Posts Tagged ‘Nightlife’

Keeping the Drinks Flowing in Brasil’s Nightclubs


One of my greatest pleasures of traveling comes from picking up nuances from each culture that just seem to make sense. I imagine picking a sort of “all star team” of ideas from each country to create a utopian society, which exists, of course, only in my head.

However, one of the tidbits I’d take home from Brazil would be how their nightclubs keep you hydrated (or, if you actually want to be scientific about it, dehydrated). When you first enter, you hand your ID to a clerk who inputs your information into their database and proceeds to hand you a card, as shown below, that resembles a credit card. Each time you order a drink at the bar, you hand the bartender your card, which he or she scans, and returns it to you. At the end of the night, you bring your card to a cashier, who calls up the record of each of your drink (or food) orders, including any applicable cover charge, and, upon receiving payment, gives you a receipt that you can hand to the bouncer to leave the club.

This drove me mad at first. I thought it was so stupid to actually have people queue up to leave a club. But after a few more visits, realizing how much more quickly bartenders (who do not earn tips, by the way) can serve patrons without having to worry about handling cash and credit card slips, I changed my mind. In the States, it would be unthinkable to be at a popular club on Saturday night without having to wait at least a few minutes for a drink, but the same clubs in Brazil get your glass from empty to full in 30 seconds or less, or so it seems. And while having to line up to leave the club at 5am may not seem like an ideal situation for someone who’s had too much to drink and can’t wait to get home, the fact that they have to wait a few extra minutes to make that decision of exactly how they will get home is not necessarily a bad thing.

So please, give me my card and keep the saquerinhas coming!

I should mention that a similar system is commonly used at bakeries and small supermarkets, although I’ve yet to see the real value it adds in those places.

You won't want to mess with this guy...

You won’t want to mess with this guy…

He'll only let you out once you pay!

He’ll only let you out once you pay!


IDthailand: Full Moon Party



Nearly thirty years ago, a group of 15 or 20 visitors to a little-known Thai beach threw a little party to celebrate the beauty of the evening’s full moon. Today, anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 people flock to Haad Rin, a little beach on the island of Ko Pha Ngan, to do the same—every time there is a full moon.

With the beach already buzzing full of people and small lamps, the party officially begins at dusk, when the golden moon rises over the white sands of Haad Rin. Over the next several hours, until the sun rises again, the beach turns into an all-out dance floor, as the DJ lineup switches things up from trance, to techno, to drum-and-bass, to reggae, to pop—pretty much any and everything to keep the crowd moving. Some will take a break to eat (there are beach vendors selling all kinds of yummy foods), perhaps take a dip into the warm Gulf of Thailand, or even shoot some of the impromptu fireworks you are bound to see.

All you’ve heard about conservative Thai culture doesn’t apply here—and that’s not surprising considering that very few partygoers are actually Thai. Pretty much anything goes, although police have made an effort in recent years to curb some of the rampant drug use that the party had become known for.

But while you have to keep your wits about you—Thai drug laws are strict (or, more likely, you’ll be expected to pay a hefty bribe) and the parties are often marred with petty theft—the Full Moon party is truly something to experience, unlike anything you’ve seen before or will likely see again.

SKK_1230 SKK_1373 SKK_1181 SKK_1300

Just a Ride Home, or Part of the Night’s Fun?


London Tube

It’s 12:30am and the Tube is closed…Night bus time!

London’s Tube closes nightly around 12:30am. Just after midnight you’ll hear all of the Last Tubers saying their goodbyes and referencing their need to catch the last train. But if you aren’t ready to leave yet, and don’t want to spring for London’s pricey black cabs, fret not. Just walk over to Trafalgar Square, and chances are that there’s a night bus going your direction.

As to be expected with one of the most develop public transportation systems in the world, London’s works around the clock, with about 100 lines operating overnight. And I’d argue that you haven’t really experienced a night out in London without sitting upstairs on a double-decker bus with all of the characters heading out of Central in the wee hours of the morning. If a university near you ever offered a “drunk bus” to take you home from a night at campus parties (at my university it was known as “P2P Shuttle”), then this is akin to the grown-up version of that.

London Night Bus

Night bus memories tend to be blurry

Of course, you can experience it the other way as well, if you’re an early riser. As most Tube services don’t start until 5:30 or 6, if you have an early call time at work or an early flight out of Heathrow, you may be able to enjoy the last of the previous night’s entertainers on the way to start your day…

London Nightbus

IDkusadasi: Wild Nights in Turkey


You surely known the usual suspects like Ibiza and Mykonos by now, but let the record show that Kusadasi, along the Mediterranean Coast in Southwest Turkey, boasts one of the most vibrant nightlife offerings in the world.

Kusadasi's Location in Turkey

Kusadasi’s Location in Turkey

Kusadasi LocationWhen two of the most popular nightlife spots are called Barlar Sokagi (“The Street of Bars”) and Asagi Barlar Sokagi (“The Lower Street of Bars”), you know you’re in for a memorable time (or perhaps you’ll remember nothing, and not because you were bored). The countless options, ranging from Irish bars to stone houses-turned-clubs, are packed year round, and feature internationally-renowned DJ’s during the summer peak season.

The video below offers a quick glimpse into a stroll down The Street of Bars. Enjoy!

Clubbing in Germany: Until Noon, Anyone?


Club Night in Mainz

Club Night in Mainz

Given the surface level appearance of the typical German, the last thing I expected to encounter here was a world-class club scene. Yet it doesn’t take long to realize that this country is much more than massive festival halls and beer gardens. Berlin has gained notoriety around the globe for its until-the-next-day brand of clubbing, while Hamburg and Munich have a thriving scene as well.

The legal age limit for clubbing here is 18, but many clubs allow 16 or 17 year olds in until midnight. This of course extends beyond midnight in many places where enforcement is minimal, but the top clubs in major cities typically have pretty strict ID checks.

In general, though, you should come with an open mind and open eyelids, because the clubs here—which range from office towers to converted power stations—often stay open until noon. So none of this “wee hours of the morning” stuff—here, they go hard until the next day. And while techno and dubstep still rule the scene, the variety of clubs have grown with their popularity, so whatever you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find. Ask around, as the hottest spots are always changing.

Grand Opening in Munich

Grand Opening in Munich

All Night in Berlin

All Night in Berlin

Heidelburg in on the Action

Heidelburg in on the Action



Plastic Cup Special: Drinking After Midnight


You’re all excited for your big night out in Sydney. You put on your favorite t-shirt, check your hair in the mirror, and cab it down to King’s Cross for an epic Saturday night. You beat the queue, march up to the bar and order your drink, only to be handed…a plastic cup? What kind of place is this?

You see, it has just passed midnight, and the Australian government has made it compulsory for pubs to serve alcohol in plastic cups after that hour. Why? With something in the neighborhood of 1,000 “glassings” (an attack using glass as a weapon) each year, drunken, John Wayne Western-style violence has become a black cloud over the country’s social scene. 

Australia is attempting to make it harder for John Wayne impersonators after midnight

As the majority of these attacks have occurred between midnight and 3am, the government is hoping to play its part in eliminating these attacks. Much like the gun-law debate in America, however, there is much contention over whether taking away one weapon will eliminate the violence, or if another approach should be considered.

For now, though, you fine wine connoisseurs may want to enjoy that expensive bottle before midnight, because it all may taste the same in red plastic cup!