Party Towns for Backpackers Around The World

The partying goes on everyday and year-round in these towns and they’re popular among backpackers because it’s cheap to party compared to home. You can party as much as your body can handle and likely get away with things that you can’t do at home. No one will stop you as long as you have money. These towns are great for serious partyers.

Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

This small island is packed with parties and it seems as if the partying never ends. There’s the full moon, black moon, half moon, and any other excuse to do with the moon to party all night long. The beach parties are definitely my favorite. The island surprisingly has a huge selection of food due to the number of foreigners that moved to Koh Phi Phi.

Don’t go during peak season. It’s near impossible to find accommodation during peak season. I paid $20/night during the low season but in peak season, I was forced to pay $80/night because not a single place on the entire island had vacant rooms. If you go early in the morning, you’ll have a better chance in finding rooms as well.

You can take a boat from Phuket and Krabi at about 1,000 baht for a round trip ticket. Since you’ll have to leave the island no matter what at some point, it’s better to buy round-trip tickets since it’s cheaper.


Haad Rin, Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand

The Full Moon Party is one of the world’s biggest parties and they’re held here every month. Most accommodations have a minimum of four nights during the Full Moon Party so the partying goes on for days. Then of course just like Koh Phi Phi there’s the half-moon parties and more. The beach parties usually go into the morning. You can go any time of the year and it’s likely full of parties.

Buckets are the most popular drinks. Ingredients include whisky, Redbull, and Cocoa-Cola for around $4USD. I get pretty tipsy off of one bucket.

The rest of the island is beautiful and is nothing like Haad Rin. Take a motorbike or taxi around the island. It’s small so you can see everything in just a few hours.

See also: My review of Dancing Elephant Hostel in Haad Rin and how I ended up in the hospital in Haad Rin.

Warning: Alcohol Impairs Judgement
Thai Bucket - Full Moon Party
Thai Bucket - Full Moon Party

Montanita, Ecuador

A beach town full of hippies and parties. The entire town is about five streets long with a few streets between those that have something going on. It’s a small town but it’s packed with clubs, restaurants, bars, and street food. For some reason, hippies flock to this town selling street food cooked from their hostel or hand-made artisan work (popular amongst traveling Argentineans). The street food vendors definitely targets drunks with their selection of hamburgers, hot-dogs, empanadas, and meat and corn on a stick — it’s impossible to go hungry. I especially loved the crepes and fruit salads.

I was here during New Years Eve and it was a blast. Thousands of people throwing fireworks on the beach, dancing, and having a good time. I stayed for three weeks and really got to know the town. The street bars were my favorite. Bargain drinks for $2.50 a large cup.

Also a great beach to learn how to surf.

Street food in Montanita
Street food in Montanita
A street full of small bars selling big drinks for $2.50
A street full of small bars selling big drinks for $2.50

Beach in Montanita

Mancora, Peru

The town has plenty of parties and there’s a few great bars on the beach that blast music all night but the real parties are at the party hostels in Mancora. The Point, Loki and Kokopeli hostels offer fantastic parties. I worked at Loki for a month and probably lost a few brain cells that may never recover.

If you don’t want to stay in a party hostel, you can stay in one of the local guesthouses and go to the hostels or bars to party.

Last time I went was two years ago so I imagine the partying is bigger now than before. I would have taken pictures but I ended up partying too much.

Loki hostel pool - Máncora, Peru
Loki hostel pool – Máncora, Peru by palegoldenrod, on Flickr
Máncora, Peru
Máncora, Peru by Stylewalker, on Flickr

Vang Vieng, Laos

Imagine floating down the river with a water tube and stopping at bars along the river. On the river, there’s ziplines, slides, and rope swings that all jump into the river. It’s an amusement park for adults.

The town itself has multiple restaurants with televisions playing either Family Guy, Friends, or The Simpsons. Great for hangover recoveries. The street sandwiches were always my favorite. Like most South East Asian backpacker parties, there’s tons of buckets.

The river can be quite dangerous when the water is low. Don’t jump from any of the ropes if it’s low. Be responsible and take care of yourself at this town.

See also: Will tubing in Vang Vieng, Laos change for the better or worse?

Tubing in Vang Vieng, Christmas Day
Tubing in Vang Vieng, Christmas Day by kressie42, on Flickr
Tuber bars
Tuber bars by sweet_redbird, on Flickr
by careybaird, on Flickr

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