Where to go for a Hangover weekend

Two words: Las Vegas. Doesn't make you think of great museums, does it? Or of lovely parks, or of rich cultural heritage?

It makes you think about partying. Vegas might have hidden charms for its residents, but for short-term visitors it's good for only one thing: hedonism.

That's why the original version of The Hangover was set there. Where else would you send a bunch of blokes on a buck's night to get them into some serious trouble?

Travellers the world over know Vegas by reputation, it's a city that doesn't need to market itself – you know what's there, you know what you're getting yourself into.

Now, The Hangover II is out, and this time they're headed for Bangkok. This is sure to have people harrumphing about a misrepresentation of a city that's about far more than just Khaosan Road, but the reality is Bangkok is another one of those cities in which you can get into a lot of trouble – and have a lot of fun – if you really want to.

And, unlike Vegas, it's easily accessible for Australians.

It got me thinking – if you're planning a Hangover-style party weekend for you and a bunch of friends (the boys, the girls, both), where would you go? Vegas is too far away for a weekend jaunt, but all is not lost ...

Wellington, New Zealand
The NZ city is smaller than most Aussie state capitals, but is infinitely more fun for a night out. Around Cuba Street you'll find loads of live music venues, cool little niches like The Library, and pubs offering hundreds of different beers to try. It's an unpretentious, friendly city with plenty to offer after hours.

Cairns, Australia
You might not be able to afford a long backpacking holiday, but that doesn't mean you can't go party with the people who can. Cairns is often nothing short of debaucherous. If you're going to the Woolshed ... Um, wear old clothes.

Osaka, Japan
What's a good bar to visit in Osaka? No idea. I couldn't tell you the names of the places I've been to – couldn't read the signs, for starters – but the joy is in finding random favourites of your own. Osakans like to eat well and drink plenty: it's the perfect combo.

Darwin, Australia
Like Cairns, Darwin is filled with travellers who are up for a good time, as well as a frequently interesting local population. Make sure you're up for the sort of night where you'll be washing your beer down with more beer.

Bangkok, Thailand
The Hangover II producers picked it for a reason: Bangkok is a Bacchanalian dream. The area around Khaosan Road is dodgy as hell, but it serves a purpose. And if you arrive during Songkran, you'll find a whole city in party mode.

Saigon, Vietnam
Another city that is cheap to access, cheap to spend time in, and great for a party. There's not much Vietnamese culture on offer after midnight, but if you can't have fun in the area around Pham Ngu Lao, then you're not trying hard enough.

Thai Islands
Koh Pha-Ngan's reputation as a party island is a handy one: those who want to avoid moronic, drunken westerners know exactly where not to go; those who want to be a moronic, drunken westerner have their holiday plans ready-made. The choice is yours.

Seoul, Korea
Koreans like to party – get in a shot-for-shot soju drinking session with your average Korean and your night will come to an ugly, premature end. To drink with expats (and Koreans who like to hang with expats), head to the Itaewon area. To drink with Korean students (and expats who like to hang with Korean students), make your way out to Hongdae. Try the '80s theme bars...

Which city would you head to for a party weekend?

Hope you're enjoying the Backpacker blog – there will be a new one published every Tuesday and Wednesday on the Fairfax Media websites. To contact me with any topic suggestions or personal abuse, visit my website, follow me on Twitter, or email me at bengroundwater@gmail.com.