Cities With The Best Nightlife In Asia
It is true that every continent has nightlife, but when it comes to TRUE nightlife - there is nothing quite like what I experienced in Asia. From the expensive cocktail bars in Hong Kong all the way to the seedier pubs in Bangkok, there is some seriously amazing nightlife in Asia. These are a number of my favourite ones that I believe you simply have to experience.
There is no denying that Bangkok is amongst the wildest cities in the world – let alone Asia. It became a popular destination for American soldiers on leave during the 1970s, and it has not shed its “wild image” yet. Nowadays you will find party-seeking tourists instead of American soldiers, but people still come for the gigantic nightclubs and red-light districts. Not everything here is based on sin though; the trendiest nightspots in Bangkok are located around Thong Lo. Another popular spot for dancing in Bangkok is RCA. Bangkok’s nightlife is something that you just have to experience.
Seoul, South Korea
One of the reasons why I love the nightlife in Seoul is because it is very affordable. Especially if you consider how good the local alcohol tastes, this makes for a great situation. My favorite alcoholic beverage has to be Soju, which is a clear spirit traditionally made of rice that leaves you with a sweet aftertaste. The two neighborhoods that you will find most of the nightlife in include Itaewon and Hongdae. While Hongdae is the center of student nightlife in the city, Itaewon is a popular spot for the city’s expat community.
While Singapore might have a rather uptight reputation, the nightlife in Singapore can only be described as raucous. In fact, it gives many other cities throughout Asia a run for their money. Clarke Quay is where you will find most of the massive clubs, where the clientele is extremely trendy, the drinks are expensive, and the décor is kitsch. Zouk is often heralded as not just the best nightclub in Singapore, but all of Asia.
Like most things that you find in Shanghai, the nightlife is brash, loud, and unforgettable. If you want to have a classic Chinese clubbing experience, you have to stop by No 88. If you are looking for something more on the edge, The Shelter is certainly worth a visit. You will be partying in an unused bomb shelter, a rather unique location for an electronic music club. If you want to explore the most spectacular view of the Shanghai skyline, Bar Rouge is a great place to be, if you have money to burn.
During the day, Taipei is a lively capital city filled with motor scooters and office workers. At night, it becomes a city that is truly alive with some excellent nightlife offerings and open-air night markets. Unfortunately, Spark (the legendary Taipei nightclub) has shut down for good, but there are many other great options nearby.
There is no debating the fact that Tokyo’s nightlife is epic. The only reason that I cannot place it higher on my list of “must-visits” is because of how expensive everything can be. Dancing the night away in the Roppongi district is an experience that you are not going to have anywhere else. There is so much to see and explore in Tokyo that it would almost warrant its own article.
Even though Macau is technically a part of China, the Chinese government really does not have a tremendous level of influence. When it comes to running things in Macau, you only need to turn to the billion-dollar casinos that you find on the Cotai Strip. The pool parties at The Venetian are truly legendary, and the more out there nigh time haunts such as Pascha, D2 and Cubic are pretty damn good also.
Brian McGowan is a US based freelance writer, extensive traveller and a regular contributor to The Wise Traveller.