20 Best Cities for Nightlife in Asia

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars)
I've spent most of the past two years trying the nightlife of various Asian cities, from Indonesia to Kazakhstan. I've written individual reports for most of them (see the tag Asia Nightlife), but I thought it could be useful to make a brief summary recapitulating everything I've learned.

Based on my travels, these are my 20 favorite cities for partying in Asia (I ranked them by order of preference):

Metro Manila
Revel Nightclub in Manila
I spent three weeks in Metro Manila (Makati, Malate, Quezon City). It has become one of my favorite metropolises for nightlife due to several factors: Prices are affordable, nightclubs and bars abound, girls are exceptionally pretty, Filipinos are friendly and tourists are still rare.

Note: I haven't been to Manila since Duterte became president. The atmosphere might have changed since.

In a nutshell:
⛔ What you will hate: Safety issues in low-class neighborhoods, crazy war on drug, traffic jams, slow internet, conservative society (Catholic), disappointing food

✅ What you will love: Gorgeous girls, cheap prices on alcohol, English is spoken everywhere, large diversity of entertainment venues, midget boxing, 24-hour casinos

Number of nightclubs
: 25
Curfew: 5 AM
Prices: Cheap
Meeting Girls: Easy (FilipinaCupid)
Prostitution: Moderate (in Malate, Makati, Pasay)
Where to party: Makati, BGC (Bonifacio Global City), The Fort, Quezon City
Where to stay: Makati

For a complete review, you can read Manila Nightlife - Best Nightclubs and Bars.

Saigon
Ladies night in Lush
I lived in Saigon for 8 months in 2015 and I loved it. As the economic capital of Vietnam, it is one of the most happening and fastest-paced cities in Southeast Asia. It is also quite touristy and popular with young Westerners. Its nightlife could be perfect if only Vietnamese clubs were more welcoming toward foreigners.

In a nutshell:
⛔ What you will hate: Traffic jams, very hot during intermediate season, some difficulties to communicate with Vietnamese

✅ What you will love: Cheap, diverse, beautiful girls, delicious food, Vietnamese people (smart, educated, hard-working, big drinkers), 24-hour massage parlors

Number of nightclubs: 30
Curfew: 4 AM
Prices: Low
Meeting Girls: Easy (VietnamCupid)
Prostitution: High (Massage Parlours in Saigon)
Where to Party: District 1
Where to stay: Near Ben Thanh Market

For a complete review, you can read Saigon Nightlife.

Jakarta
Dragonfly in Jakarta
Jakarta nightlife is not as crazy as it used to be 10 years ago (24-hour clubs where everything was permitted), but it is still really fun, especially if you know your way around.

In a nutshell:
⛔ What you will hate: Massive traffic jams, difficulties to walk around, 200% tax on alcohol, commercial music almost everywhere, growing conservatism.

✅ What you will love: Safe to visit, plenty of attractive girls, modern clubs, hipster bars, friendly people, off-the-beaten-track destination.

Number of nightclubs: 15
Curfew: 4-5 AM
Prices: Expensive (10$ for a cocktail, 4$ for a beer, up to 25$ for an entrance in the best clubs)
Meeting Girls: Easy (IndonesiaCupid)
Prostitution: High
Where to Party? See my guide Party Areas in Jakarta
Where to stay? See my guide Where to Stay in Jakarta

For a complete review, you can read Jakarta Nightlife - Best Nightclubs and Bars.

Bangkok
Soi Cowboy
I've always felt that Bangkok nightlife was overrated. This has been particularly true in the past 3 years after the new government issued stricter regulations on nightclubs. Still, it remains an interesting option for the least adventurous travelers.

In a nutshell:
⛔ What you will hate: Touristy, early curfew. Difficult to differentiate between ladyboys, prostitutes and normal girls

✅ What you will love: Busy every night, foreigner-friendly, lots of beautiful girls, cheap prices on almost everything (hotels, food, drinks, transport, etc).

Number of nightclubs: At least 30
Curfew: 1 AM
Prices: Low (5$ for a cocktail, 2$ for a beer, 15$ for an entrance in the best clubs)
Meeting Girls: Moderately easy (ThaiCupid) - Lots of competition from other guys.
Prostitution: High (in Nana Plaza, Soi Cowboy, Patpong)
Where to Party: Sukhumvit, Thonglor, RCA
Where to stay: Near Asok BTS

For a complete review, you can read 30 Best Nightclubs in Bangkok.

Shanghai
Bar Rouge is the best party spot in Shanghai
As one of the fastest developing cities in the world, Shanghai is an amazing destination for extravagant parties. It is not a solo destination, though, as most nightclubs are geared towards bottle service. Perfect for a stag or a weekend with a group of friends.

In a nutshell:
⛔ Too many bottle clubs, rather expensive, daily annoyances from government restrictions.

✅ Huge diversity of clubs, easy to get around, small underground scene, interesting crowd of expats and locals, hot girls aplenty

Tip: Subscribe to a VPN service BEFORE arriving in China if you want to keep using Google, Facebook, etc. The most recommended for China is VyprVPN.

Number of nightclubs: 40
Curfew: 4 AM
Prices: Average (15-20$ for club entrance)
Meeting Girls: Average
Prostitution: Discreet (KTVs, online, spas)
Where to Party: Hengshan road, Xintiandi
Where to stay: Near Shanghai Library Station

Taipei
Omni Club
Few people would think about Taipei for a party weekend, and yet they are wrong. The Taiwan capital is home to a wild nightlife, with plenty of sophisticated nightclubs and bars. The locals are welcoming towards foreigners, the prices are reasonable, and you can go almost everywhere by foot. One more thing: They have the most amazing sexy dancers I've seen in Asia.

In a nutshell:
⛔ Nightclubs are only happening on weekends and, to a lesser extent, on Wednesdays.

✅ Taiwanese are foreigner-friendly, prices are moderate (free flow nightclubs available), few tourists around, easy to get around.

Number of nightclubs: 10
Curfew: 4-5 AM
Prices: Moderate (free flow nightclubs available)
Meeting Girls: Moderate (Tinder)
Prostitution: Low
Where to Party: ATT4FUN, NEO19
Where to stay: Near Taipei 101 MRT

For a complete review, you can read Taiwan Nightlife Guide

Singapore
Bang Bang Nightclub
If it didn't cost 10 euros to buy a beer there, Singapore could be much higher in this ranking. There are dozens of stylish bars and clubs, with an excellent crowd and often famous DJs. Another interesting feature is that you can meet girls from all over the world, from an American banker to a Filipino maid.

In a nutshell:
⛔ Too expensive, more challenging with girls, quite tame, too many rules

✅ Diversity (Indian clubs, Arab clubs, Chinese clubs, Western clubs, Thai clubs, etc), quality DJs, stylish venues, comfortable city, amazing Ladies' nights (usually on Wednesdays)

Number of nightclubs: 25
Curfew: 3-4 AM Prices: Very expensive
Meeting Girls: Moderate (Tinder, Paktor)
Prostitution: Moderate (in Geylang, in Orchard Tower, online prostitution, "health centers".
Where to Party: Chinatown, Clarke Quay
Where to stay: Near Orchard MRT

For a complete review, you can read Singapore Nightlife Guide

Hong Kong
The Lan Kwai Fong area is filled with party-goers at night
A world-class city, a bit more stylish than Singapore, with a plethora of bars and lounges. Some good clubs as well, very international yet with a strong Chinese influence.

In a nutshell:
⛔ Expensive, limited nightlife on weekdays, average-looking women (as Americans would say: No offense).

✅ Cosmopolitan crowd, sophisticated venues, crazy red-light district.

Number of nightclubs: 20
Curfew: 4-5 AM
Prices: Moderate (free flow nightclubs available)
Meeting Girls: Moderate (Tinder)
Prostitution: High (Wanchai)
Where to Party: Lan Kwai Fong, Wanchai
Where to stay: Near MRT Central

Bali: Kuta to Seminyak Area
Clubbing in Jenja Bali
Bali nightlife is mostly located in the south of the island. Kuta is touristy, cheap and tacky, while Seminyak is more sophisticated and popular with long-term residents. You can have a lot of fun, especially if you decide to rent a big villa for a crazy weekend with friends. After that, it can get a bit boring as you always see and meet the same people over and over.

In a nutshell:
⛔ Bali is surprisingly small and it can sometimes feel like a village.

✅ The diversity of clubs and bars (EDM, techno, Rn'B, etc).

Number of nightclubs: 15
Curfew:  5 AM
Prices: Average
Meeting girls: Easy
Prostitution: Growing (see Is Bali Becoming A Sex Tourist Destination?).
Where to party: Jalan Oberoi (Seminyak) or near Sky Garden (Kuta)
Where to stay: Near Jalan Oberoi or near Sky Garden

For a complete review, you can check: Where to Party in Bali: A Complete Nightlife Guide

Hanoi
Fame club in Hanoi
Hanoi is not very different from Saigon, to be honest. It is also very touristy and its nightlife is not as conservative as you would think.

In a nutshell:
⛔ Unbearable heat and humidity most of the year (from April to November), loud music in nightclubs, some tourist scams, conservative people

✅ Interesting city to visit, many young foreigners (including Western girls), very cheap (10 cents for a beer)

Number of nightclubs: 20
Curfew: 3 AM
Prices: Low
Meeting Girls: Easy (VietnamCupid)
Prostitution: High (Massage Parlours in Hanoi)
Where to Party: Old Quarter, West Lake
Where to stay: Near the Saint Joseph Cathedral

For a complete review, you can read Hanoi Nightlife Guide

Almaty
TSB - My favorite club in Almaty
Almaty was a great surprise for me. I was initially just passing by while traveling in Central Asia but I ended up staying two weeks. The city is safe, pleasant (at least during spring) and cheap. It has an awesome and fun nightlife too, easily the best in the region.

In a nutshell:
⛔ Only happening on weekends, freezing temperatures in winter, girls can be a bit conservative (though interested to meet with foreigners).

✅ Cheap everything, stunning girls (mix of Asian and Russian), interesting underground scene

Number of nightclubs: 15
Curfew: 5 AM
Prices: Cheap
Meeting Girls: Easy (Tinder, Mamba)
Prostitution: Average
Where to Party: Around the Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen and Gogol Street
Where to stay: Near Panfilovtsev Park

For a complete review, you can check: Almaty Nightlife: Best Bars and Clubs

Phnom Penh
Pontoon Club in Phnom Penh
Due to a mix of poverty and corruption, Phnom Penh's nightlife is still one of the craziest in Southeast Asia (though it has been tamed in recent years). It is a popular stop for sex tourist, especially the older and poorer ones.  There is also a nascent upmarket and expat scene that is interesting enough for a weekend of clubbing.

In a nutshell:
⛔ Too much prostitution (it's hard to meet normal girls). The city is still underdeveloped, messy and dirty.

✅ Very cheap prices. Laidback vibe. Interesting city to visit as a tourist (temples, markets, museums).

Number of nightclubs: 20
Curfew:  5-6 AM
Prices: Cheap
Meeting girls: Easy but many prostitutes
Prostitution: High
Where to party: Street 51 (Pasteur) near Pontoon. For hostess bars, streets 104, 130, 136. 
Where to stay: Near Cardamom HotelLux Riverside or Sun & Moon Urban Hotel.

For a complete review, you can check Phnom Penh Nightlife.

Phuket
Seduction Club in Patong
I wouldn't spend a week in Phuket, but for a short weekend, it is fun enough. Most of the nightlife is located in the coastal town of Patong, along Bangla street. You have a bit of everything, including some trendy nightclubs and dirty ping pong shows.

In a nutshell:
⛔ Lots of tourists (and not the best kind), prostitution, ladyboys, crowded beach, scams

✅ Everything walking distance, party every night, mixed crowd, reasonable prices

Number of nightclubs: 10
Curfew:  5-6 AM
Prices: Average
Meeting girls: Rather difficult to meet non-prostitute. Try ThaiCupid.
Prostitution: Everywhere
Where to party: Bangla Road
Where to stay: Near Bangla Road

For a complete review, you can check: Patong Nightlife (Phuket)

Cebu
Cebu is one of the richest and most populous cities in the Philippines. It is also the capital of a beautiful region, popular yet not overcrowded with tourists. Its nightlife is particularly recommended if you are hoping to find a pretty Asian girlfriend. Many Filipinas live there by themselves because they work in one of the numerous calls centers or BPOs.

In a nutshell:
⛔ Becoming more touristy (especially among Koreans), rather small and provincial.

✅ Great for meeting girls, laid-back, cheap, plenty of tourist excursions nearby.

Number of nightclubs: 10
Curfew: 4 AM
Prices: Cheap
Meeting Girls: Easy (FilipinaCupid)
Prostitution: Important
Where to Party: Mango Square, Mango Avenue
Where to stay: Near Mango Square

For a complete review, you can check: 10 Best Nightclubs in Cebu

Pattaya
Pattaya does not have many equivalents in the world. The city has over a thousand bars and probably 10 times as many prostitutes. It is just a huge, 24/7, bordello for sex tourists from all over the world. If you are a regular tourist, you may be amused by it for a few nights, but after that, you'll be begging for a ticket back home.

In a nutshell:
⛔ Seedy atmosphere, very commercial, dirty beach.

✅ You have to see it once to believe it. Crazy clubs, crazy people, crazy nights. Cheap. Gorgeous girls (none for free).

Number of nightclubs: 20
Curfew:  5-6 AM
Prices: Average
Meeting girls: Almost impossible to meet a non-prostitute
Prostitution: Everywhere
Where to party: Walking street, Soi LK Metro
Where to stay: Near Central Festival Beach Mall

For a complete review, you can check: Pattaya Nightlife: Clubs, Bars, Gogo, Hotels

Kuala Lumpur
Zouk Club in the TREC complex
Kuala Lumpur nightlife has some interesting aspects, but it is far from being my favorite. I've always felt uncomfortable there, as if partying was only tolerated but not really embraced. I also had a couple of bad experiences with locals, especially young and rich Malay kids.

In a nutshell:
⛔ Conservative mentality, racial tensions, limited number of clubs

✅ Affordable, conveniently located in two major areas, easy to get around.

Number of nightclubs: 20
Curfew: 4 AM
Prices: Average
Meeting Girl: Average
Prostitution: Average
Where to Party: TREC, Jalan Changkat Bukit Bintang
Where to stay: Near Sungei Wang Plaza

For a complete review, you can check: KL Nightlife: Best Bars and Clubs

Koh Samui - Koh Phangan
I lived in Koh Phangan for about 6 months in 2013. This gave me plenty of opportunities to try the famous Full Moon Party (and its sisters: Half Moon Party, Dark Moon Party, Jungle Party). It was not as wild as I was expecting and I quickly got sick of the backpacker crowd, but I still think it's worth trying it once.

For more sophisticated nights out, I also stopped a few times on the nearby island of Koh Samui. There are more proper nightclubs there (atmosphere similar to Phuket).

In a nutshell:
⛔ Fake alcohol, touristy, cost of living higher than on the mainland, a lot more men than women, expensive hotels during full moon parties (book in advance).

✅ Great beaches, massive parties, easy access to some drugs, easy to meet fellow travelers (in the 20-25 range)

Number of nightclubs: 5
Curfew:  5-6 AM
Prices: Average
Meeting girls: Mostly Westerners. Not so easy.
Prostitution: Average. Mostly in the form of massage parlors.
Where to party: Haad Rin Beach (Koh Phangan), Chaweng (Koh Samui)
Where to stay: Haad Rin (Koh Phangan), Chaweng Walking Street (Koh Samui)

Vang Vieng
For unknown reasons, Koreans love to party in Vang Vieng
Even though Vang Vieng is only a tiny town in the middle of Laos, it used to have some of the craziest parties in Southeast Asia. A major reason for that was the availability of drugs. Things have changed in the past 5 years, unfortunately, after several tourists died. There is still a fun nightlife, split in a few open-air bars that attract young backpackers (Europeans and Koreans).

In a nutshell:
⛔ Small, low-class, repetitive, prices above than average.

✅ The best place to party in Laos, many wild Western girls, easy to get around, some drugs still sold openly.

Number of nightclubs: 3
Curfew:  3-7 AM
Prices: Low to moderate (as elsewhere in Laos)
Meeting girls: Maybe the best place in Southeast Asia to meet Western girls (a lot of British, Canadian, American, Nordic, etc).
Prostitution: Small
Where to party: Start in Sakura Bar, then move to Viva, then to Room 101.
Where to stay: Near the Post Office

For a complete review, you can check: Vang Vieng Nightlife

Chiang Mai
Zoe in Yellow is the place to go for backpackers
Chiang Mai does not have a big reputation for nightlife, and yet I had some of my most memorable nights there. One of the reasons for that is the high concentration of girls, either foreign backpackers or Thai students. In the meantime, there aren't that many guys, probably because they all got stuck in Bangkok.

In a nutshell:
⛔ Provincial, very early curfew, not many venues (mostly Thai live music).

✅ Easy to meet girls, very cheap, interesting tourist sights in the city.

Number of nightclubs: 5
Curfew:  1 AM
Prices: Cheap
Meeting girls: Easy with both Western girls and Thai girls
Prostitution: Small
Where to party: Nimman (Thai area), Old City (Tourist area), Loi Kroh (Lady bars)
Where to stay: Near Tha Phae Gate.

For a complete review, you can check: Chiang Mai Nightlife

Gili Trawangan
Gili Trawangan is the only Thai-style, backpacker party island in Indonesia. It's great if you want to meet Western girls, drink cheap beers and try magic mushrooms. During the day, there isn't much to do apart from suntanning and diving.

In a nutshell:
⛔ Low-class, very young foreigners. Overcrowded. Accommodation more expensive than in Bali.

✅ More Western girls than anywhere else in Indonesia. Mushrooms and marijuana easily available. Some beautiful beaches.

Number of nightclubs: 4
Curfew:  5 AM
Prices: Average
Meeting girls: Moderate (Western girls mostly)
Prostitution: Small
Where to party: Between the Pier and Villa Ombak Hotel.
Where to stay: Backpackers: Stay in party hostels like Gili Castle or Broken Compass. If you have money, try instead Scallywags Resort.

For a complete review, you can check: Gili Trawangan Nightlife - Lombok

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9 comments to '' 20 Best Cities for Nightlife in Asia "

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  1. Very good one! I have only visited 12, still more work to be done. Just one diverging opinion: Singapore is more stylish than HK, not vice versa. And "negative" points on Pattaya could be transferred ti the + side also. Keep up the good work

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    1. Ok for Singapore and HK, it seems I'm wrong about that... It was based on my travel impressions but maybe i haven't been there long enough...

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  2. List is precise and unbiased (visited or lived in 14). Absolutely true about Singapore being much more stylish than HK, which more dynamic. Not my favourites but very strong contenders. For living, Singa maybe close to No 1 with Bangkok (more expensive, but for a reason). Question: why no cities from Middle East, had a very good time (and profitable with different races of girls, mostly for money, though) in Dubai? On the other hand, Seoul and Tokyo?

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    1. Hi there, I've never partied in the Middle east (except Tel Aviv)... I've not been to Seoul yet and when I was in Tokyo, I didn't go to any clubs... the list is really based on my personal experience that's why I didn't include them... Hopefully I can update it with new destinations soon...


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    2. I'm surprised as well that Tokyo is not on this list. The biggest and richest city in the world with a nightlife like no other. You have multiple happening districts like Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza, Akasaka & Roppongi to mention a few. More bars then any city on the planet and more Michelin starred restaurants as well. Whatever genre of music your into from Techno, Electro, House, Trance, EDM, Pop, Rock, Hip Hop, Heavy Metal or Punk you are likely to find a strong scene with world class nightclubs like Womb, Alife, Harlem or the cavernous AgeHa offering he best local and international artists on a weekly basis. The only downsides are the harsh drug laws make it very difficult but not impossible to find recreational drugs if that's your thing and it is also is difficult to meet local Japanese girls with the language barrier and cultural issues but some areas especially Roppongi are known to be frequented by Japanese girls interested in foreigners.

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  3. Macau not bad either. Tokyo diverse, vibrant, but very complicated for girls, if not paying. Which is differently organised, and complicated. Nice list, but should be according to segments - best cities for 1/ regular girls, 2/ bar girls, 3/ freelancers, 4/ going out, clubbing, 5/ comfortable life for a foreigner, and separately for a Farang, 6/ most expensive and cheapest in relative terms, with all other necessities included

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    Replies
    1. I went to Macau 2 nights but I found only a few empty clubs with Russian hookers. The most famous nightclub (I think Pacha) was closed during the week so I couldn't go there. It seems most of the nightlife consisted of karaokes and spas which is not really my favorite form of entertainment.

      Yes the segments are a good idea as I'm mixing apples with oranges... I'll think about new detailed articles with your suggestions... Thanks!

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  4. Good points on Singapore being really attractive, but expensive. Macao can be interesting, but you need at least a week and relatively nice weather. They have massage parlours, casinos, freelancers, cafes... Dubai is really strong, but within certain rules, which is sort of OK if you respect them. Great clubs, bar and malls. For me, next stop is Kuala Lumpur

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  5. Only 15 nightclubs in the whole of Jakarta??? There's more then that in North Jakarta alone.

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