Are you heading off on an epic backpacking trip and want to know where the hottest parties take place? Get your neon paint ready and look no further than this guide to the best party destinations in Southeast Asia!
From the infamous Full Moon Party to river tubing and even all-night raves – it’s no secret that they know how to host a good party in Southeast Asia!
Written by a fellow reveller currently backpacking through Southeast Asia, this guide has got you covered with the biggest party hotspots and hostels across the region. You’re on track to have the most memorable night of your life (depending on how many shots you’ve had)!
Related: (opens in new tab)
- Full Moon Parties & Other Moon Parties in Koh Phangan
- Southeast Asia Backpacking Itinerary
- Bia Hoi: The Cheapest Beer in the World?
11 Party Hotspots in Southeast Asia! 🥳🍹
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1. Koh Phangan, Thailand
Koh Phangan is one of Thailand’s biggest islands, located off the east coast of Surat Thani. It is essentially the Ibiza of the country, however, you can explore it for just a fraction of the cost.
Hosting an array of wild parties day and night, you’re sure to be spoilt for choice when it comes to this paradise island! The main draw of backpackers to Koh Phangan is the notorious Full Moon Party. It is held on the southern beach of Haad Rin once a month when the full moon is in all its glory!
The party attracts around 30,000 tourists every month and the island gets very crowded during this time. Expect insane fire shows, extravagant dancers, fluorescent neon paint and light-up fairy wings all-round!
The party spreads right across the beach with various DJs playing a range of music, including electronic, house, techno, RnB and drum and bass. It costs around 100 THB ($3USD) to enter the party and drinks are around 300-400 THB ($8-12USD) for a cocktail bucket and around 100 THB ($3USD) for a beer. The party starts fairly early in the evening and goes on right until the sun rises so make sure you’ve got your dancing shoes at the ready!
Not going to be on the island when the full moon is up? There are plenty of other parties to choose from on Koh Phangan. Rave the night away to techno music at the Waterfall Party or the Jungle Party and spend your day dancing at Oxa Beach Club and Retro Mountain (which also roll on into the night).
Most parties have an entry fee of around 200-300 THB ($5-8USD) and drinks tend to be more pricey than on the other Thai islands.
How to Get There
You can get to Koh Phangan by flying into Koh Samui airport. From there, you’ll have to get a boat to the island. Make sure you plan your arrival time according to the boat schedules as the last boat leaves at 6.30 pm. There is also the option of taking a bus or train from Bangkok to Surat Thani. From there, you will need to get a boat to Thong Sala pier in Koh Phangan.
Where to Stay on Koh Phangan
If you are looking for cheap cocktails and the coolest pool parties, then Phangan Arena Hostel is a wonderful choice to socialise and meet new people. If you’d prefer to stay on the beach, Bodega Hostel is another excellent option with daily activities and messy parties in the evening!
2. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City is the largest and most populous city in Vietnam. Located in the south, it is the starting point for many a Vietnam itinerary. This buzzing city is full of history and the nightlife is legendary!
There are many areas in the city but if you are a young backpacker on a budget looking to party, District 1 is the place to be. Pham Ngu Lao located in District 1 is the main destination for backpackers, thanks to its cheap food and drink, and budget accommodation.
Pham Ngu Lao comprises two main streets, Bui Vien and Pham Ngu Lao, both pumping with insane nightlife similar to Khao San Road in Bangkok!
There are bars and nightclubs spread throughout Pham Ngu Lao, however, those on Bui Vien (also known as the ‘street that never sleeps’) are the most exciting. It’s always crowded with tourists from all over the world, and you can even see people performing fire and dance shows while you sit roadside with a beer in hand!
Bui Vien is lined with bars full of DJs mostly playing Vietnamese EDM. This is predominantly western songs remixed into their own genre ‘vinahouse’. There are a few places to look out for when you are in HCMC, including You Only Live Once (YOLO) Pub in the heart of Bui Vien. It has a vibrant atmosphere and they play hip-hop, trap, house music and more.
One of the oldest and most legendary clubs in District 1, Apocalypse Now is known for its insane nightlife and cheap drinks. Donkey Bar is an Egyptian-themed bar with a balcony overlooking Bui Vien Street and there is also Sahara Beer Club and Hair of The Dog.
Drinks are cheap in this iconic backpacker district and you can expect to pay around 30,000 VND (around $1USD) for a Saigon Beer and around 100,000 VND ($4USD) for a cocktail.
How to Get There
HCMC is the main starting point for backpackers in Vietnam, so it’s very easy to get to. The city airport, Tan Son Nhat, receives hundreds of international flights every day. If you are in a neighbouring country, you can book a bus and travel across the land border into the city. If you are in another part of Vietnam, you can book a bus directly to the city’s bus station.
Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City
For a social stay with nightly events, cheap drinks at happy hour, a pool table and fun games, make sure you stay at The Hideout Hostel Saigon. The hostel is based in the heart of District 1, so you won’t have far to stumble home!
3. Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
Gili Trawangan is considered one of the most beautiful islands in Indonesia. Located off the northwest coast of Lombok and measuring just 15km², the island has plenty going for it. Soft white sand beaches, palm trees, turquoise waters, amazing marine life and cool beach bars, to name a few! With neverending drink specials and parties that go on all night, if you’re looking to party in paradise, look no further!
Gili T has plenty of bars and clubs to choose from, however, due to its small size and community, there is a set party schedule for each night of the week. Each night only one bar stays open until the early hours and the others close at around midnight. Look out for the crowds to guide you!
All other parties take place at the following places:
- Monday: Blue Marlin
- Tuesday: Jiggy
- Wednesday: Tir Na Nog (Irish bar)
- Thursday: No party because of Friday prayers
- Friday: Sand Bar
- Saturday: Sama Sama
- Sunday: Evolution
Of course, before the late-night party, there has to be a pre-party! For just 150,000IDR and 100,000IDR if you’re female ($10USD and $7USD respectively), you can enjoy free-flow drinks at Jiggy Bar between 8.30 pm and 11.30 pm.
The bar also offers a 5-hour boat party which takes you around the Gili islands with a live DJ on board, free shots and lots of stops to jump in the sea! This party happens every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and you’ll be sure to have an amazing time!
Another bar to head to for pre-drinks is Jungle, Gili T’s Nightclub. It offers cheap drinks, blaring music and a huge neon dance floor. Tir Na Nog (the Irish bar) runs a pub crawl every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday night for 250,000IDR ($17USD). You’ll get a free t-shirt, free shots, a free bucket cocktail and access to lots more drink specials.
How to Get There
To get to Gili T you first have to fly into Bali or Lombok. If you’re coming from Bali, head to Padang Bai and catch a ferry or speedboat to Gili T. From Lombok, you will need to get a boat from Bangsal Port to Gili T.
Where to Stay on Gili Trawangan
The largest hostel on the island, My Mate’s Place has a big and buzzing social scene. Relax alongside the pool by day and soak up the crazy party atmosphere by night! M Box is another place with a great atmosphere and an onsite bar selling cheap beer and cocktails.
4. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap is the second-largest city in Cambodia, famous for the marvellous Angkor Wat complex. Once you’ve discovered the wonders of the temples of Angkor, you’ll probably be wondering where you should head once the sun goes down. The answer is Pub Street… Yes, the name says it all!
Pub Street sits at the centre of the nightlife scene in Siem Reap. It is lined with tonnes of bars, restaurants and clubs, and you’ll also find a variety of entertaining street performers there! A visit to Siem Reap just wouldn’t be complete without a night on Pub Street, and you may love it that much that you come back for more!
The Angkor What? Bar was one of the first bars to arrive on the street and sits in the heart of the action. Go there if you’re looking for good music, a fun atmosphere, never-ending drinks specials and an amazing happy hour! It’s usually one of the last places open so you can keep the party going – don’t forget to leave your mark on the graffitied bar walls!
If you’re in the mood for a cocktail or two, head to Miss Wong Cocktail Bar and enjoy their sophisticated Chinese interior! X-Bar has a great open-air rooftop and is famous for its open mic nights every Wednesday, with DJs and bands playing on the other nights of the week.
YOLO Bar is another buzzing place around the corner from Pub Street where you can chill in hammocks and sip on cheap spirit and mixer drinks! You’ll find drinks to be very inexpensive around Pub Street, around $1USD for a beer and between $2-3USD for a mixed drink.
Travel Tip! Head to Top Banana Rooftop Beach Bar, located at Mad Monkey Hostel, for your pre-drinks for cheap beer, cocktails and shots. With beer pong, pumping music and themed nights, you’ll be sure to meet some awesome people!
How to Get There
Most travellers fly into Siem Reap International Airport which is 7km from the city centre. You can also travel there via bus from the main hubs such as Phnom Penh and Bangkok.
Where to Stay in Siem Reap
Just a 5-minute walk from Pub Street, Mad Monkey Hostel has everything you need for a good time. Don’t miss poolside cocktails and the cracking rooftop bar. Siem Reap Pub Hostel is another great choice which has a poolside bar – it’s the perfect sun trap in the afternoons.
5. Bangkok, Thailand
Welcome to the non-stop party destination that is Bangkok, backpacker Mecca and the capital of Thailand! Bangkok is nothing short of epic when it comes to dancing the night away. After all, there is a reason it is the setting for The Hangover Part II!
As it is the arrival destination for many travellers in Southeast Asia, the streets are packed with backpackers and insane nightlife is aplenty! The main location that backpackers flock to is Khao San Road, party central! Famous for its incredibly cheap drinks, loud music and pumping atmosphere, as soon as you step foot on this street, your senses will be quickly overwhelmed.
Expect to be greeted by hoards of bar workers as they try and hustle you into buying a 3 for 2 bucket deal on ‘really strong cocktails’. The street is lined with chilled beers, buckets of alcohol and plenty of shots to go around! Expect to pay around 150-300 THB ($4-8USD) for a cocktail bucket (even cheaper if you get a deal) and around 80-100 THB ($2-3USD) for a local Thai beer such as Chang or Singha.
As you venture along Khao San Road you’ll find heaps of bars and nightclubs playing an array of music such as chart hits, dance, RnB and pop bangers. The tunes go on from the evening until the early hours and will all get your body moving!
How to Get There
Bangkok is easy to get to as it’s the main hub for transport in Thailand. You can travel by air to either Suvarnabhumi Airport or Don Mueang Airport, or if you are already in Thailand and wanted to take the cheaper route, you can travel there by bus or train from most major cities.
Where to Stay in Bangkok
There are lots of choices when it comes to accommodation in Bangkok however, we’ll only shortlist a couple here. Nappark Hostel is a lively and fun place offering all sorts of entertainment including free pub crawls. They even host movie nights for the days when you’re recovering from one too many shots! Here Hostel is another option which organises pub crawls and happy hours and they also have a pool and sun terrace to catch those cheeky rays!
Read more: Amazing Hostels in Bangkok.
6. Boracay, Philippines
Boracay is a small island in the Philippines known for its amazing beaches, adventurous activities and the best nightlife in the country! Over the years, Boracay has seen a huge boom in tourists looking to dance the night away and it is now one of the top party hotspots in Southeast Asia!
For daytime drinks, head to the buzzing poolside bar at Mad Monkey Hostel. Go on a Sunday or Thursday for their all-day pool party, with happy hour starting as early as 8 am – make sure to pace yourself! (The hostel also host a boozy boat party which you don’t want to miss! ⛴)
For some late afternoon sun, check out Sandbar Beach Club where drinks cost as little as 100PHP ($2USD). Make your way there on a Saturday for their legendary ‘Saturday Shindig Party’! Nigi Nigi Nu Noos Bar plays classic rock music and sells ridiculously cheap drinks starting at around 50PHP ($1USD). Don’t miss Alon Bar either, especially at sunset. It boasts beautiful views overlooking the sea and the budget-friendly drinks start at just 150PHP ($3USD) for a cocktail.
Once the sun sets you’ll probably be wondering where you should go next. Boracay Coco Bar is a vibrant spot combining games and drinking, while Juice Bar is good for house music and a bouncing party atmosphere. Exit Bar is a favourite with backpackers, thanks to its cheap drinks, starting at around 50PHP ($1USD) and dub music to get you in the party spirit!
How to Get There
You cannot fly directly into Boracay so you must head to either Caticlan or Kalibo. From there, take a ride to Caticlan Jetty Port and then a boat to Boracay.
Where to Stay in Boracay
Mad Monkey Hostel is mentioned a lot in this article and for a good reason! They know how to throw a good party! There’s a lively bar, spa area, good music and it’s only a 3-minute walk from the beach.
7. Pai, Thailand
Located in the lush hills of northern Thailand is the town of Pai, renowned for its fun bars and budget living. Pai is often touted as one of the favourite destinations among backpackers and is a hotspot for anyone looking to party! When you arrive in Pai, it won’t be long until you hear the music thumping and sense the excitement brewing.
Pai has a huge number of bars and a select few nightclubs, meaning there are plenty of places to have a Chang (or five). The town has a rustic, hippy vibe and caters perfectly to backpackers, so you won’t have any trouble meeting like-minded revellers! There are a few main bars which are popular with travellers due to their wide drinks selection and awesome atmosphere.
Jikko Beer is a popular bar which sells imported craft beers from around the world. It is one of the few bars in Pai to do so. Their motto is ‘good beer with friends’, so if you are a beer lover, make sure you head there!
If you are looking for cheap and strong drinks, then why not head to Why Not Bar for their happy hour deals. Why Not Bar is one of the most popular spots in the area with nightly DJs playing an array of chart, dance and RnB music. It tends to be the place where backpackers end the night. If you are more into the punk rock scene, then make sure you try out the grunge shack Blah Blah Bar and get yourself some cheap-as-chips beer!
Most of the bars in Pai close around midnight but if you want to keep the party going, head over to Don’t Cry Bar, one of the only venues to stay open late. The venue is open air and hosts DJs which play electronic and techno music through to the early morning!
If you fancy a change of pace, why not check out some other local bars? Jazz House specialises in live music and bands of all genres perform most nights. If you are into reggae music, Yellow Sun Pai is the place to hear it live. The drinks are ridiculously cheap at around 50-80 THB per beer ($1-2USD) and around 100 THB ($3USD) per cocktail.
Traveller Tip! Go to Bodega Hostel and sign up for their bar crawl to meet new friends and get the most out of the bars in Pai!
How to Get There
To get to Pai, fly into Chiang Mai and take a 3.5-hour bus ride into Pai. If you are in Bangkok, you can take a bus or train to Chiang Mai which both take around 10-12 hours. This makes getting a night bus a great idea. When you arrive in Chiang Mai, you will need to get the bus to Pai.
Where to Stay in Pai
One of the most popular and social hostels in Pai is The Famous Pai Circus Hostel. Sip on a cocktail beside their mountain view infinity pool or even try out some free circus lessons! They host pool parties, open mic nights, fire shows and much more to keep you entertained!
8. Koh Rong, Cambodia
Koh Rong is an island paradise located just off the coast of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. The island is home to pristine white sandy beaches, great views, crystal clear waters and of course, good vibes!
Tui Beach in Koh Tui Village is the nightlife hub and here you’ll find Coco Bar. This place sells extremely low-priced and strong drinks (around $2.50USD for a cocktail). Be sure to head to Nest Beach Club which is located on Long Set Beach for gorgeous views and happy hour deals between 6 pm and 9 pm. This is a great place to chill with your cocktail and watch the sunset before the party gets going!
Every Saturday they host an event called The Nestival where they have live DJs playing techno, alongside an array of entertainment and some brilliant drink specials! The party starts around 10 pm and goes on until the sun rises.
A party not to miss while you’re in Koh Rong is the Police Beach Party. It is often compared to some of the original Koh Phangan Full Moon Parties due to the atmosphere. There is a huge bonus of this party though – it is held twice a week (Wednesdays and Saturdays) instead of once a month!
The fun starts at around 10 pm and finishes when the sun comes up over the beautiful blue sea. Listen to international DJs play techno-house and electro as you drink your free drinks and shots, and watch the talented fire performers and cool psychedelic visuals. Police Beach is just a short walk from Koh Tui Village, with an entrance fee of around $5-$7USD.
Traveller Tip! Head to Skybar or Monkey Island on a Thursday or Sunday at 8 pm for a boozy pub crawl for just $8USD in advance or $10USD at the door! You even get yourself a free t-shirt and free shots (most importantly).
How to Get There
To get to Koh Rong, you’ll first need to get to Sihanoukville. You can take a bus from any major city such as Phnom Penh, Kampot or Siem Reap. Once you arrive, jump on the ferry from Sihanoukville to the island.
Where to Stay on Koh Rong
Not only does Nest Beach Club host some awesome parties but they offer some quality accommodation too!
9. Castaways Island, Vietnam
Castaways Island is a small beautiful island located in the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. It’s one of the most stunning and picturesque places on earth, with so much to see and do nearby. And, one of the most popular tours among backpackers is the bucket list Castaways Island tour!
Imagine spending the night in cabana-style accommodation right on the beach after dancing the night away… sounds like heaven, right? Castaways Island is privately owned by Vietnam Backpacker’s Hostel, meaning that the only way of getting there is by booking a tour.
The trip includes many adventurous activities such as cruising through the bay, kayaking, rock climbing, wakeboarding and high-speed tubing! And, in the evening, you’ll head back to the island for a night of partying! Many backpackers have made memories and friends to last a lifetime on this adventure!
The trip departs every day of the week and includes all accommodation, transport, meals and activities. You just need to pay for your drinks as they are not included in the price. Book your Castaways island adventure here.
Traveller Tip! Make sure you look out for the magical bioluminescent plankton when you head down to the beach at night!
How to Get There
Hanoi is the jumping-off point for most of the Halong Bay tours. You can make your way there via plane or on a cross-country bus. Meet at Vietnam Backpacker’s Hostel in Hanoi bright and early and travel to Halong Bay via minibus. From there, you’ll set off to Castaways Island on board a traditional Vietnamese sailboat.
Where to Stay on Castaways Island
Your beachside dorm bungalow which is included on the trip, of course!
10. Bali, Indonesia
The stunning island of Bali is situated to the east of Java in Indonesia. The island offers heavenly beaches, mystical temples, picturesque mountains, gorgeous waterfalls and nearly every kind of natural beauty you could imagine.
Beyond the gorgeous scenery, there is also an impressive and diverse nightlife scene to experience! From lavish beach clubs to wild raves, it’s the perfect place for backpackers to let loose.
Bali is a large island and you’ll find the most pumping party hotspots in the south. Kuta comes alive once the sun sets, with many bars and nightclubs staying open till sunrise. The majority of the top nightlife in this area is along Jalan Pantai Kuta.
Kuta tends to attract a young and wild crowd with their super clubs and mega cheap drinks! The main genres of music played in Kuta tend to be reggae, chart music, RnB and mainstream dance.
For crazy parties, make sure you head to the legendary Bounty Discotheque. After midnight, you’ll find all sorts of entertainment including foam parties, pool competitions, fashion shows and go-go dancers! Paddy’s Pub is a must with their low-priced drinks and fun-themed parties. Head to Engine Room which gets going around midnight with DJs cranking up the hip hop, dub and trap.
Situated in the southwest of Bali, Seminyak is one of the coolest parts of the island. It has no end of glamorous beach clubs, trendy bars and insane nightclubs, with top sound systems and international DJs playing techno, electronic, house and more.
Drinks here are more high quality meaning it’s a little more expensive, however, you’ll still find some hidden spots selling cheap and cheerful bevvies! Dhyana Pura is the area in Seminyak that is most popular among backpackers and expats as it caters to a more diverse crowd. Make sure you check out the nightclubs, OPIVM, Bali Joe and Mixwell.
The majority of places in Bali come with free entry, however, the drink prices vary greatly depending on the type of venue you’re at. You’ll find cheap drinks costing around 30,000 IDR ($2USD) for a beer and 60,000 IDR ($4USD) for a cocktail in cheaper bars, but when you hit the higher-end places the prices can soar up to two or even three times that amount!
There are tonnes of party events in Bali and you can check the party calendar here.
How to Get There
The easiest way of getting to Bali is by flying into Denpasar International Airport. You can travel by bus from Jakarta but only if you don’t mind a 23-hour bus journey!
Where to Stay in Bali
Capsule Hostel Bali in Seminyak is the hostel that never sleeps, with parties every single night. Head here for cheap drinks, a great atmosphere and awesome people!
Puri Rama Hostel in Kuta has two swimming pools, a 22 jet jacuzzi, a poolside bar and beanbags to float in with a Bintang in hand.
Also read: Bali’s Best Neighbourhoods to Stay and Top Hostels in Bali.
11. Vang Vieng, Laos
Vang Vieng is a small town in Laos located between Vientiane and Luang Prabang. Known for its scenic motorbike routes, beautiful tropical rainforests, gorgeous blue lagoons and of course, the nightlife!
The majority of the bars are situated in the city centre and Sakura Bar is one of the most popular places to start the night. Grab yourself some free drinks between 8 pm-9 pm, followed by happy hour from 9 pm-10 pm. Drinks are cheap at 10,000LAK for a beer (less than $1USD!) and around 30,000LAK ($2USD) for a spirit and mixer.
At midnight the bar closes and everyone moves on to Room 101 or Viva Pub which also has happy hour deals. Room 101 is the only club open late into the night, with DJs playing both underground and commercial songs.
If you’re in Vang Vieng on a Friday, be sure to check out Vang Vieng Jungle Project which costs 30,000LAK ($2USD) in advance or 40,000LAK ($2.50USD) at the door! Watch special shows including juggling and fire performances and dance the night away to techno, drum and bass and deep house!
One of Vang Vieng’s most famous attractions among backpackers is tubing down the Nam Song River. Although it’s not as crazy as it used to be due to some unfortunate accidents, there are still four riverside bars to stop off at along the river. Full Moon Bar has a psychedelic feel and plays reggae music. Another bar is Jaydees which has a similar setting and vibe!
How to Get There
If you’re coming from Luang Prabang, you’ll have to take a 5-6 hour bus journey. If you’re making the journey from Vientiane, it’s a 4-5 hour bus ride.
Where to Stay in Vang Vieng
For a party every single night, Nana Backpacker’s Hostel is the place to be. There’s a huge swimming pool and you can expect free vodka and whiskey between 7 pm and 9 pm!
Safety First! ✋Staying Safe at Parties in Southeast Asia
Of course, having fun in a different country comes with risks too, especially when there is alcohol involved. There are definitely some things to be aware of if you’re partying in Southeast Asia but if you’re vigilant and don’t do anything you shouldn’t, you should stay safe.
There have been lots of reports of unregulated alcohol being mixed with dangerous substances and sold in bars and clubs. These concoctions have made people very poorly and have even caused fatalities in the past. Avoid locally made alcohol and stick to imported spirits and beers so you know you’re safe. I unluckily had to learn this one myself after becoming poorly in Siem Reap!
As with anywhere, there is a spiking risk on a night out. Never leave your drinks unattended and keep your thumb over your bottle if you’re drinking beer. Make sure you know where your drink came from and never accept a drink from a stranger.
Theft can be a big problem when people are vulnerable. Unfortunately, I know several people who had their mobile phones snatched out of their hands on the street after a night out. Be vigilant and keep your belongings close. Travel insurance is also always a good idea!
SafetyWing is the travel insurance of choice for scores of backpackers!
- Subscription style insurance
- Cheap and flexible
- Available after your trip has started
It is also important to use only official taxis and bikes. You’ll find people hanging around outside clubs offering to take you home, but if they don’t have an official taxi, don’t get in. People have been robbed when taking an unofficial taxi. It’s a far better idea to download Grab and make sure you’ve always got a safe ride home!
Unfortunately, a lot of backpackers have died as a result of drunk driving on mopeds without a helmet. Just don’t do it, it’s not worth the risk! For the sake of a bit of extra money, take a taxi home.
Try to stay out of trouble and don’t get involved in arguments with locals. These situations can escalate quickly. We recommend keeping the peace, it’s much more fun! As always, make sure you stick with your friends and don’t accept or buy drugs from strangers. Not only is it against the law but these substances could be cut with all sorts of dangerous stuff which could put you at risk.
Now, who’s ready for some shots?! Which of these Southeast Asian party hotspots will be your favourite?
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