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Koh Pha-Ngan has been done. Unfortunately the Thai island that hosts the world-famous Full Moon Parties was long ago swamped by tourist tack, turning it from what used to be a spontaneous, adventurous and pretty wild experience into the sort of place where package tourists walk along the beach taking photos of the revellers like they're animals on safari.
Not my idea of a good time. But the world changes – the party moves on. Some of the classic destinations are still there, the likes of Ibiza, Berlin, Koh Samui, Lagos and Las Vegas, but there are also new hotspots popping up all the time. These are some of the latest.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Those communist-turned-capitalist metropolises – Moscow, Shanghai etc – sure know how to party. And Ho Chi Minh City is no different. There's a great nightlife scene in the city formerly known as Saigon that's driven as much by a hard-partying expat community as the local Vietnamese. For a classy night, check out the rooftop Chill Skybar. For guaranteed fun with boozy expats, backpackers and the odd shady local, go straight to Apocalypse Now.
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Tel Aviv, Israel
You wouldn't think you were in Israel. Strolling down Tel Aviv's bustling beachside promenade during the day, you'd think you were in Rio de Janeiro, or Barcelona. And once the sun goes down, the feeling gets even stronger. This is a city that loves to party, and it seems to never shut down. It's also multi-cultural, friendly and surprisingly relaxed.
It's pretty simple really. If you gather together travellers from all around the world – adventurous, fun people who are on a high after having ticked off a bucket-list experience like seeing Machu Picchu – you're going to get a pretty great party scene. And Cusco has exactly that. Beginners should head directly to Mama Africa, an infamous club populated every night with backpackers up for a good time.
Si Phan Don, Laos
It used to be Vang Vieng. If you were travelling to Laos and you were up for a party, you'd head to that infamous riverside town for a round of "tubing" and a few mushroom milkshakes. It's probably not a bad thing that all of that has changed now, and travellers are looking further afield. Si Phan Don, or "4000 Islands", in the country's south is far more sedate than Vang Vieng ever was, a place where a party means hanging out in a hammock with a few friends and chatting the night away.
Pag is essentially the thinking traveller's Ibiza, a pumping Mediterranean party island that attracts all of the big-name DJs and dance acts, with all the pool parties and rave action you can poke a little pair of swimming trunks at, but with a more cosmopolitan European crowd. The setting is stunning, just off the Dalmatian coast, but most people come here for the 24-hour party culture.
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Locals have been promising to "keep Austin weird" for some time now, but what they've also done is kept this Texan musical Mecca fun. This is a city in which live bands rule over button-pressing DJs, with rock, indie and country music played long into the night. An evening in Austin is as entertaining for its people-watching opportunities as it is for the party itself.
Koh Rong, Cambodia
As Pag is to Ibiza, so Koh Rong is to Koh Pha-Ngan – another place of intense natural beauty that travellers are flocking to as an alternative to its more mainstream and established rival. Koh Rong is a Cambodian island off the coast of Sihanoukville, a party destination that still has that adventurous, frontier feel that Koh Pha-Ngan once had. It's cheap, it's fun, and it's becoming extremely popular.
A few years ago Eastern Europe's party frontier was probably Prague. These days, however, it has shifted to the south, to the formerly war-torn Serbian capital of Belgrade. The scene here is still in its infancy, pushed forward by a group of passionate DJs and venue owners and a crowd of people who seem to love having a good time. Check out Sveta and KGB Caffe for the perfect introduction.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
While Rio de Janeiro probably still reigns as South America's number one party destination, Buenos Aires is hot on its heels. This is a city of dark, cosy wine bars, hipster-friendly speakeasies, and super-clubs whose dancefloors don't even start heating up until about 3am. If you're going out to party in BA, make sure you're up for a late night.
Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
Those tired of Kuta's bogans-and-Bintang scene now have a more enticing alternative: Gili Trawangan, the island paradise you've been hoping to find. Gili T's party scene ranges from upmarket lounges and cocktail bars to the backpacker-friendly dive bars of old. The crowd is mixed, but it's always fun.
Where do you think are the world's new party destinations?
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