Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Top 5 party hostels you'd be mad to miss!

5. Siem Reap Downtown Hostel, Siem Ream, Cambodia:

Siem Reap is visited primarily as a hub to reach the renowned Angkor Wat. But, who wants to visit the heavy crowd at Angkor Wat when you can go drinking at Angkor WHAT?! Yep... What people often miss out from on reports of Angkor Wat is how great Siem Reap is to party in. They have a whole street dedicated to drinking - known as Pub Street. Our favourite bar was called Angkor What, as I'm sure you may have guessed. I have to admit, the rooms in this hostel aren't particularly the nicest I've ever come across, but the pool area is great, and the staff were so friendly. It was A-Level results night and Olivia and I were feeling a bit low, decided just to call it a night and sleep. However, at 3am we decided you know what, screw it. Time to venture out. The hostel bar was just shutting but there were still plenty of people around, including the bar tender, wanting to hit Pub Street. We partied until the early hours of the morning, and ended up stumbling back before spending the day once more hungover in the pool sunbathing.

4. Spicy Pai, Pai, Thailand.
Pai itself is a magical little town. Everybody will tell you this, and when you ask why, they can't quite put their finger on it. You begin to question whether it's worth the sickening 3 hour windy venture up into the mountains from Chiang Mai. And I'll answer that for you. 100%. Do it! It's such a cute hippy little village and a perfect escape from the hectic nature of Bangkok. The place, however, is made all that much better by staying at Spicy Pai hostel. Be warned though, it books out weeks in advance and is in hot demand given it's practically the only hostel in the village. The whole place is just a series of farmer huts made from wood, bamboo and leafs. It's a very unique structure and in a breath-taking location too. Situated in a field surrounded by mountains, chilling in a hammock in the main reception area is made that much more enjoyable - a breathtaking place to watch the wild storms too!

Be warned though, you may be eaten alive at night-time as all the critters easily get in through the sides of the hut. Oh, and the frogs drive you CRAZY at night with all the volume they produce from the rice fields! But, a trip to Pai wouldn't be this fun-filled community. Every night everybody congregates in the main hut, and those that aren't fortunate enough to get a place to sleep come and join anyway. Expect a ton of drinking games and trips to 7/11 then spending the day hungover exploring waterfalls and learning to ride a moped into the mountains. Honestly, my favourite place in Thailand! Whatever you do, don't miss a chance to explore the area and this wonderful hostel. 

3. Miami International Hostel, USA.
If you're looking for a place to party every night, and love the planned-fun type of evening, this is the place for you! The hostel is rather pricey but includes all meals (only 1 option mind you), but is right next to the beach and has a great vibe. Wifi doesn't reach the rooms, which is a pain, but that means you can ALWAYS meet people just hanging out in the lobby, or while waiting for food. The hostel always has activities planned every night from beer pong and flip cup tournaments to bar crawls, it usually ends up in the busiest nightclub that you reach via a pumping party bus. The nice thing about this hostel too is that they try their hardest to cater for under-21s. While you can't just go to the clubs without ID, or with a photocopy, they have a few left-overs or try to ask other guests for you too. Honestly, there's not much to do in Miami other than drink and sunbathe, and this hostel is perfectly situated to do both! 

2. Downtown Reggae Mansion Hostel, Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia.

Beautiful and huge 'mansion' hostel, just as it says! Again, there's two of them, so make sure you get the main centre location. The hostel has a fantastic rooftop bar with pumping music and views over the city, including the Petronas Towers as a bonus. The people I met here were just amazing and lovely too, and I'm still in contact with several of them - a rarity for me!  We ended up wasting our nights away drinking from classic South-East Asian buckets, and smoking ridiculous amounts of shisha discussing our adventures for the following day. The hostel runs a great and worthwhile tour of the City that I thoroughly recommend and I genuinely don't have a single bad thing to say about the place! I ended up spending a lot longer here than I intended as I was waiting for a Burmese visa, but the hostel kept me entertained. One day with bad weather and stuck for what to do, we used the in-hostel cinema (has around 20 seats and charges about £1 a movie), to have a horror-film fest and just chill out. On a side note, if in KL don't miss out on the Escape Room game! Find some mates in this hostel (a very easy task) and drag them along, great way to bond and have fun outside of alcohol for a change haha.

1. Hanoi Backpackers, Vietnam.
Ah, my future city of choice! I inexplicably love the vibrant and chaotic nature of this metropolis and I believe my stay at Hanoi Backpackers contributed to this! It was by far the cleanest hostel I have stayed in while in South-East Asia. I should note first, make sure you stay at Hanoi Backpackers 'the original'. There's two of them, however, we found the second one was just too big. In a way, this one was more intimate and allowed for a greater connection with the other travellers. However, when it comes to bar crawls, you meet up with the other larger hostel anyway so you get the best of both worlds in the end without the blaring music disrupting you when you eventually decide to grab some kip. 

First arriving at the hostel I was freaked out by the location, but that was more a reflection on Vietnam than the hostel itself as it turns out it was perfectly situated and within walking distance of the main attractions we sought to visit. They also do a smashing free breakfast with a wide range of choices. For a party hostel, receiving a free beer on arrival too was a pleasant surprise and a welcomed one too - after a 32 bus journey to reach it! Every Sunday they have free beers from 3pm-4:30pm, and during the week they have happy hours with 2 for 1 vodka mixers at the equivalent of a pound! There's also events on throughout the week - I should add, our team smashed the pub quiz. I would, however, advise you against their Castaways Island tour if you're on a really tight budget - it's really expensive compared to what you can find a mere few doors down. We formed a group with some people we met in the hostel and set off and made our own party. The problem with that, however, is there was a miscommunication over the ability to bring your own alcohol, which led to a chair being thrown at a member of our group... which I guess wouldn't happen with castaways! haha. But you get what you pay for I suppose. All in all, top hostel, great staff, and perfect location to party. 

(Read about Hanoi: or Ha Long Bay:

Where is your favourite hostel? 
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