Singapore is a perfect base to travel around South East Asia. With so many exciting locales just a couple of hours away (by plane, that is), it’s possible to party all week long, should you have the stamina. Here is my guide to the art of the 7-day weekend:
Friday – Volar, Hong Kong
Thursday might be the new Friday, but Friday is the original Friday, so I’m starting there. Friday nights at Volar are all about house music, and they regularly host international acts – Jamie Jones, Dennis Ferrer, Art Department, and more have graced the decks. Volar’s late license means the party doesn’t stop until the early hours of the morning. Hungry for more? Check out Oma, a great after hours spot. But to be honest, you should probably be getting ready to take your flight to Singapore.
Saturday – Kilo Lounge, Singapore
After you’ve had some down time at one of Singapore’s many rooftop bars, Kilo Lounge is where you need to be.
Having fast established itself as one of Singapore hottest clubs, its no guest list and no dress code policy sets it apart from the other clubs by maintaining a degree of equality among its guests. If you want to make sure you can get past the door, you damn well have to turn up early. Another big plus point about Kilo is the fact that most of its parties are driven not by international acts, but by local talent.
Sunday – W Retreat & Spa, Bali, Indonesia
You should aim to get into Bali in time to catch the sunset, and there’s no better place to admire the glorious rays than W Hotel.
Boasting some of the best international DJs who have toured Asia and a strong roster of locally based talents – all curated by Music Director Damian Saint, former Ministry of Sound resident – the W’s Sunday sessions make the venue a must-go on Sunday evenings. Do yourself a favour and book a room there. You won’t regret it; the soundproofing is superb.
Monday – Anywhere in the Gili Islands
Frankly, only Gili Trawangan has any form of nightlife, so head there to continue the journey. They party every other night in Gili, so you have a 50/50 chance of hitting it. That said there is always one bar that seems to attract the island’s hedonist set. Enjoy the ‘back to basics’ feel of the place, and make some new friends to talk nonsense with on a pagoda on the beach as the sun comes up.
Tuesday – Pirates Bar, Koh Phangan, Thailand
The name is the main reason I like this place. Because, let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be a pirate? It’s a little out of the way of the main drag, but nothing is that far from anything on Koh Phangan, and it’s worth the trip. The island used to be almost entirely filled with places playing jungle and dubstep, but in the last few years, things have been turning towards house and techno. Pirates Bar is one of the places that have made the (welcomed) change.
Wednesday – Glow, Bangkok, Thailand
We’re back in an urban environment for Family Wednesdays at Glow, one of Asia’s best underground clubs. With a strictly underground music policy, the scene is predominantly driven by locally based heavy hitters such at Sunju Hargun, Kimball Collins, and Dan Buri (though they do occasionally book international acts). Located off Sukhumvit Soi 23, the club itself is very unassuming, but inside, you’ll find some of the most cutting edge house and techno, and a crowd who appreciates it.
Thursday – Zouk, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
KL is one of South East Asia’s unsung heros. Like Singapore, there has been a huge explosion of interesting parties and venues over the last three years. Newly relocated at a cost of over RM38 million, Zouk KL is a vast labyrinth of pulsating lights and flashing beats. Boasting 11 different rooms, there is something for everyone. My personal favourite, though, is Apex, which is helmed by the same man who was in charge of the old Zouk’s after-hours room, Aristo. Zouk KL is a class act, and one is Asia’s stand out clubs.
Now get some sleep, you dirty stop-out!