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.                

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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Exploring Singapore in Style: The Westin Experience

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After nearly 9 months of living and working in Sydney, the time had come for this travel blogger to pack my bags and hit the road yet again.  After a rather painful flight and complicated arrival into Singapore, I couldn’t have been more happier that I would be staying at The Westin Singapore.

I was fortunately offered the option of an early check-in, so I rocked up to the Westin Singapore at around 10:30 A.M.  I was greeted downstairs with warm smiles by the friendly staff who instructed me to head up to the 32nd floor for the hotel reception.

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As the elevator doors opened into the lobby, I quickly realized that the next two days were going to be a very luxurious, relaxing, and enjoyable start to my travels.  I handed over my passport, signed a couple forms, and finished my welcome drink; I had successfully checked in.

After a quick tour of the hotel restaurants, fitness room, and infinity pool  — I made my way to room 4219 to get settled in.  My home for the next 48 hours.

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I’ve got to say that is easily one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed at.   When you analyze all the different aspects that people look for in quality accommodation, the Westin Singapore went above & beyond in every single category.

I think this is because of their current focus:

Eat Well.  Sleep Well.  Be Well.

For a Better You…

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EAT WELL

If you know anything about me,  you’ll understand that the best way to get my love and respect is through food.

So when I started browsing the different options at the breakfast buffet, I became a very content traveler.  They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this buffet definitely made it the tastiest as well.

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No matter what you were in the mood for, the buffet had you covered.  I pretty much sampled as much as I humanly could between the two breakfasts I had.  Everything was absolutely perfect.

The omelette station was definitely top-notch, especially when you combine it with some crispy bacon, hash-browns, and sausages.  I call this a “power meal”, and it gave me all the energy I needed to go sightseeing all day.

My favorite aspect of the breakfast was actually the juice bar.  There were at least 6 different fresh and healthy juices to choose from, and below them was a “Eat Well” description about the health benefits of the drink.  They also had these on some of the foods as well.  It was a really cool thing I had never seen another hotel do before.

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SLEEP WELL

Now, I might not be the best judge because for the last 6 months I’ve basically been sleeping on a futon with very basic sheets — but this was the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on.

I’m so glad I got to experience a couple nights sleep on the coveted “Westin Heavenly Bed.”

The purpose of a king-size bed is to you make feel like royalty, and that is exactly what happened.

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I have a newfound respect for thread sheet counts and quality pillows.  This bed has inspired me to do whatever I can to become ridiculously wealthy, so I can afford to purchase the same exact bed for my house.

When you combine the comfort of the bed and the massive flat-screen TV —  I’m actually kind of surprised I ever left the room.  If I wasn’t so excited to go take pictures of the city, I honestly don’t think I would have.

BE WELL

When it comes to your comfort and well-being, the Westin Singapore is looking after you.  They’ve got a 24-hour fitness room, stunning infinity pool, and top-notch Spa equipped with Sauna and Steam Room.

I made my way up the infinity pool one night to take some amazing photographs of the view, as well as get some exercise in by swimming some laps.  🙂

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They also treat you with a welcome gift of cookies & chocolates, and give you a cute little bear in a bathrobe.  I named mine “Westy”, and yes, we slept together.  🙂

Sometimes it’s the little things that count.  

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One other aspect about my stay that I really noticed and appreciated was that they really took the time to personalize things.  When I turned on the T.V it said “Welcome David”.  I had two separate notes in the room with my name on it.  And if I ever called the reception, they answered the phone promptly saying “How can I help Mr. Anderson?”  I obviously know about caller ID, but that was a nice touch.

Productivity

One of my favorite aspects of the room (besides the bed) was the spacious workspace area in the corner.  For some one who works online, this is absolutely essential to your productivity.

Oh.  And the internet.  Hot damn.  SO FAST!   

See that desk?  See two laptops?  Well, I just bought a brand new MacBook Pro, and had to transfer over tons of stuff.  I spent a lot of time at that desk.

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Location

You know what they say — “location is key”.  Well, I completely agree, and the hotel is superbly located right where you want to be during a visit to Singapore.

The entire city is well-connected with public transportation, so getting around Singapore is extremely easy.

Not only are you in walking distance to many key places, the Westin Singapore is just a 3-4 minute walk from the Downtown MRT station.

It’s perfect.  You’re two stops away from Chinatown, 6 quick stops away from Little India, and 1 Stop from Bayfront (Marina Bay Sands).  Although I’d always just recommend taking the 15 minute walk to the Marina, as it’s an easy stroll and more fun to explore the neighborhood.

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After two days at the Westin Singapore, I can confidently say that it was truly one of best hotels I’ve ever stayed at, and was the absolute perfect beginning to my 3-month summer travels.

Their mission is that the facilities will leave guests feeling better than when they had arrived., and I’m happy to say that this is 100% true in my case.

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Thanks to The Westin Singapore for hosting me during my stay in Singapore.  It was truly an incredible and extremely comfortable stay in an amazing city.  

Have you been to Singapore before?  What did you think?  Let me know!  


THANKS FOR READING

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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.  : )