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The Drink, The Drunk and The Hangover of our Travels

If we’re going to talk honestly, we have to admit that one of our top priorities when arriving in a new city is to have a great night out.

We love to see what kind of party we can find in an unfamiliar place, and get a taste for whatever drinks are cheapest or most popular with the locals.

While seeking out unknown, cheap drinks, we’ve definitely stumbled upon some horrible concoctions along with a few hidden gems. Either way, they usually create hilarious moments and great stories to recall the next day – along with more than a few debilitating hangovers.

Cheers!

Below we talk about some of the drinks, the stories, and the aftermaths.

The Drink:

Baijiu (China)

Baijiu is a Chinese liquor made from grain. It’s a white clear alcohol and is usually between 40 – 60% alcohol content.

The Drunk:

We can thank this drink for bringing us together. We had known each other a couple weeks, but we hadn’t had the confidence to make a move yet. After a few baijiu and cokes at a party, Simon gained the courage to tell Kristin that he wanted to “snog her face off” – despite our many coworkers lurking around, eager for gossip. A few more drinks found us running around Canton Tower, shouting nonsense, and lying down to snog on the street.

The Hangover:

We were sick but happy because we had revealed that we liked each other. Cute. 🙂

Grateful for that night 🙂 

The Drink:

Tsingtao (China)

We also came across Tsingtao in China. It’s China’s second largest brewery, produced in Qingdao in the Shandong province. Its alcohol percentage is said to be around 4.5%. Tsingtao is seriously cheap, but be cautious before you overindulge.

The Drunk:

The scene was Simon’s birthday party at his apartment in Guangzhou. Downing several Tsingtao, he was quickly a state. When the party ended, we headed out in search of any bar or club we could find.

New to China and quite drunk, we barely knew where we were, much less what direction we should be heading. The taxi driver decided to take advantage of this situation. He took his time driving around, taking so many turns, we felt certain we were on the other side of the city. Our fare was about three times more than we would have expected, but we were dropped off at a club (Nova) so we were happy.

And we had an amazing night. We couldn’t wait to go back to that club again. The only problem? We had no idea where it was and couldn’t remember the name. The taxi ride was so long and complicated – we were sure we’d never find it again.

But we still searched. For months. It was the legendary club, lost to us forever.

Until, one day, Simon was walking to the metro and he noticed a door. He remembered that door. It was the club – literally only a 2 minute walk from his apartment.

The Hangover:

Horrid! I’ve never experienced anything like it. It made me delusional, gave me an unbearable headache, and made me so ill.

H2O needed for Kristin.

The Drink:

Leo (Thailand)

Leo is a pale lager beer brewed in Bangkok by a brewery called Boon Rawd. Its interesting logo is a leopard – although I thought it was a tiger for years.

The Drunk:

Where to start! Honestly, Leo is such a staple of our lives, I can’t pick just one story. Many fun nights have been spent drinking “just one more.” We love sitting around a table of new or old faces, casually ordering drink after drink. I’ve made great friends this way – there’s something about having a few Leos together that makes new friendships form, even with people we previously found boring or a little annoying.

Leo has made Simon do some strange things as the night gets later – for example, he suddenly seems to despise wearing clothes. Especially while crossing a specific bridge on our walk home – this is where the stripping usually begins. There are a couple stray dogs snoozing away up there – one in particular does not find Simon’s nudity amusing. While these dogs usually ignore us passing by, this one will bark at Simon ferociously until we are off the bridge.

Leo can also turn him into a bit of a kleptomaniac. One morning we woke up to a traffic cone in our kitchen. The pillows from our condo’s lobby are also frequent victims of this behavior.

Don’t worry – everything gets returned eventually and this phase has mostly passed now. Simon still likes to bring home random gifts while drunk off Leo, but he pays for them honestly now. His newest game is to buy Kristin gifts at 7-11 that he has picked at random while closing his eyes. (Sometimes the gifts are pretty good, too. Sometimes they are ridiculous and cost several hundred baht.)

More Leo stories include falling in a hedge, literally crawling home on all fours, and throwing wet toilet paper at our windows – something we have affectionately named “soggy boggies.”

The Hangover:

It’s brutal. Your mouth stays dry forever. Water starts tasting like syrup. Some symptoms may even linger into a second day. One regrettable Leo hangover occurred on Christmas Day 2014. Simon’s friends were enjoyIng Christmas lunch together, but he locked himself in a toilet stall and sat on the floor for 30 minutes feeling miserable. It was the worst hangover of his life.

Our lovely cone.

The Drink:

Sangria (Oman)

Obviously sangria is not local to Oman, but in a country where alcohol can be scarce and expensive, we were thrilled to find these pitchers at a Mexican restaurant in Muscat. Who knows what exactly was in them – but they were strong.

The Drunk:

The sangria was so sweet, and each glass went down so easily. We didn’t even notice an effect, which is always when you know you’re in trouble. Because eventually it will hit you like a train – and it did.

By the time we left the restaurant, the streets were empty and there wasn’t a taxi to be seen. After stumbling around pathetically for a bit, we found a 19 year old boy from Iran who was willing to drive us back to the other side of the city (endless gratitude to him – he humored us by engaging in our silly drunken conversation with a smile, and he wouldn’t even accept payment).

We immediately climbed in bed and passed out. It should be noted that this bed was not in a hotel room – a friend who is currently living in Oman let us crash in his room while he stayed at his girlfriend’s.

Which makes the next part of the story that much worse.

An hour later, Kristin woke up to find Simon standing at the window. A little confusing, but she assumed he was looking at the moon or stars for some reason – we don’t get many clear night skies back in Bangkok.

Then she heard the telltale sound and realized –

Simon was pissing all over the floor. Not just the floor, but his backpack, and every article of clothing he brought for the trip.

In shock, she raised some protest. This only persuaded him to move on to Kristin’s backpack. That was all the motivation Kristin needed to jump out of bed, basically tackle him, and forcefully drag him to an actual toilet. He was very annoyed – as if Kristin was the unreasonable one in this situation.

The Hangover:

Surprisingly, we suffered no hangovers but plenty of memory loss. Simon remembered absolutely nothing. Kristin had vague memories but thought it was a weird dream – until we realized all of Simon’s clothes were soaking wet and smelling foul. Kristin’s bag was missing but later found all packed up and hidden away where no one could piss on it.

 

Other Escapades:

Vodka and Red Bull in Spain
After a few of these, Simon needed to empty his bladder. Unfortunately, the nearest toilet was through a busy club. Too much hassle! Drunk logic says “It’s okay, just go ahead and piss your pants.” So he did.

Spain made for some great drunk fun.

Whiskey Sours in China
Kristin is excellent at knowing her limit, but she also has a hard time turning down free drinks. One night, she decided that it was time to stop but a couple friends were still in full-on party mode. They kept declaring “just one more, it’s on us.” In return for their generosity, they ended up carrying a sloppy drunk Kristin down the stairs of the pub at the end of the night. She vomited all over them both, while the entire waitstaff watched (along with a few stray customers). She felt okay the next day, but it’s the one and only morning she has woken up embarrassed about the night before.

White Wine in Iceland
We usually do well on white wine. It’s what we drink when we just want one or two on a calm night. But in Iceland a couple bottles had us thinking belly flopping into a pile of snow was a good idea. Luckily, cold weather always makes the hangovers easier to handle.

Here’s to being drunk 🙂 

There’s no denying that a few drinks are always on the agenda when we travel. There’s no better feeling than letting loose at new bars, in new cities, with new people, and enjoying new drinks. Do you find time for a night out when you travel? We’d love to hear your stories!

Are Popular Cuisines Better in Their Home Country?

One of the best (and sometimes strangest) parts of travelling is trying all the different cuisines from around the world.

While you can find Italian, Mexican, or Chinese restaurants in England or America, the actual food served might not live up to what you’d find in these countries. It’s always fun to try your favourite dishes (and some you’ve never heard of) right from their country of origin.

We’ve visited a number of countries with world famous cuisines, and we’d like to recommend some foods to try, some foods to avoid, and, of course, a nice local drink to enjoy with it all.

 

Chinese Cuisine

Give it a try!

Pigeon – Yes, the birds you see eating crap off the floor are a popular food choice in China. The head was still on the plate, but nobody ate that. The rest of the body was edible and surprisingly tasty. Like all meat, a complimentary sauce goes well with it. I thought it tasted similar to chicken. So if you want to be able say you’ve tried something that sounds strange (but tastes familiar), give this a go.

Our serving of delicious pigeon

If you dare…

Chicken Feet – When it comes to this popular dish, there’s just something that doesn’t sit right with me. They taste very fatty and the texture is too strange. I’m giving this one a massive avoid!

If you see this shape, run! 

My missed opportunity

Dog and Donkey – Where we lived (Guangzhou) there was a joke among locals that they would eat anything with legs except a table, anything in the ocean except a boat, and anything with wings except a plane. Yes, the Chinese seem to eat anything. One night after work I turned down an offer to go for dinner to try dog and donkey. Looking back, I still wonder what that would have been like.

Something to drink?

Tsingtao – Grab one of these cheap beers, but not too many. They can cause hangovers that are beyond words – some of the worst I’ve had! But it can be worth it for a drink that’s tasty and affordable.

Similar or different?

Completely different! Prawn crackers didn’t seem to exist and we only saw sweet and sour sauce once in the year we were there.

 

Thai Cuisine

Give it a try!

Noodle Soups – They may look bland and unsatisfying compared to all the curries available, but these soups are delicious. Fill yours up with noodles, herbs, spices, meats, and veggies. Make it as spicy as you want. Add in a little sauce or a squeeze of lime for extra flavor.

If you dare…

Squid – A lot of menus in Thailand will include squid in their meals. Feel free to skip. It’s just rank – very chewy and more effort than it’s worth.

Do not dare! 

Something to drink?

We have a few cheap options to recommend. If you’re out for a long night, grab a bucket of whatever mixed drink you prefer. Buckets are cheap and great to share with a friend or two.

You should also give sangsom, a local whiskey, a try. It’s cheap and goes well with coke. Kristin mixed it with orange juice once, but that was a fail.

Finally, there a couple local beers, like Singha or Chang. Keep in mind that the percentage of alcohol in Chang changes from drink to drink.

Similar or different?

Mostly different! Some dishes are a good representation, but we’ve found the spices and flavors to be stronger in the country.

 

Indian Cuisine

Give it a try!

A Thali Set – This is a full meal with plenty of variety. You get a curry and several side orders alongside rice or naan. Vegetarian meals are common in India, but you can get your thali set with meat if you prefer. You can also tell the cook how spicy you want it.

If you dare…

Honestly, there wasn’t anything in India we disliked. Everything was delicious, whether we were in a fancy restaurant or somewhere cheaper. By the end of our trip, we had grown a bit tired of curry (and our stomachs didn’t always feel great), but there is nothing we’d tell you to avoid.

Indian flavours made the stomach hurt but we loved them.

Something to drink?

Kingfisher – This is one of India’s best local beers, brewed in Bangalore. It’s reasonably priced and very refreshing when served cold. In a country where alcohol didn’t seem too popular, many places would still serve a cold Kingfisher.

Similar or different?

The same! All the food reminded us of Indian food back home.

 

Mexican Cuisine

Give it a try!

Guacamole – This world famous dish, created back in the Aztec age, is still popular today. Made from fresh, local avocados, no one does this dip better. It went well with every meal.

If you dare…

The spicy salsa – The waiters put down two salsas and warn that one is a little spicy, while the other is extremely spicy. Kristin got the two mixed up, and it was a terrifying moment that took some time to recover from.

Something to drink?

Margarita – Yes, please! We love ordering margaritas no matter where we are in the world, so of course margaritas would make the top of our list in Mexico. Served frozen or on the rocks, be sure to try the different flavors. Some include passionfruit and mango.

Similar or different?

There were some differences, and things definitely got a lot spicier.

 

Italian Cuisine

Give it a try!

Pasta alla Norma – This famous Sicilian pasta is a favourite of Kristin’s, and one she still talks about years later. It has simple ingredients – eggplant, tomato sauce, and ricotta, but there was something about it that made it so much richer and more satisfying than any Italian food from back home.

If you dare…

Octopus – We’d watch out for this seafood ending up in your meal. Maybe we just have something against ocean-dwelling animals with many tentacles.

Something to drink?

Bellini – Definitely try this famous Italian cocktail. It’s made from sparkling wine and a peach additive. You can find it throughout the country, but it first gained fame in Venice.

Similar or different?

The dishes might seem the same at first glance, but something about their ingredients are just better.

 

Icelandic Cuisine

Give it a try!

Reindeer Soup – This is one of the most popular dishes in Iceland. We even found a couple restaurants in Reykjavik that only had two items in the menu – Reindeer soup and a vegetarian alternative. Around Christmas time, some say the locals are willing to queue for hours for a serving in a warm bread bowl.

If you dare…

Fermented Shark – Hands down the worst thing I’ve ever tasted. It was horrible, sickly, vile, and a million other disgusting adjectives. It wasn’t at all what I expected. It was served in a jar, cut into six small cubes. Biting into the first piece was like biting into something that had been pulled right out of the ocean and thrown into a pile of salt. One was enough.

Horrendous!

Something to drink?

Brennivin – Brennivin is an unsweetened snapps that is best downed as a shot. It’s considered a special occasion drink amongst locals. It has a similar taste to vodka. You definitely need to try a shot. After all, isn’t being on a holiday a special occasion for us?

Similar or different?

Unknown. We’ve never tried (or seen) any Scandinavian restaurants outside of Iceland.

 

Based on our personal tastes we have found way more foods that we like than dislike in all the above countries. Be sure to get out there and try some yourself.

Is there something we’ve recommended that you hated? Or maybe you’re loving squid, octopus, or chicken feet? Let us know your experiences and opinions!

A Southeast Asia Nightlife Guide

Southeast Asia has become one of the globe’s most popular travel destinations, and we can see why.

With unbelievably low prices, even the traveler with the tightest budget can do well here. It also offers something unique for those accustomed to the west – truly foreign foods, cultures, and traditions that will surely open your mind to the many ways people around the world live life.

Finally, if you are looking for fun nights out, Southeast Asia knows how to deliver, on the cheap, with plenty of variety and a touch of madness. Get ready for a crazy night!

Lets get the party started! 

From the 7 countries we’ve traveled around Southeast Asia, here’s what we’d recommend.

Thailand

Bangkok 

Southeast Asia’s central hub offers endless nightlife opportunities, ranging from booming clubs to laid back hole-in-the-wall bars . The city is all hustle and bustle with very affordable drinks.

The most popular tourist hot spots include Khao San Road and Sukhumvit Soi 11, but we’d recommend getting off the beaten path – there’s so much more see! We often find ourselves on Sukhumvit Soi 22. Ce La Vi is a new, fun night club, and there are also old favorites like Onyx, RCA and Demo.

You can also just enjoy the various local bars, easily found in Sukhumvit. Some cheap bars are even set up in stands on the street. Sukhumvit is the center and offers endless opportunities. Check out this Sukhumvit bar crawl. 

The South of Thailand

Tourists flock to the south of Thailand in the masses. Because of this, the islands often have a bad reputation. We encourage you to give this beautiful part of the country a chance – the beaches are perfection and nightlife is always buzzing.

While all islands and southern places seem to offer something a few areas wed certainly recommend are, Koh Phi Phi, Patong Beach in Phuket, Chaweng in Koh Samui and Lonely Beach on Koh Chang. Don’t worry though it’s hard not to find nightlife in the south and for the whole of Thailand to be honest, you won’t be stuck for choice.

Cheers to Southeast Asia.

Myanmar

It’s a bit trickier to find the party spots of Myanmar, but it isn’t hopeless.

The nightlife exists, it’s just a bit more subtle. In Yangon, you can have a good bar crawl near Chinatown on 19th street.

There’s nightlife to be found in Yangon.

We found some great places, including Inya Bar, Cask 81, and TG Bar. Don’t forget Happy KTV if you’re in the mood to sing a song or two!

Keep your tab manageable by ordering Myanmar’s own brewed beer and their brilliant Mandalay rum. But beware that you might find yourself paying for your night in a different way – with a hangover from hell in the morning.

Other areas of Myanmar are more causal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice meal around Inle Lake and a bottle of wine on the breathtaking Ngwe Saung Beach when the stars come out.

Cambodia

In Cambodia, you can jump back into a lively nightlife scene.

We think the best place to start is Pub Street in Siem Reap. It’s easy to see why it has developed a bit of a name for itself amongst tourists. It’s full of bars, dance spots, cocktail bars and restaurants with happy hour drink prices going as low as 1USD or less. Best of all, it stays open until 3 every morning.

Stumble down the brilliant pub street. 

Another must is Sihanoukville. After a day at one of the stunning surrounding islands, head down to Serendipity and Occheuteal beaches in the main town where there’s a great range of dance bars, chill out bars, and anything inbetween. It is also becoming a popular location for full moon parties.

Singapore

Singapore is bit pricey compared to the rest of Southeast Asia, and it attracts a lot of young professionals with money to spare – but that doesn’t mean it can’t offer a great night out for a budget traveler.

You can actually find a few good deals at many of the bars and restaurants around Clarke Quey, or embrace the student vibe (and pricing) on Orchard Street.

The best part of Singapore is its stunning skyline – it looks breathtaking at night. Why not blend the views with the nightlife and head to one of the many sky clubs and sky bars around the Marina Bay and the rest of the city?

Some we’d recommend are its first skybar Loof, the famous Ce La Vi chain, New Asia Bar, 1-Altitute and the incredible Supertree, which can be found at the colorful and unique Gardens by the Bay.

Singapore by night is stunning! 

Malaysia

Malaysia is a fairly conservative country, and we had our biggest struggle finding a good bar or club here.

That said, one place we would recommend is Langkawi. This little island is home to some stunning beaches, and when the sun goes down, you can grab a drink and relax by the shore. After the sun sets, you’ll be able to find many booming bars on the island.

Grab a drink by the shore. 

Laos

To be honest, we hated Laos.

Especially the South, where decent nightlife spots are slim pickings. But we do have one recommendation, and that’s Vang Vieng. It’s famous for its tubing, which is a lot of fun. Take a break to grab a beer at one of the many bars on the river, then you can hop back on your rubber dingy and head to the next one. It makes for a great day – we’d never experienced a floating bar crawl.

For safety reasons, it might not get as crazy as it had in past years, but honestly we can’t help but think the new safety precautions are a good thing.

Vang Vieng is the best spot we could find. 

Vietnam

Vietnam is crazy!

It’s crazy in every way – its roads, its pace of life, and, of course, its nightlife.

We loved it, and we especially had a great time in Hanoi. The city center is like a maze at the best of times, and this seems to also be the case on a bar crawl. You’ll find endless streets that suddenly turned themselves in bars as soon as the sun disappeared, just by placing some chairs and stools around.

Our best recommendation is just to head to the Old Quarter and see what you find. But be warned, everything shuts down at 2am. Don’t start your night too late!

Hanoi was great fun. 

Another great Vietnam party hotspot is Nha Trang. Its long stretches of beaches and bars make it a popular stop off point for travelers heading up or down the country.

A couple places we’d recommend are Zima Nightclub and the Rabbit Hole Bar.

We hope you enjoy the nightlife as much as us. 

We’ve only touched on a few areas in each of these countries. There are endless nightlife options in the places we’ve not been to yet, or even in the cities we know well. Living in Southeast Asia for the next year will hopefully give us a chance to explore even more destinations with new places for a great night out.

What would you recommend for us?

A Nightlife Guide for the United Kingdom

Living in the United Kingdom, there were many reasons I was eager to pack my bags and start traveling the world.  There weren’t many jobs available at home, the cost of living was high, and the weather wasn’t great either. But there is one thing we do have going for us – bustling cities and towns that have some of the most buzzing nightlife spots that you can experience.

If you are traveling in the UK, and you’re looking for a good night out, you are in luck.

Below are some of our best recommendations of where to visit for a night out – based only on where we’ve been. Great Britain’s party culture is widespread, so there are many more options beyond even these.

NEWCASTLE

Our top choice for a night out in the UK is definitely Newcastle. You’ll find friendly people, a positive atmosphere, and a variety of settings from traditional pubs to wild clubs and everything in between.

If you’re trying to go out on the cheap, this city is known for affordable trebles, and it only takes two or three to get a buzz going.

We’d also suggest trying a few of Newcastle’s endless clubs. We’ve enjoyed a few dances at Digital, Tup Tup Palace, Floritas and Madame Koo.

If you’re looking for a different atmosphere, head down to Quayside for a range of brewed ales. Join the Toon Army and enjoy an epic Northern England night.

GLASGOW  

Heading further north, across the border into Scotland, we’d recommend a night in Glasgow. I have been drawn back to this city many times – especially for a glass or several of Buckfast tonic wine. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and I’ve never seen it anywhere else.

Like Newcastle, Glasgow has endless bars and nightclubs ranging from basement clubs to converted churches. You won’t struggle to stay entertained.

Our recommendations include Glasgow’s famous underground club, Sub Club, The Teuchter’s Triangle, which is a trio of lively pubs, The Glad Café and O2 ABC.

MANCHESTER

I’ve only been to Manchester twice, but it certainly made an impression. It’s one of the largest cities in the United Kingdom, and it boasts a wide range of nightclubs and bars.

Manchester is well known for its live music scene. If you’re planning a visit, check to see if any good bands have a show that night. The music typically falls into genres such as rock, indie and alternative. Some bars to check out for a good show: Soup Kitchen, Band on the Wall, The Ruby Lounge and Dry Bar.

If you’re not looking for live music, head to the Northern Quarter. It has a large concentration of bars and nightclubs. Some include the famous Sankeys, Sound Control and the newly opened Hidden.

LEEDS

Leeds is another major player in British nightlife. We’d recommend exploring Briggate, a cobbled street filled with traditional pubs, including Whitelocks, which is around 300 years old. We’d also suggest Leeds’ version of the famous Tiger Tiger nightclub. Finally, if you want to turn nightlife into day life, check out the famous Otley-run pub crawl.

HULL 

We’ll admit, it’s not typical to see Hull at the top of a must-see lists – but when it comes to night out, Hull has a lot to offer. It is a university town, after all. And university towns will always include plenty of cheap places to drink and party.

You’ll find great bars, clubs, casinos – whatever your searching for during your night out. We suggest going for all three!

The two main clubs in the city center are Club Valbon (formerly Position) and Sugar Mill. Both offer some incredible drinks deals. Club Valbon is usually busy on Thursdays and Saturdays, and Sugar Mill draws the best crowds on the weekends and a Monday night.

Another nightclub I would absolutely recommend is Welly, just out the city. It’s not your typical scene, as it leans more toward an indie rock atmosphere. But be warned: the hangovers you’ll get from this place are practically a disease.

Getting ready for a Hull night in my university days. 

DONCASTER   

Of course, I’m also going to talk a little about my own hometown. If you’re ever unfortunate enough to stumble upon Doncaster by mistake, its only redeeming quality is its nightlife. Nearly all the bars can be found on Silver Street. If you’re feeling a little random and adventurous, check out the Mallard Pub in Cusworth – it used to be my regular watering hole.

Too cool for school on a night in the hometown. 

The United Kingdom boasts a great nightlife scene that few countries can rival. The above recommendations don’t even scratch the surface. If you have a bit of money to spend, London definitely has some gems, and you won’t regret stopping by Bristol, Southampton, Liverpool, or Cardiff – the options are endless.

What are your recommendations in the UK? Did we miss your favorite city or favorite pub? We’d love to hear from you.       

Surviving Hangover Hell When Travelling

We like to think that we are not the typical sightseeing tourists.

Sure, we love to see famous landmarks and snap a few pictures. We would never skip these hotspots, but they aren’t the be all and end all of our travels.

One of our favorite things to do in a new city is explore the nightlife. There’s usually no better way to meet and laugh with locals and fellow travelers. A few drinks will help those conversations go beyond the typical small talk. Some of our most memorable, surreal traveling moments have been thanks to a night out.

Of course, this typically ends with us getting a little inebriated, and the next morning (or day) can be rough because of it.

Some nights end a little messy 😉

We have yet to discover an instant cure for a hangover. (If you have, please send it our way!)

But we do have a few tips to make those travel hangovers as tolerable as possible.

Don’t worry if a day gets wasted.

A good night out usually requires a slow, easy day afterward. Don’t force yourself out of bed the next day to go sightseeing. Plan to explore on other days, but also make room for a lazy, relaxing day at the hotel when you can recharge. This balance is key to an enjoyable trip.

Don’t get drunk the night before a day of transport.

Just like you won’t want to be sightseeing, you definitely won’t want to be on a plane, train, or boat. Can you really be dealing with an all day flight via layover with a saw head? Can you really be dealing with rickshaws, ferrys, buses, taxis and planes in one day after not sleeping and leaving straight from a full moon party? Can you deal with a 10 hour mini bus ride after a night out? The answer is never! Be careful when you plan your travel.

Air conditioning helps.

While cold countries seem to cure a hangover easily, hot temperatures will make them much worse. You’re hungover due to dehydration, and the sun won’t do you any favors. Make sure your hotel has decent air conditioning, and lock yourself away in your cool room.

Have a food plan.

The food you choose can make or break your hangover day. Surely, at home, you know exactly what to eat when you’re in a state. Unfortunately, when you are in an unfamiliar country, your favorites will be harder to track down. Worst case scenario, the closest food vendors to your hotel might only serve spicy curry or scorpions. It’s worth putting some thought into this before your night out.

Get water!

Water is the number one thing you’ll need during a hangover. But most tap water isn’t safe to drink abroad, so make sure you’ve stocked up enough for the next day. Trust us, you won’t want to do a water run when you wake up. We’ve developed strong water instincts since travelling. Our drunk selves may not seem like the most responsible people, but we absolutely never forget to buy endless water for the next day. It really helps!

Dont forget to stock up on water.

Get late check out.

The typical 10am, 11am or 12 midday check out times are the bane of travel life. If you’re not travelling onward right away it’s unpleasant. If you’re hungover it’s a disaster. Just pay to extend the room if you don’t need to move on until late afternoon or evening; it’s the only answer.

Get in the pool or go to the beach.

This is the closest we’ve found to a true hangover cure: get in a pool or head to the beach. A sweaty, noisy city brings out hangovers from hell. A quiet beach is miraculous. Maybe this means that bad hangovers are mostly mental.

It’s the best cure we’ve found so far.

Go to the bar.

For some reason, we rarely take this advice from friends who swear by it, but when we have, it has worked! A small amount of alcohol balances everything back out – just don’t overdo it or you’ll be right back where you started soon enough.

Beware of India.

We’re writing this post from India, and while we love the chaos and unpredictability around us in the big cities, they haven’t been great for a hangover. It’s unbelievably hot, it’s crowded, it’s noisy, and everyone seems to be moving at 5,000 miles an hour. The hustle and bustle is not what you need when feeling delicate. That said, the night before will be one heck of an experience and very worth it.

This is not what you need hungover! 

Hangovers are usually the result of a great night – a night that will never be forgotten. However an epic night can lead to an epic hangover. Tread carefully and don’t give youself unessesary pain. We hope our tips will help!

We would love to hear your travel hangover from hell stories. Leave your best ones below!

Songkran Festival – Where to Celebrate and What to Know

Once a year, Thai streets fill with happy party goers holding water guns, hoses and buckets. It’s Songkran, and it’s right around the corner. Are you ready for a massive water fight? We’ll help you prepare.

What is it?

Songkran is Thailand’s New Year festival. The new year begins on the 13th of April every year, with the festival usually lasting from the 13th – 15th April, if not longer. Thailand’s Songkran festival ties in with many lunar new year festivals and holidays being celebrated across Asia in countries such as Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Sri Lanka and parts of India.

Traditionally the celebrations center around a water festival. Everyone, young and old, gathers in the streets with their families and engages in water fights and street parties. The water is used to clear away the misfortunes of the old year and signify a fresh start to the new one.

Where should you celebrate in Thailand?

Bangkok – While most of the city vanishes to their hometowns, Bangkok becomes pleasantly quiet for the period. Even so, there is no shortage of places to gather and have a splashing time. RCA has a stage and arena set up for an all-night party. Khao San Road is usually bustling with locals and backpackers, while Silom Road (Patpong) closes for traffic and fills with celebrations. Many locals will take to smaller sois while various hotels and residences offer tickets for Songkran pool parties.

Join the party on Silom Road

Chiang Mai – The party is centered around Tha Pae Gate. You’ll find stages, music, plenty of water, and crowds of party goers. There are also many street stores, so you’ll never run out of food, water, water guns and beer.

The Southern Towns and Islands – Wherever you choose down south, there will be some sort of Songkran celebration going on. Two popular islands include Koh Samui around Chaweng Beach and Phuket around Patong Beach. Other beach areas we’d recommend are Ao Nang and Krabi. Wherever you end up, you’ll find plenty of party opportunities by the beach.

Where can you celebrate around the world?

Not in Thailand this year? There are a number of other Asian countries that embrace the Thai New Year festivities and water parties, although they’ll tend to have a more traditional approach. You can find celebrations all over Laos, but specifically in Vientiane. Other places include Siem Reap in Cambodia, Yangon in Myanmar and parts of China.

Songkran lovers celebrating in China.

What should you know?

Clothes – It’s true that Thailand is scorching hot this time of year, and Songkran is a water fight, but keep in mind that Thailand and many Asian countries are conservative Buddhist countries. Depending on where you are celebrating, your clothes should be respectful. Take note of what everyone else is wearing – especially the locals.

Nighttime – Want to party all night? You’ll need to find the right place. Festivals on the streets shut down quickly when darkness falls. Designated party zones usually keep going until the early hours of the morning. If you find yourself in a place that seems to be winding down, you’ll need to be flexible. Find a street or party that’s still hopping, and don’t continue to soak people who are ready to call it a night.

You can’t stay dry – It’s just impossible! If you don’t like the idea of getting splashed, Songkran isn’t the festival for you. Even a quick walk to the store will result in someone throwing a bucket of water on you. If you dare to look annoyed by this, three more buckets will take aim. Smile and enjoy yourself!


You won’t know what to expect – Sometimes the water is freezing. You might even notice some ice cubes in the mix. Sometimes the water will feel like warm bath water. Some water has soap in it, so you’ll want to avoid getting it in your eyes or mouth. You just don’t know what’s coming until you’ve been splashed!

Motorbikes and Scooters – The most common time for motorbike accidents and traffic fatalities in Thailand is Songkran. If you decide to drive a bike during the water festival, stay alert and move slowly. Water will be thrown at you as you drive, and the roads will be slippery with soap.

Protect your valuables – It’s easy to find waterproof phone cases during Songkran. Buy one; you’ll need it.

Think before you splash – Be thoughtful and don’t throw water over monks, babies or the elderly.


Got a funny story from Songkran? What did you like? What did you hate? Let us know.

Finding the Party in Guangzhou, China

Guangzhou is a strange place.

It’s bustling in the daytime, but when nighttime falls the streets clear and the city empties. It’s peaceful, or maybe even eerie. As one of the top 3 largest cities in China, this wasn’t exactly what we were expecting.

Sometimes, as we walked home from a night out, we could imagine the odd tumbleweed whistling over the empty roads.

It might not have been this extreme in every area of the city, but one of our first impressions on arrival was that there seemed to be a lack of nightlife.

While there were bars more catered for dining, pub quizzes and the 11pm finishers, there didn’t seem to be the late-night parties. The bars we found at first were okay, but we like a late finish after a week at work (or, really, any time we can fit it in), and nowhere was providing that for us.

So we became determined to seek out these party places – and we found some gems.

If you ever find yourself in Guangzhou, wanting to get away from the typical western pub, here’s our top recommendations:

KTV

KTV is everywhere here! If you have a group of friends ready for a good night, you can rent a private room, buy some booze, order a ton of local food, and sing the night away. Most KTVs will let your crowd stay until about 5am.

The English playlists are fantastic, ranging through all the classics in every genre. No matter where your music tastes go, you’ll find something you’ll love.

But don’t think you can’t meet new people and socialize on a KTV night. I have found myself drunkenly exploring the mazy corridors, finding some rooms full of locals, and being welcomed in to sing with them and have a bounce around.

Some we’d recommend:

Music Box (堂会) – 1-3/F, Tianhe Hui Plaza, 160, Tianhe Zhi Jie, Tianhe District, Guangzhou.

Party World (钱柜) – SinoPec Building, 191 Tiyu Xi Lu, Tianhe District, Guangzhou

Top KTV (星派对) – Junhui Building, Tiyu Xi Rd, in Guangzhou

Sing the night away at KTV. 

Nova

In quiet Zhujiang New Town, you’d think a bouncing nightclub would stick out like a sore thumb. It doesn’t. Nova is relatively hidden, but it’s well worth the find.

It’s popular with the locals, and being a foreigner in this place will make you stand out. That shouldn’t put you off. The music is great and you’ll easily get a buzz from the local liquor, Baijiu, which is pretty much all they serve.

Zhujiang New town has a lot of bars suited for pre-drinks, such as The Brew, The Tavern, and Gails – but it’s harder to find somewhere close by to finish the night. Make this your place.

Address: 1/F, Jin Bin Teng Yue Building, No.49 Huaxia Road, Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe

Address in Chinese: 天河区华夏路49号津滨腾越大厦1楼

Feeling

Feelings, now known as BePotatoes, is a must if you want an extremely cheap night. Some of their promotions seem too good to be true. One Friday they were giving unlimited free beer until 11 – no catch!  Most nights their (already very cheap) drinks were half price.

Found right near the South China Normal University, it’s a popular student choice. We can see why. Amongst our search we never found anywhere else this cheap, and we tried.

Keep in mind, a Long Island iced tea might come out bright blue, but that was really just part of the fun. You never know what you’re going to get, but you’ll get it without a dent to your bank account.

Sometimes with a side of hilarious karaoke – with a free bottle of vodka for the most popular singer, typically shared with the crowd.

Tsingtao is the cheapest beer you will find in there, but beware the hangover is like no other.

Address: Shop 207, Shangde Mansion, 141 Wushan Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou (Metro Line 3 South China Normal University, exit C)

Address in Chinese: 广州天河区五山路141号尚德大厦207(地铁站华师站C出口麦当劳楼上)

Tsingtao is lethal 🙂

Perrys

Perry’s is a chain in China, and there are a couple in Guangzhou. It’s another place often filled with university students, but in an expensive drinking city this is sometimes welcome.

What should you expect? A dark dingy room with an unexpected charm, blaring loud music, and crowds of people at every table. You’ll notice most people playing an addicting dice game similar to Bullshit. If you want to play, a table of locals will be happy to show you how and play a few rounds with you.

 Address: 3/F, Zhong Yi City Garden, No.21 Linle Road, Tianhe District, Guangzhou

Address in Chinese: 天河区 林乐路中怡城市花园3楼

After a cheap night at Perrys

 Party Pier

Party Pier is Guangzhou’s most well-known entertainment destination, balancing well between a crazy party and a space for art and creativity. It’s another good ending spot for your night. You can tell your taxi driver “Take me to the party!” and you’ll end up here. Wave Nightclub is among its most popular spots, but there are a number of different places to choose from.

Address: Zhujiang Party Pier, Yue Jiang Xi Lu, Haizhu District (Exit at Modiesha Tunnel)

Address in Chinese: 阅江西路珠江琶醍啤酒文化创意园

 Huanshi Dong Lu

There are many fun bars in Huanshi Dong Lu (near Taojin subway station). While this is often promoted to be a heavily western area, we typically went during the week and rarely saw other foreigners around.

You can almost always find a good buy-one-get-one-free deal at one of the bars.

A couple we’d recommend include:

The Cave Bar: China, Guangdong Sheng, Guangzhou Shi, Yuexiu Qu, HuanShi DongLu YanXian, Huanshi E Rd, 360 510060. Address in Chinese: 环市东路360号珠江大厦地下

The Gypsy King Bar: Basement of West Tower, Zhujiang Building, No.360 Huanshi Dong Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou Address in Chinese: 环市东路360号珠江大厦西座地下

Some Random Bar by the River

Unfortunately, that’s all we can even remember for this one!

But we know you’ll be able to find your own unnamed random bar by the river (or park, or temple, or shopping mall) if you give this city a chance, dig under its quiet exterior, and really look.

The point is that there are some hidden gems and brilliant party spots in a city that might not give that vibe on arrival. Don’t just settle for the first Irish pub you find. Get out there and explore.

Our time in Guangzhou taught us something valuable for future travel. We like a party, and wherever we are, we can find one – and we will!

If you find any more hidden beauties in Guangzhou, let us know below.