesia with a bintang in your hand is something you’ll never forget.

Gili Trawangan Booze Cruise

Gili Trawangan Booze Cruise

As well, Gili Trawangan throws their own version of the “Half-Moon” & “Full-Moon” Parties.  It’s basically just an all night beach rave about a 20 minute walk from the night market, but it’s hands down one of the best parties on the island.  If you’re feeling like getting a bit more crazy, there are (practically legal) mushrooms on Gili Trawangan that are guaranteed to take your night to the next level.

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4)  Halong Bay Castaway Island, Vietnam

Halong Bay.  Castaway Island tour.  Pure debauchery.  If you’ve been on this tour already — then you know what I’m talking about.  If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam and are keen for an intense 3-day booze bender while visiting one of the most stunning areas in South-East Asia, then you need to book this Castaway Island Tour.  If you’re a budget backpacker, than the price of the tour is probably going to piss you off.  Yes, it’s damn expensive — but it’s honestly a really great experience.

However, I was fortunate enough to go on this trip with an incredible group of people and two awesome tour guides (Shoutout to Emilio & Tom).  But just with any packaged group tour, I think a trip like this ALL depends on the people you travel with.  I think the majority of the time you’ll meet some great people, drink heaps, and enjoy sailing through one of Vietnam’s highlights.  With that being said, not everyone is lucky.

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5) Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

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If people give you advice to skip Koh Phi Phi because it’s become “too touristy”  — ignore them.  Yes, I’m sure visiting Koh Phi Phi 20 years ago was so much better, but it’s definitely still one of the most beautiful places in Thailand!  Oh, and Koh Phi Phi is one the craziest party island in South-East Asia.  

In my opinion, Koh Phi Phi is a backpacker’s paradise.  There’s tons of people everywhere, amazing and cheap food, and really great nightlife.  It’s not a big island, but there’s still plenty to do and explore.  The snorkeling trips are affordable and gorgeous, the view points are stunning, and you can’t leave Thailand without visiting “The Beach”…right?

Favorite Places to Party

  • Slinky’s Beach Bar — This is the place to be when the night comes to an end.  Loud house music, laughing gas balloons, dancing on stages; this place is wild.
  • Ibiza Beach Bar — This starts out as a really chill lounge bar during the sunset and couple hours after, but things start to pick up towards the end of the night.
  • Stones Bar — Located right next to Ibiza Beach Bar, another great option to chill, play pool, and start your night.
  • Banana Bar — Happy hour from 4:20-6:20, Movie’s play every night at 7:00 P.M, then after the movie the party starts with beer pong, loud music, and tons of people.
  • Stockholm Syndrome —  A great place to beer pong, meet people, and party before making your way to the beach.

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6)  Bali, Indonesia

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The “Island Of The [Party] Gods”.

Bali is one of those destinations people visit once, and will keep going back for another stint in paradise.  There’s a little bit of something for everyone, and that includes those looking for an epic night of partying.  There are basically two main areas to party in Bali:

Kuta, Legian, & Seminyak Area

Sky Garden — This legendary mega club is a place you need to party at least once during your time in Bali.  There are so many different areas and rooms, and there are often big name DJ’s that stop by and play.  If you get in early, there can be ridiculous drink deals as well.  Insider tip: Try to rooftop buffet for dinner…it’s incredible and affordable.

Potato Head Beach Club — This probably needs zero introduction.  Potato Head Beach Club is one amazing venue in Bali, and is definitely the best location for a bit of Bali day drinking!  It is probably one of the most expensive places in Indonesia, but sometimes you have to forget about the budget, and “treat yo self”.  The pool is the perfect place to have a few beers, watch the sunset, and chat up other travelers.  I’d recommend eating before you go there, because the food is heaps expensive.

Jenja — If you’re in Bali on a Friday or Saturday night, this is where you want to go for a night of excellent house music.  This is a much fancier and more elegant venue than the majority of other clubs in Bali.  So dress in your finest, be ready to pay an entrance fee, and prepare for a quality clubbing experience.  Check out their Resident Advisor page for upcoming DJ appearances.    

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Saturday Night Parties on Padang Padang Beach — Every Saturday locals, travelers, and head down to Padang Padang beach for an awesome night of live music, followed by DJ sets playing some commercial house tunes.  Who doesn’t love a beach party…?

Sundays Sessions at Single Finn — The absolute best party on Bali is found every Sunday night down at the beautiful Single Finn venue.  Perched at the top of Uluwatu Beach, this is the ultimate place to enjoy dinner, drinks, and the gorgeous Uluwatu Sunsets.  Around 9-10 P.M the place gets absolutely packed with beautiful people, and everyone dances to some top-notch electronic music.  You won’t be hearing any obnoxisous EDM here, just quality deep and tech house.  Definitely have a few drinks before you go in, because it can turn into a pretty expensive night.      


7)  Boracay, Philippines

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While Boracay might not be on the typical South-East Asia backpacker route, it’s hands down one of the best places to party in South-East Asia.  For starters, you have to experience The Boracay Pub Crawl.  It’s an absolute blast, and really does “Turn Strangers Into Friends!  ”

After that, you need to check and see if there is a party at Area 51:  Top Secret Party Facility.  It’s an amazing venue away from the all main action, but there are only parties twice a month for the full moon and half moon parties.  If this place isn’t having an event during your visit, then check out what EPIC Nightclub has got going on.    

There’s tons of bars and nightclubs in Boracay to discover; it really just depends on what you are into and where the night takes you.  Check out this Ultimate Guide to Boracay’s Nightlife  for a more comprehensive look at all your options.

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8) Koh Rong, Cambodia

“Nothing Can Go Wrong on Koh Rong” is the motto of this Cambodian paradise.  What is awesome about this place is that it can be exactly whatever you want it to be.  If you want to relax, do nothing, and forget about all your worries; that’s definitely possible.  But for those looking for a good time, Koh Rong has a lively and active party scene.  If there was one place to get to soon in South-East Asia, I would recommend Koh Rong.  Things are changing quickly on the island, but it currently still has it’s authentic charm.

Partying on Koh Rong is simply, all you have to do is walk up and down the main street, and follow the crowd.

When I was there, I spent a good amount of time at Vagabonds.  Definitely swing by there for a drink or two, and then see what else is going on.  The main stretch on Koh Rong isn’t large at all, so it won’t be too hard to find where the party people are at.  As well as the above two islands, Koh Rong does offer it’s own version of the Full Moon Party.  There’s no body paint or neon tanks, but there’s a party tucked away in the jungle with amazing underground house music.

No matter whether you want to party or not, just make sure you get to Koh Rong.  It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places in all of South-East Asia!


9)  Langkawi, Malaysia

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Two words come to mind when I think of Langkawi:  TAX FREE.  Yup, Langkawi is a “duty-free” island, which makes the price of alcohol extremely cheap compared to the rest of Malaysia.  During high-season, this place is packed with budget backpackers and vacationers looking for a good time.

While there may not be heaps of options of party locations, that doesn’t really seem to matter here.  There are a few beach bars located on Pantai Beach which can be a great place to start the night with a few cocktails.  My recommendation would be to grab dinner and drinks at Yellow Café.  It’s a popular spot on the island, and should be visited at least once during your time on the island.

After grabbing dinner and a few drinks, you pretty much one have option — Sunba Retro Bar.  This is where you will be doing the majority of your partying when you’re on Langkawi.  This is pretty much the only club on the island, and it’s a damn good time.  It’s not the biggest venue, but the music is excellent, and it’s a great atmosphere inside.  If you’re not feeling like heading inside the club, just check out the bar right next door to Sunba.


10)  Koh Tao, Thailand

While backpackers normally flock to Koh Tao for the affordable PADI Scuba-Diving courses and rich marine biodiversity, that is only one of the aspects that make this island a must visit during your travels in Thailand.

Koh Tao nightlife is serious business — and you’re in for a couple crazy party nights here.  For starters, you can’t go wrong the Koh Tao Pub Crawl.  This is a great way to see some of the best bars on the island, attend a Lady Boy Cabaret, and meet fellow travelers.  The pub-crawl guides always do an excellent job of keeping everyone entertained, there are drink specials at each stop, and you’ll be looking good rockin’ a “Koh Tao Pub Crawl” singlet.  Don’t miss out.

Maya Beach Club —  The only bar on Koh Tao that has real DJs every night and a “NO CHEESE” music policy, top shelf cocktails and an imported wine list.  Both local and imported DJs spin tunes every night from sunset till late from a variety of genres that aren’t crappy remixes.

The Castle —  Probably the most well-known and respected venu on the island, The Castle is where you go for a quality night of dance music.  It’s about a 10-15 minute drive from Sairee Beach, and they host events about 2-3 times per week.

The truth of the matter is that you really don’t even need any advice about partying on Koh Tao — it’s as simple as partying hopping up and down Sairee Beach.  There are so many different venues playing a variety of different styles of music, fire jump roping (be cautious), and heaps of people to meet.  It’s a damn good time.

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11) Sihanoukville, Cambodia

The main beach area of Cambodia “snookville” is definitely one wild and crazy party destination.  Start your evening with dinner & drinks at one of the many beachfront restaurants on Serendipity Beach.  Enjoy a beautiful sunset, a game or two of pool, and few pints of delicious Angkor beer.

The Two Main Party Hostspots in Sihanouvkville are the Dolphin Shack & JJ’s Playground.  There are several other bars and places to hang-out, but if you’re out partying in Sihaouvkille, there’s a 99% chance you’ll end up at one of two of these bars.  They both play similar music of EDM, hip-hop, and throwback classics.  The beers are cold, the drinks are cheap, and the backpacker vibe is amazing.  You’ll  drink, meet people, and will have one epic party night.

Both the Dolphing Shack & JJ’s Playground offer their own Booze Cruise — which I highly recommend.  Is there anything better than drinking while on a boat?   

12) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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The capital of Malaysia might not be the most popular place to party among South-East Asia backpackers — but this is one incredible city with an abundance of amazing nightlife options!  I’ve spent a decent amount of time in Kuala Lumpur, and I’ve had some really great nights out partying in the city.

Bar 51:  Welcome to your Kuala Lumpur starting point for the night.  Bar 51 is an upscale restaurant and bar located in the heart of Changkat Bukit Bintang, the main nightlife area in Kuala Lumpur.  There is one reason you come to this place — 5 MYR MOJITOS.  Yeah, that’s right.  You can get delicious mojitos for only $1.25 USD.   This special ends at 9 P.M every night, but you can order as many as you’d like right before the time ends, and they’ll keep bringing them out to you.  It’s an amazing spot, perfectly located, with very friendly staff.  If you’re going to Kuala Lumpur and fancy a delicious and cheap mojito, then definitely cruise over to Bar 51.

Heli Lounge This was once a helipad, but they turned it into a bar with amazing 360 degree views of the city.  Pretty cool concept, yeah?  While it might not be the best place to spend your entire evening, it’s definitely a must-visit during your visit to KL.  Go to the top about an hour or so before sunset, enjoy the views during the day and the night, and then head out for the night.

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Reggae Mansion Rooftop BarFor all the backpackers out there, this is definitely one of the most popular hostels in all of South-East Asia.  The rooftop bar is a perfect place to spend a night drinking, even if you’re not staying there!  There is a DJ playing some fun dance music, a pool table, and decent drink specials.

Zouk KL 

UnderNINE:  For underground house and techno fans — this is where you’ll want to go.  The crowd is really great, the music is excellent, and the venue is pretty cool.DSC_0805


13)  Pai, Thailand

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Haven’t you heard…?  Pai is incredible!  When you’re traveling around Thailand, it will be pretty damn hard to find someone who doesn’t think Pai is absolutely amazing.  That includes me.  The whole city is so relaxed and chilled out.  It’s truly a backpacker / hippy’s paradise.  While many will often claim that “Pai is not what it used to be” or “Pai has changed so much” — the Pai that I visited was still pretty awesome.  These were some of my favorite spots in Pai.

  • Pai Pub — A really great spot.  Decently priced beers and mixed drinks, a cool outdoor patio, a well kept pool table; a perfect place to spend a couple hours and start the night.  Located just a couple minutes away from the night market, you can’t miss the giant Kangaroo out front.
  • Sunset Bar — This a great place to chill and spend a few hours.  You’ll most likely encounter some people enjoying a joint, or maybe see some people tripping on a mushroom shake.  It’s a cool place, good music, and you’ll definitely enjoy having a drink or two.  It’s also a great place to watch the sunset (obviously).  Located on a quiet street about a 10 minute walk from the main area of Pai.
  • Don’t Cry Reggae Bar — This is the “after-hours” bar that does not close until really late at night.  When all the main bars and pubs close in Pai, the party crowd all flock to this one venue.  Awesome music and vibe, including a campfire — you’ll love ending your night at Don’t Cry.
  • Moon Parties — In the past few months, Pai has been throwing their own version of the full moon, half moon, and black moon parties.  They don’t happen all the time, but if you’re there, you should ask around or check online and see if there is one happening.

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14) Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia

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While the Perhentian Islands aren’t really a destination people normally visit for it’s crazy nightlife — there are still opportunities for amazing nights out drinking.

Perhentian Kecil is known as the “backpacker island”, and that means that it’s pretty damn easy to meet fellow travelers.  The last time I visited I only planned on staying for 4 or 5 days, but I ended up staying 10.  I met an amazing group of people, and practically every night we went out drinking!

 

What’s nice is that it’s just very simply to party here because people only really go to 2-3 different spots.

  • Panorama Bar:  Probably the most lively spot with a really great atmosphere.  They also have AMAZING PIZZA that you should try at least once.  They are kind of expensive at 25 MYR, but definitely worth it.
  • Monkey Bar:  This is just across the street from Panorama bar, and where I bought the majority of my alcohol.  You could buy a bottle of rum, cups, ice, and two mixers for 45 MYR — which is a really great deal there!
  • Pirates of Perhentian:  This is where the fire-show is held every night at 10:30 P.M.  The entertainment is really great, they play great music, and this is where pretty much everyone who is going to party for the night will be.  You sit down on the beach, order some beers, smoke some hookah, and watch some extremely talented people play with fire.

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15) Bangkok, Thailand

Last but not least, how could I write a post about partying in South-East Asia without mentioning “the Big Mango”.  Bangkok is the “Gateway to South-East Asia”, and there’s never a dull moment when you’re exploring the city, and the nightlife is guaranteed to make you come back for another round.

Khao San Road:  Street food, shopping, and tons of amazing restaurants and bars.  Partying on Khao San Road is something that every South-East Asia backpacker must do before the end of their trip.  You’ll drink towers of Chang Beer, listen to loud electronic music, and meet fellow travelers from around the world.

Sukhumvit:  This major road / district in Bangkok is your best option for when it comes to a good night out partying in Bangkok.  There are tons of different clubs in Sukhumvit , it’s almost intimidating trying to choose which one to go to.  My advice would be to check out Resident Advisor Thailand  to see if there are any special events coming up.  A few clubs I have been to and would personally recommend would be BASH, Insanity, and Spicy.

While you’re in Bangkok, make sure you visit all the temples, various shopping markets, and hit up a rooftop bar!

These are the Best 15 Places to Party in South-East Asia!!

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Agree?  Disagree?  Think I missed a certain destination?

Let me know in the comments sections!

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Top 10 Electronic Dance Music Festivals (EDM): Southeast Asia

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South-East Asia = Party Paradise

Electronic Dance Music (E.D.M) is all over South-East Asia.  Whether you’re partying on Khao San Road in Bangkok, or walking through a night market in Malaysia — you will definitely hear quite a bit of EDM during your travels in this area of the world.  Music Festivals and Raves in Asia might not be as abundant as they are in Europe or America , but over the past few years more and more festivals and events are popping up in different countries.  I’ve scowered the internet, and I’ve compailed this list which I blieve to be the Top 10 Electronic Dance Music Festivals in South-East Asia.

1 )  Shipsomnia

  • When:  Beginning of January
  • Where:  Singapore – Phuket – Langkawi – Singapore
  • Website:  http://www.shipsomnia.com/
  • Why:   A MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL MEETS HI SEAS MYTHICAL ADVENTURE.  Unofficially nicknamed, “Tomorrowland At Sea”, Shipsomnia has gotten a lot of positive media attention.  With the growth of music festivals at sea, like Holy Ship or It’s The Ship (#6), Shipsomnia looks like it could be the next big thing.  Sailing from Singapore – Phuket round-trip, with a quick stop in Langkawi, this looks like a party that can’t be missed.  This all-inclusive music festival is guaranteed to be one epic vacation.

2 ) Road to Ultra – Singapore, Bangkok, Bali, & Manila

  • When:  Various Dates
  • Where:  Singapore, Bangkok, Bali, and Manila
  • Website:  http://www.ultramusicfestival.com/
  • Why:  Ultra Music Festival seems like they have one goal in mind — global domination.  From Miami, Croatia, Korea, Japan, South Africa — it now looks like they have turned their eyes to South-East Asia, and have added several festival locations throughout the region.  If you find yourself on a backpacking trip through South-East Asia, plan your trip wisely and hit up a Road to Ultra event!

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3 )  Neverland Manila

  • When: Early October
  • Where:  Manila, Philippines
  • Website:  http://neverlandmanila.com/
  • Why:  Known as the “biggest EDM event in The Philippines”, this festival brings a massive line-up full of commercial house music.  If you’re looking for a solid party, this one will not disappoint.  Upcoming festival dates haven’t been posted yet, but be on the look out because this will be one crazy rave.       

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4 )  ZoukOut Music Festival

  • When:  Mid-December
  • Where:  Singapore
  • Website:  http://www.zoukout.com/
  • Why:  The people behind one of the biggest and well-known clubs in Asia, “Zouk”, have created it’s own music festival, and it’s been one of the more popular festivals out in South-East Asia.  Located in Singapore, you’ll find the tickets, drinks, and accomodations a bit more expensive, but you can’t complain when they bring A-list talent, incredible stage production, and an overall amazing atmosphere.

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5 )  DJakarta Warehouse Project

  • When:  Mid December
  • Where:  Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Website:  http://www.djakartawarehouse.com/
  • Why:  If you take a look at the current and past line-ups, that will be reason enough to visit this massive party.  Jakarta might not be everyone’s favorite place to visit in Indonesia, but with this line-up stacked with heavy hitters, you’re definitely in for a wild night.   

6 )  808 Festival

  • When:  Mid December
  • Where:  Bangkok, Thailand
  • Website:  http://www.djakartawarehouse.com/
  • Why:  If you take a look at the current and past line-ups, that will br reason enough to visit this massive party.  Jakarta might not be everyone’s favorite place to visit in Indonesia, but with this line-up stacked with heavy hitters, you’re definitely in for a wild night.   

7.  It’s The Ship

  • When:  Late November
  • Where:  Singapore – Langkawi – Singapore
  • Website:  http://www.itstheship.com
  • Why: IT’S THE SHIP is Asia’s Largest Festival on a cruise. Setting sail on the The Royal Caribbean International’s luxurious Mariner of the Seas– will play host to over 30 international and regional headlining acts.  Sailing out of Singapore to Langkawi, Malaysia, this is guaranteed to be a voyage unlike any other.

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8.  S20 — Songkran Music Festival

  • When:  April 12 – 14, 2016
  • Where:  Bangkok, Thailand
  • Website:    http://www.s2ofestival.com/
  • Why:  Songkran is 3-day celebration of the Thai New Year, and it was one of the most epic experiences of my travels in South-East Asia.  I would personally recommend people to experience the madness up in Chiang Mai, but if you find yourself in Bangkok — checking out this S20 Festival is an absolute must.

9.  Mysterious World

  • When:  Mid April
  • Where:  Kuching, Malaysia
  • Website:  www.facebook.com/MysteriousFest
  • Why:  For Electronic Dance Music fans, there is no better time to fly over to the Malaysian side of Borneo than to experience Mysterious World.  The line-up is never “stacked”, but it would definitely be an experience you’ll never forget.  Kuching is absolutely beautiful, Malaysians are really fun to party with, and tickets are really affordable.

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10.  The Experience

  • When:  New Years Eve ( 4 Day Festival )
  • Where:  Koh Tao, Thailand
  • Website:  www.facebook.com/MysteriousFest
  • Why:  If you’re a die hard PsyTrance fan, then The Experience on Koh Tao, Thailand will be your definition of paradise.  Over these four days there is practically non-stop psy trance bumping the entire time.  While a lot of people flock over to Koh Phangan for New Years Eve, do yourself a favor and check out The Experience!  The fast BPM, the neon colors, and the atmosphere are a recipe for a damn good time.                

One Month In The Philippines: Travel Itinerary

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Spending one month in the Philippines was absolutely one of the best decisions I made during my travels through-out South-East Asia.  After my trip was over, I almost booked a return ticket, because to put it simply:  30 days in the Philippines is not enough!

Did you know that there are over 7,107 islands in the Philippines?  With the fantastic beaches, world-class diving, stunning landscapes, vibrant festivals, and friendly people — a trip to the Philippines will be something you’ll never forget.

Planing a trip the Philippines can be kind of intimidating, because there’s so much you’ll want to see.  I’m here to help you out.

This is the Itinerary I used for my month exploring the Philippines.  I hope you find it useful, and if you ever have any questions — feel free to email me or leave a mentsment at the bottom of the post!


1.  Fly Into Manila

You’ll most likely find the best deals flying into Manila..

Honestly, Manila is one of those cities that backpackers loves to hate.  It’s busy, overcrowded, dirty, and there’s not much to see.  Apparently there is some decent nightlife, but I never experienced it for myself.  I have met people who actually really love Manila, I just didn’t find it all that appealing.  Who knows though, maybe you’ll have a different experience and really enjoy your time there.

If there’s one must-do activity in Manila — you have to go check out Intramuros quarter.  It’s the beautiful old Spanish section of the city, and really fun to explore by foot.

Cathedral in Intramuros

Cathedral in Intramuros





2.  Take The Overnight Ferry from Manila – Coron

This is always the cheapest option on getting to Coron.  For some reason, all the flights to this island tend to be really expensive.  If you happen to be able to find a cheap, then book it.  But the overnight ferry option is a solid budget option.  

There is one main ferry company in The Phillippines — 2Go Travel.  I only used them for this route, but they offer a ton of different routes around the country.

For this Manila – Coron overnight ferry, THEY ONLY DEPART ONCE A WEEK ON FRIDAYS.  

Tip:  When you are looking at flights to Manila, try to book a flight that arrives on a Wednesday or Thursday.  That way you can explore for one day, then get on the overnight ferry on Friday evening.

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3.  Coron, Palawan

I absolutely fell in love with Coron.  It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world.  I was fortunate enough to meet some amazing people the very first night, and had a blast the remaining time I was there.

The island is fantastic, the sunsets are incredible, and it’s a really relaxing area to spend a few days.

Read:  Where To Stay in Coron, Phillippines

Read:  Island Hopping in Coron, Phillippines

Tip:  If you want to be really adventurous, you can hire a boat driver to drop you off on an empty island, and camp there for 2-3 nights.  Arrange a pick-up time, and you’ll be living a real Robinson Crusoe experience.  Make sure you bring enough food, water, and a good book or two!

[ I’d recommend staying in Coron for 3-4 days]

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4.  El Nido, Palawan

When you are in Coron, you’ll see tons of different signs for transportation to El Nido.  Try to bargain them down to a cheaper price, because all the signs are more expensive.  

The crown jewel of Palawan, El Nido is a must see destination during your visit to the Philippines.

It’s a much more lively area than Coron, with some amazing restaurants and fun bars to check out at night.  As you should now, the most important thing you do while in El Nido is book one or two of the island hopping packages.

I’d strongly recommend checking out both tours A & C.  All the tours are amazing, but these two in particular are worth every penny.  

[I’d Recommend Staying in El Nido for 4-6 days]

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5.  Puerto Galera and Puerto Princesa

Since you only have 30 days allowed in the Philippines, you’re not going to be able to see everything.  After El Nido, you could hop down to Puerto Galera for a night or two.  I didn’t do this, but I’ve heard it’s a really amazing place with a chilled out vibe.  There’s also supposed to be some amazing diving here.

Puerto Princesa is the main city in Palawan, and it’s also where you’ll be flying to your next destination.

One of the main attractions in Puerto Princesa is visiting the famous “Underground River”.  I decided to skip this because I found it to be rather expensive, and I heard from a couple people they weren’t too impressed.  The choice is yours.


6.  Cebu City & Bohol

Book your flights well-in-advance from Puerto Princesa – Cebu with Cebu Pacific Airlines.  

When it comes to Cebu City, there are a few things to see in the actual city.  I actually didn’t do too much sight-seeing in the city itself, but used Cebu as a jumping off point to explore the rest of the island or neighboring islands.  

I’d definitely recommend taking the ferry over to Bohol Island.  You can spend a day or two there, but it’s also a decent place just to take a day trip.

Read:  Chocolate Hills & Tarsier Monkeys: Bohol Island, The Philippines

After you’ve spent a few days exploring the city and a day or two on Bohol Island, you’ll make your way down to check out some more of the highlights of The Philippines.

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7.  Moalboal & Oslob

Getting around Cebu Island is as easy as getting to the bus station.  They aren’t the most comfortable rides, but they get you from point A – point B for very cheap!

I’d recommend you check out Moalboal first.  There’s an incredible beach, and it will provide absolutely stunning sunsets.  Moalboal is also known for having some excellent diving if you are looking to dive.  

Absolute Must Visit:  Kawasan Waterfalls (about a 20 minute drive from Moalboal city)

Read: Chasing Waterfalls on Cebu Island, Phillippines

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After watching a sunset and checking out the amazing Kawasan falls, you’re ready to head down to Oslob to cross off a big bucket-list item:  SWIMMING WITH WHALE SHARKS!

This the main draw that brings people down to Oslob, and you really have to do it!  For the small cost of around $25 USD, you get to swim with massive whale sharks.  The entire experience was incredible, and it’s one of the highlights of my travels in South-East Asia.

Read:  Swimming with Whale Sharks:  Oslob, Cebu

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8.  Flight to Boracay

After you’ve explored the southern parts of Cebu Island, Bohol Island, and the city itself — it’s time to book your flight from Cebu City – Boracay.  

 Boracay is the paradise island of your dreams — or so it used to be.  This beautiful island has become a major tourist destination, resulting it in to become the most over-developed part of The Philippines.

With that being said — is it still worth it to visit Boracay?  Absolutely yes.  

The island is gorgeous, there’s plenty to do, and the nightlife is amazing.

Read:  The 5 Best Party Islands in South-East Asia

If you’re going to Boracay, then you should definitely also check out Sabina’s incredible blogpost “Boracay On a Budget“.  She gives an incredible overview of the island, and was a great resource to have when planning my trip to Boracay.

Boracay has two airports (Caticlan & Kalibo).  You’ll most likely fly to Kalibo because flights are substantially cheaper.  Kalibo airport has international departures, and is the perfect place to end your trip in The Philippines.        

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Possible Substitutions

Banaue Rice Terraces:   If you get into Manila, and don’t want to spend too many days there.  Look into taking the overnight bus up to the Rice Terraces.  I didn’t have time to explore it during my month, but it’s definitely highly recommended!

Skip Boracay:  Although it is a very beautiful island, and a great place to party — you might want to think about skipping Boracay.  The island is decently expensive, and can be a pain in the ass to get there.  Kalibo airport is 2 hours away.  So you have to take a van, a boat, and a taxi, just to get to your hostel.

Siquijor Island:  If you do skip Boracay island, that frees up time to explore some of the islands around Cebu.  While your down in Oslob, you could hop down to the beautiful and spiritual island of Siquijor. The island has a fascinating story, and is home to some of the best beaches and sunsets in the Philippines.

Siargio Island:  If you like to surf, then I’m sure you’ve heard about this island.  This is at the top of my list of places to see during my next visit to the Philippines, but unfortunately I didn’t have the time to get there.  There’s not much else to do on the island, but if you’re looking for a laid-back surfing hotspot, then you’ll definitely enjoy your time there.

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Philippines Travel Tips

Book All Your Flights in Advance.  This country is not as easy to get around, and if you wait until the last minute — you will have to pay ridiculous amounts for flights.  This is the only country I really recommend that, because with 30 days, you will want to see as much as possible.

Meet and Travel with the Locals.  When are you are traveling the Philippines, you’ll realize that you’ll meet more young local backpackers than you would in any other country in South-East Asia.  The Filipino community really loves to travel!  They also are extremely friendly, welcoming, and typically speak amazing English!  

Research Festivals Before You Go:  The Philippines is known for having some amazing festivals.  As a starting point, check out this list of the Top Ten Festivals in The Philippines.  Just be careful, sometimes if you go during a big festival, accommodation prices can sky rocket.

Try out Couchsurfing.  As I mentioned above, Filipino people are really awesome, and they are very active when it comes to the popular travel community website Couchsurfing.  There are weekly meet-ups in the bigger cities, and it would be a really cool experience!

Don’t skip Palawan:  It’s definitely one of the most beautiful and picturesque places in the world!  It’s defintiely not as “off-the-beaten-path” as it used to be, but skipping it would be a mistake.

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No matter where you go, or itinerary you customize for your trip, you will most definitely fall in love with the Philippines.  It’s one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever visited, and I can’t wait to get back there myself.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you found this one month itinerary for the Philippines useful!  Definitely check out my posts on the Philippines!

Safe Travels!!! 🙂




THANKS FOR READING!


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12 Music Festivals in South East Asia to Experience Before You Die

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There might not be as many music festivals in South East Asia as there are in other areas of the world, but that is slowly changing.  With the ever-growing popularity of electronic music, more and more festivals are popping up in this region.  You might not come to South-East Asia for the music festivals, but if you’re planning a trip out here, maybe one of these could be worked into your itinerary


Also check out:

Top 10 Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Festivals:  South-East Asia




1.  Wonderfruit Fstival

  • When: Mid – December
  • Where:  Siam Country Club, Pattaya, Thailand
  • Website:  http://wonderfruitfestival.com/
  • Why:  Live.  Love.  Wonder.  That’s the motto of this incredible 3-day camping music and arts festival held on the beautiful Pattaya Fields Siam Country Club.  I normally tell people to avoid Pattaya as a city because it really is a horrific place, but this beautiful venue is 15 KM outside the city, and you’ll fall into festival mode.  The camping area is decent and well equipped, the stages are amazing, and the line-up brings a little something for everyone.  This is one of the best festivals you can attend in south-east Asia.  Read my Wonderfruit Festival 2014 review for more information and pictures.  I was lucky enough to attend the first year, and definitely have plans to make the journey back.   

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2.  Quest Music Festival

  • When:  Early November
  • Where:  Ba Vi National Park, Vietnam
  • Website:  http://www.questfestival.net/
  • Why:  Quest is Hanoi’s weekend music, arts and camping festival.  Tucked away in a beautiful national park, this venue provides the perfect atmosphere that a festival needs.  Stunning Vietnam landscapes, great live-music and DJ sets, and the opportunity to meet incredible new people from all over the world.  Don’t miss out.  Quest Music Festival will be an experience you will never forget.

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3.  Neverland Manila

  • When: Early October
  • Where:  Manila, Philippines
  • Website:  http://neverlandmanila.com/
  • Why:  Known as the “biggest EDM event in The Philippines”, this festival brings some of the biggest names in commercial house music.  If you’re looking for a solid party, this one will not disappoint.

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4.  ZoukOut Music Festival

  • When:  Mid-December
  • Where:  Singapore
  • Website:  http://www.zoukout.com/
  • Why:  The people behind one of the biggest and well-known clubs in Asia, “Zouk”, have created it’s own music festival, and it’s been one of the more popular festivals out in South-East Asia.  Located in Singapore, you’ll find the tickets, drinks, and accomodations a bit more expensive, but you can’t complain when they bring A-list talent, incredible stage production, and an overall amazing atmosphere.

Update:  Zoukout will be heading to BORACAY in 2016!   It’s already one of the best places to party in South-East Asia, so definitely worth a visit over for ZoukOut !

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5.  Road to Ultra – Bangkok & Bali

  • When:  June (Bangkok) — Septemer (Bali)
  • Where:  Potato Head Beach Club, Seminyak, Bali
  • Website:  http://www.ultramusicfestival.com/
  • Why:  Ultra Music Festival seems like they have one goal in mind — global domination.  From Miami, Croatia, Korea, Japan, South Africa — it now looks like they have turned their eyes to South-East Asia, and have added locations in Bangok & Bali.  Two cities known for having incredible nightlife.  If you find yourself out in either of these cities, definitely try to get to one of the these parties.

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6.  It’s The Ship

  • When:  Late November
  • Where:  Singapore – Langkawi – Singapore
  • Website:  http://www.itstheship.com
  • Why: IT’S THE SHIP is Asia’s Largest Festival on a cruise. Setting sail on the The Royal Caribbean International’s luxurious Mariner of the Seas– will play host to over 30 international and regional headlining acts.  Sailing out of Singapore to Langkawi, Malaysia, this is guaranteed to be a voyage unlike any other.

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7.  Maya Music Festival

  • When:  Early March
  • Where:  Bangkok, Thailand
  • Website:  http://mayamusicfestival.com/
  • Why:  This new one-day music festival brings big name DJ’s to a massive venue in Bangkok.  If you’re looking to hear some of the best electronic music while exploring the capitol city, than plan a trip to Thailand in March.

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8.  Shipsomnia

  • When:  Beginning of January
  • Where:  Singapore – Phuket – Langkawi – Singapore
  • Website:  http://www.shipsomnia.com/
  • Why:   A MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL MEETS HI SEAS MYTHICAL ADVENTURE.  Unofficially nicknamed, “Tomorrowland At Sea”, Shipsomnia has gotten a lot of positive media attention.  With the growth of music festivals at sea, like Holy Ship or It’s The Ship (#6), Shipsomnia looks like it could be the next big thing.  Sailing from Singapore – Phuket round-trip, with a quick stop in Langkawi, this looks like a party that can’t be missed.  This all-inclusive music festival is guaranteed to be one epic vacation.

Shipsomnia is also sailing from Barcelona to Ibiza in June 2017!!

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9.  Big Mountain Music Festival

  • When:  Beginning of December
  • Where:  Khao Yai
  • Website:  http://www.bigmountainmusicfestival.com
  • Why:  One of the biggest festivals for the Thai music scene, this two day festival is filled with awesome stages, hundreds of live acts, and an incredible atmosphere.  Dates for the upcoming festivals haven’t been announced, but they do have other events, so tune into their Facebook for more information.

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10.  Rainforest World Music Festival

  • When:  Mid August
  • Where:  Kuching, Borneo, Malaysia
  • Website:   http://rwmf.net/
  • Why:  Just reading the name of the festival, you can get a good understanding of what you are in for during this unique festival.  Lots of acoustic instruments with a rainforest themed, this will definitely be unlike any festival you’ve ever attended.  Borneo is a beautiful island, and this would be a great way to experience the culture while hearing some great music.

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11.  Songkran Water Festival

  • When:  Mid-April
  • Where:  All Over Thailand (Chiang Mai recommended)
  • Website:  —
  • Why:  The Thai Lunar New Year is celebrated by 3 days of absolute madness country-wide.  From personal experience, this was one of the highlight’s of my travels in south-east Asia.  The belief is that “water” washes off all the sins of the previous year, and it’s a fresh start for the upcoming year.  It’s a beautiful festival, but it’s also one crazy party.  There are stages and music playing all over the place, and great clubs and nightlife to go out at night.  The set-up is different every year, but make sure you experience this at least once in your life.  Check out my Songkran 2015 video.

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12. Full Moon Party

  • When:  Once a Month during the Full Moon.  Dates found here.
  • Where:  Haad Rin, Koh Phangan, Thailand
  • Website:  http://fullmoonparty-thailand.com/
  • Why:  Last but not least, no South-East Asia festival list is complete without experiencing at least one full moon party.  Although recently it has gotten negative attention recently, it’s definitely a good night if you’re with the right people.  Koh Phangan is one of the craziest party islands in South-East Asia, and there are ton of other parties to attend on the island as well.

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While I couldn’t list all the music festivals in South-East Asia, this is a solid list of what I think to the best 12.  All of these festivals bring some great live musicians and DJ’s, and will provide a great festival environment for you to dance until your tired, and meet some amazing people.  Make sure you check out my other blog posts on music festivals.

25 Music Festivals in America To Experience Before You Die

30 Music Festivals in Europe to Experience Before You Die

30 Music Festivals in Australia To Experience Before You Die


Am I missing any great music festivals in South-East Asia?  Let me know in the comments section!


Photo Sources:  Wonderfruit, Quest, Neverland, ZoukOut, Ultra, It’s The Ship, Maya, Shipsomnia, Rainforest, Big Mountain


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The Ultimate Travel Resource Guide for South-East Asia

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I’ve spent over a year living, traveling, studying, and working around South-East Asia.  When it comes to travel resources, these are my absolute favorite websites and tools for finding the best accommodation, cheap flights, awesome communities, and more.  For those planning a trip around South-East Asia, these will all make a big difference and save you time and money

Accommodation

Agoda.com — This has been my go-to recently for everything.  They’ve got great prices on hostels and hotels, and is a great and easy platform.

Hostelworld — My favorite for booking hostels.  Really easy to use, great user reviews, and you can always find a cheap place.

Hostelbookers — The alternative to the above.  It’s good, and sometimes you can find a cheaper price online.

Booking.com — I used this one a lot in Europe, and still check it often for price comparisons out in South-East Asia.  It has tons of options, and is still a great resource for booking a place to sleep.

Hotels.com — I just love this site because you get a free night for every 10 nights you book.  Yeah, it does not add up to much, but it’s still cool.   I’m the type of guy to eat at a place just to get his stamp card stamped.

AirBNB — Great for when you’re traveling in a group, and need to find an apartment.  You can find some amazing villas in Bali, or cheap apartments in Chiang Mai.  Definitely a great site to use once or twice.

Budget Airlines

Skyscanner — Rule of thumb: before you do anything…check Skyscanner.  Amazing platform, and you can figure out the best options.  My favorite aspect is being able to search from one city (or country) to another, and view prices for a specific day or entire month.

AirAsia — My FAVORITE airline in the world.  I’ve flown AirAsia at least 15 times in the past year.  They constantly have promotions, sales, and extremely low fares.  They are also the largest budget airline, and have won a ton of awards.  I couldn’t recommend them enough.

NokAir // Thai Smile — These airlines are particularly great for domestic flights in Thailand.

Malindo Air // Firefly — These are are flights for domestic flights in Malaysia.

VietJet — A decent budget airline for flights for getting to Vietnam, and domestic flights.

Cebu Pacific — The main budget airline for travel throughout the Philippines.

Communities

Couchsurfing — If you don’t have an account already, you should definitely start one.  This is listed under the communities, but can also be a place for free accomodation.  It can be great when you are traveling solo, and want to go to a CS meet-up in a city.  Lots of expats and travel lovers are active all over the world.

Trampolinn — This is a new website that offers a cool mix between Couchsurfing & AirBNB.  Definitely worth looking into, although I haven’t used it yet.

Facebook Groups — Whenever you travel to South-East Asia, look for backpacker groups, expat groups, and other forums for fellow travelers.  It’s a great resource for asking questions, recommendations, and meeting other people abroad.

Helpful Websites

Travelfish — This website is full of incredible useful information for South-East Asia.  It goes over just about everything, and you can definitely get lost on the website looking through all their content.

Tripadvisor — This website needs no introduction, the “Bible” of top things to do, hotel reviews, and so much more when traveling.

E Visums — A great website that goes over all the visa questions you have when traveling to SEA.

Lonely Planet  — Another awesome website that gives great detailed information, active user forums, and can provide a ton of useful information.

Man In Seat 61 — This is the specialty when it comes to overland travel.  This will go over train and bus schedules, fares, and information on how to book online.

Vietnam Tours — Really great website for tours especially for Halong Bay.

Travel Insurance

World Nomads  — The number one provider of traveler’s insurance.  Don’t leave home without it.

Blog Posts

The Ultimate Guide To Backpacking South-East Asia — Migrationology

South-East Asia Travel Tips — Nomadic Matt

Planning a Trip to South-East Asia – Goats On The Road

Motorcycle Adventures in South-East Asia — NOMADasaurus

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you book through these links I will receive a very small commission at no extra cost to you.  This helps with the cost of running the site, and basically just help me buy my next beer along my travels.  : )  

The 5 BEST PARTY ISLANDS in SOUTH-EAST-ASIA

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Looking for the best places to party in South-East Asia?  Well, I’m here to help.  I’ve spent a good time traveling, backpacking, and partying around this corner of the world, and this place definitely has some top-notch places to have some drinks, dance all night, and meet new people.  This post is specifically about the best party islands in South-East Asia.  If you’re making your way to any of these incredible islands, you (and your liver) better be ready for a damn good time!


 

Check out my other blog post about:

The 15 Best Party Places to Party In South-East Asia


 

1.  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.  Although there have been some issues with the cancellations of parties, I really doubt that will actually ever happen.  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.

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Parties On The Island To Check Out Other Than The Full Moon Party  

  • Merkaba Beach Club — A really cool Ibiza style club with a pool, and amazing underground house music.  Check the FB page for upcoming party dates.  I actually went here one night instead of the FMP!  Located just a short drive away from Haad Rin Beach.
  • Maya — A beautiful and colorful venue in the jungle.  The type of music varies for each party, but it’s definitely worth a visit.
  • Guy’s Bar / Eden — An absolute must attend during your visit to Koh Phangan.  Tucked away in the deep part of the jungle, these are two of the best places to party on the island.  Known for it’s long hours, it’s the party that doesn’t stop.  It’s hard to get to, where you have to take a jungle taxi or boat to get to, but it’s well worth it!
  • The Jungle Experience — Normally happens before and after each Full Moon.  A bit expensive for the entry charge at 400 baht, but it’s a solid party with amazing music.  You’ll meet a ton of people, and see some pretty interesting characters dressed up in crazy body paint.
  • Sandcastle — A small club venue located in Haad Rin that is the best place to party during the Full Moon Party.  It’s not located directly on the beach, but definitely cruise here for a couple drinks.
  • Backyard Afterparty — If you go to the FMP and don’t see the sunrise, consider yourself a failure.  As well, part of the Koh Phangan experience is going to an afterparty.  Go to BACKYARD.  It’s amazing.

2.  Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

The Gili Islands are my absolute favorite place to visit in all of South-East Asia.  The beaches are beautiful, the sunrises / sunsets are magical, and you’re guaranteed to meet a ton of amazing new friends.  Gili Trawangan is the most developed island, and is known as the “party island”.  Every night there’s a few different parties to check out, and solid music to listen to.  You’ll most likely encounter people on various illicit substances like magic mushrooms or ecstasy, because there is no police on the Gili Islands.  It’s strange, people are put into jail on Bali for smoking weed, but anything goes once you cross over to the beautiful party paradise of Gili Trawangan.  According to this Gili Islands website:

“Currently the schedule is Monday night for the famous Blue Marlin rave party, Wednesday nights at the beachfront ‘Shipwrecked Bar’ is the ‘Tir na Nog’ Irish bar party, with a mix of funky house music, Friday night is at Rudys Bar, & Reggae music most nights at Sama Sama bar.”

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If you’re lucky, you will show up when there is the Gili Trawangan Full Moon Party at Space bar.  It’s a damn good time!

THE ONE ABSOLUTE MUST EXPERIENCE ON GILI TRAWANGAN IS THE BOOZE CRUISE.  It’s honestly one of the most fun experiences I’ve had while traveling.  It’s on an amazing boat with great music playing, and a solid trip time cruising around paradise.

3.  Koh Rong, Cambodia

“Nothing Can Go Wrong on Koh Rong” is the motto of this Cambodian paradise.  What is awesome about this place is that it can be exactly whatever you want it to be.  If you want to relax, do nothing, and forget about all your worries; that’s definitely possible.  But for those looking for a good time, Koh Rong has a lively and active party scene.  If there was one place to get to soon in South-East Asia, I would recommend Koh Rong.  Things are changing quickly on the island, but it currently still has it’s authentic charm.  Partying on Koh Rong is simply, all you have to do is walk up and down the main street, and follow the crowd.

Sunset on Long Beach, Koh Rong

Sunset on Long Beach, Koh Rong

When I was there, I spent a good amount of time at Vagabonds.  Definitely swing by there for a drink or two, and then see what else is going on.  The main stretch on Koh Rong isn’t large at all, so it won’t be too hard to find where the party people are at.  As well as the above two islands, Koh Rong does offer it’s own version of the Full Moon Party.  There’s no body paint or neon tanks, but there’s a party tucked away in the jungle with amazing underground house music.

No matter whether you want to party or not, just make sure you get to Koh Rong.  It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places in all of South-East Asia!

4.  Boracay, The 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!”

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After that, you need to check and see if there is a party at Area 51:  Top Secret Party Facility.  It’s an amazing venue away from the main action, but there are only parties twice a month for the full moon and half moon parties.  If this place isn’t open during your visit, then check out what EPIC Nightclub.    

There’s tons of other bars and nightclubs in Boracay to discover; it really just depends on what you are into and where the night takes you.  The main stretch along white beach is pretty long, and there’s heaps of options!

      

5.  Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

Similar to Boracay, Koh Phi Phi is often criticized for being beautiful, but ruined by being over-developed and too much tourism.  If you haven’t been, make no mistake; Koh Phi Phi is one crazy party island.  There is tons of amazing things to do on Phi Phi, and definitely a lot of great places to party.

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Favorite Places to Party

  • Slinky’s Beach Bar — This is the place to be when the night comes to an end.  Loud house music, laughing gas balloons, dancing on stages; this place is wild.
  • Ibiza Beach Bar — This starts out as a really chill lounge bar during the sunset and couple hours after, but things start to pick up towards the end of the night.
  • Stones Bar — Located right next to Ibiza Beach Bar, another great option to chill, play pool, and start your night.
  • Banana Bar — Happy hour from 4:20-6:20, Movie’s play every night at 7:00 P.M, then after the movie the party starts with beer pong, loud music, and tons of people.
  • Stockholm Syndrome —  A great place to beer pong, meet people, and party before making your way to the beach.

 

Well, there you have it.  These are the 5 best party islands in South-East Asia.  I’ve had amazing times on all of them, and I’m sure I’ll find myself at each of them again sometime in the future.  If you have any questions about these islands, feel free to shoot me a message.  I’m more than happy to help you out!

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Chasing Waterfalls on Cebu Island; The Phillipines

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You know that one phrase…”If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.”  Well, that definitely does not apply to the waterfalls in Cebu, Philippines.  It’s crazy to think that the last time I was frolicking in waterfalls was way back in November during my time in Langkawi.  I personally loved those, but I gotta say, that the Kawasan and Tumalog waterfalls completely blew me away!  To be honest; Cebu was not even high up on my list of places to see while visiting the Philippines, but seeing these waterfalls ended up being my entire month backpacking throughout the country.

Kawasan Falls

After a few hour bus ride from Cebu City, I checked into my room in Moalboal.  It was an extremely small guesthouse in the back of a mini market, but for 500 pesos in Moalboal, you can’t get a better deal.  I rented a moto for 24 hours, and began the 20 KM drive over to the Falls.  If you’re in Moalboal, I definitely recommend renting a moto, and driving there yourself.  It’s a really easy drive, decent pavement, and probably around the same price as tourist packages / taxis.

The entrance fee is only 50 Pesos ($1.10), and it’s worth every penny.  The path will take about 20 minutes deep through the jungle.  You walk along the river, through beautiful green and lush bushes, and eventually arrive at the entrance to the waterfalls.  

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I could not believe how BLUE the water was.  It’s a great spot to spend an afternoon, filled with a mix of tourists and locals.  People bring a bunch of food, BBQ’ing meat, taking lots of pictures, and relaxing in the cold but refreshing water.  There is a restaurant there for people who don’t feel like bringing their own stuff and if you want a cold beer.  

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Tumalog Falls

Just a short drive from the Oslob Whale Shark spot, you’ll find hands down one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.  I had no idea these existed, and found out just from a google search on what to do in Oslob besides the whale sharks.  I decided to make a quick stop, and I’m definitely glad I did.  I’m not quite sure if there is an entrance fee, because I never got asked to pay.  The walk down isn’t too long, but it’s steep.  You can walk down / up if you want some good exercise, or you can just hire one of the moto drivers for R/T transportation for 50 pesos.  Definitely a good deal.

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When you arrive, you’ll be awarded with a sight so beautiful you might cry.  It’s a similar set-up to the Kawasan, but much less people.  There’s no restaurant or relaxing area with seats, just the falls.  But grab your swim suit, and jump on in.  The water feels great, and it’s an amazing experience.  

If the pictures in this post haven’t inspired you to experience these falls for yourself, I don’t know what will.  But trust me…  IT IS MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES

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17 Amazing Photos of Palawan, The Philippines

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Palawan is known as the destination in The Philippines that if you visit there during your time in the country, you’ll definitely be making a return trip.  This amazing archipelago has something for everyone, but the key highlights for me were the island hopping tours, amazing sunsets, and the beautiful beaches.  You’ll notice while strolling through these photos that there are none involving diving.  Well, that’s because I don’t dive due to a condition with my ears.  All of these photos were taken by me, so I hope you enjoy!  I just bought a new Nikon D3300, and it’s been my new favorite travel destination.  Check out of my favorite Photos of Palawan

1)  Kayangan Lake

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Hands down my favorite spot while island hopping around Coron was Kayangan Lake.  Not only was this view point worth the aggressive 200 peso entrance fee, but swimming in the lake on the other side was incredibly refreshing.[divider]

2.  Las Cabanas Beach

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3.  Kayangan Lake

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4.  Las Cabanas Sunset

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5.  Twin Lagoons

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6.  Dinner on El Nido Beach

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7.  Small Lagoon Entrance Views

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8.  El Nido Beach Day

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9.  Nacpan Beach

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10.  CYZ Island

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11.  Mt. Tapyas View Point

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12.  Barracuda Lake View

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13.  Las Cabanas at Night

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14.  Lazy Day on Nacpan Beach

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15.  Drive from El Nido to Nacpan Beach

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16.  Barracuda Lake

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17.  Random Spot

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I took all these photos with either a GoPro Hero 3+ Black Edition, or my new favorite travel item, a Nikon D3300 DSLR.  If you liked any of these photos, make sure to follow me on Instagram.

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Swimming With Whale Sharks: Oslob, Cebu

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It was 5:30 A.M, and my alarm went off.  Ugh.  I really didn’t want to wake up, but I knew the day was going to be completely worth it.  I had seen pictures, and heard stories, and today it was finally time to experience it myself…swimming with Whale Sharks!  I had to wake up that early because I actually staying over in Moalboal, which is around a 2 hour drive from Oslob.  I love driving motos, and it seemed like a great way to see the island, and cruise down to the Whales.The drive was really easy, not crowded, and decent roads.

I made great time, signed up for the adventure which costs 1,000 Pesos + 100 Pesos for the economic fee (25 USD Total).  Everything you do in the Philippines has a cost, and then a fee.  It gets annoying, but after 3 weeks here, I’ve gotten used to it.  In my mind, I thought we would be going on an actual boat, and cruising out to a deeper part of the ocean, but all the whale shark action actually happens right off the beach.   I climbed in my boat, GoPro in hand, and was ready to tick off an item off the Bucket List.

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I was really surprised about how well their system worked.  They had all the tourist boats lined up, and in the middle of the rows would be a single Filipino in a small row boat, who would swim back and forth and feed the whale sharks and lead them up and down the aisles for the tourists.

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The Main Rules of Swimming with Whale Sharks:

1.  Absolutely No Touching.  

2.  You are not allowed to wear sunscreen.  

3.  Stay around 4 Meters away from them at all times (or atleast try).  

4.  No Flash Photography

5.  Don’t step on any Coral

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You’re alotted 30 minutes to swim and snorkel with the giant creatures, and you’re about ready to go after.  It’s a great experience, and I would recommend it to everyone who visits the Philippines.  For roughly $25, you’re in for a good time.  You can also see these magical creatures over in Donsal, Philippines — but I think Oslob is a much better location.  The water is really clear, it’s easy to get to, and you’re about 99% guaranteed to see some whale sharks.  If you make a trip to the Philippines, don’t skip out on this amazing activity!

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Coron Island Hopping: Perfectly Picturesque

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I’m watching the sun go down up at the top of Mt. Tapyas after a long day of exploring by myself, when a German girl hears my music (from my portable Beats Pill music player) and sits down next to me.  We do what any two solo travelers in this situation, we give each other the basic rundown of our travels, and exchange a story or two.  Little did I know it would be that moment that defined the rest of my time in Coron.  DSC_0740

She had met this group of people on the ferry from Manila – Coron, and told me they were all going to the night market, and invited me to come along.  I was pretty exhausted, and have seen plenty of night markets in my time, but decided to tag along.  After exploring Coron a bit, singing some Karaoke with some friendly Filipinos, they began how hey made plans to hire their own private boat tour around Coron Island, and asked me to come along.  I obviously had plans to go on a boat tour, but sometimes those things aren’t too enjoyable if you’re stuck on a tour with a bunch of Chinese tourists who speak zero English.  I accepted the offer, and made plans to meet up in the morning to begin our Journey.

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I’m so glad we had the private tour.  Even though it was a little expensive since we had to pay for the boat, and all the entrance fees, it was definitely the way to go.  We made 5 stops along our way.  A snorkeling stop, Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoons, Skeleton cove, and a random island to drop off our amigo who decided to spend the next 4 days on his own private island.  

Barracuda Lake

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Kayangan Lake (One Side)

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Kayangan Lake (View Point)

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The Crew

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I can’t remember the exact quote, but I think it goes along the lines of, “it’s not the destination, it’s the people you go with”, or something along those lines.  Well, I gotta say I’m really glad I met this crew.  They’ve been awesome to spend time with while in Coron, and I can say that we had one epic day on the boat.   Thanks guys!  Nos vemos in Sydney! [divider]

Have you been Island Hopping in Coron?  Let me know in the comments section!

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Where To Stay In Coron, Philippines

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Coron was easily one of my highlights of my entire trip to the Philippines.  It was my first stop after landing in the hectic capital of Manila.  I’ve gotten the question though, “Where to stay in Coron?”  I actually stayed in two different places, and would recommend both of them.  The Philippines is definitely one of the more expensive countries in South-East Asia, so I was trying to stay in budget places as possible.  These are the two best accommodations available in Coron.

Top Budget Recommendation –

Sea Horse Guest House

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This was easily the best dormitory bed I stayed in during my entire time traveling through the Philippines.  The beds and pillows are super comfortable, there is a bathroom in each of the room, and each “dorm bed” is actually a private room with just 2 bunk beds.  The place is perfectly located right in the center of town.  For prices around $11-$13 per bed, you can’t complain at all.  As an added bonus, breakfast is included.  The wifi connection does not work too strongly in the rooms, but works just fine on the balcony that has incredible views.  For more photos, bookings, and more information, click here.

Second Recommendation

Marley’s Guesthouse

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This is where I stayed during my first night stay on Coron.  It’s a little further down the road from the center, but has a great backpacker vibe.  They have double rooms for $14, so if you’re traveling with some one is a great budget deal.  It isn’t the most comfortable place to stay, but it gets the job done.  The staff is really friendly, they can help you set-up affordable diving, island hopping, and other tours.  For more information, booking, and photos, click here

Hope you find these places both budget friendly and comfortable.  Coron is an amazing place in the world, and you’ll absolutely love it!