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Bad value tours from Australia
I guess it was always going to happen and now that it has it is no surprise that it is an Australian company Thirsty Swagman that offers beer drinking tours of South East Asia. The tour takes in Sentosa Island in Singapore as well as Clarke Quay. Then it’s off to Thailand – Songkran festival and all the water fights in Patong Beach in Phuket or Rock City in Phuket followed by a day trip to beach bars on the exclusive Naka Island in the Phuket area. And that’s it. The cost is from $1,000. For a start Singapore and Thailand does not cover much of Asia, but I will focus on Thailand in this article.
It’s dubbed the Asia Annihilator Pub Tour. The official literature is unashamed in claiming that there will be no boring sightseeing. It doesn’t seem like much of a tour to me, nor does it seem particularly good value for money. Experiencing Songkran is something special but only the April tour can deliver this.
The nightlife of Patong in Phuket is definitely lively, if not sordid, but it hardly seems worth traveling all the way to Thailand to hear average bands do rock song covers. Naka Island has beautiful beaches but so does Koh Tao, Koh Phangan, Koh Chang, Koh Samui, Krabi and too many other places in Thailand to mention. It is obviously that Naka is near Phuket that it was chosen, and also that a private speed boat charter while cheap in Thailand still never fails to impress.
This tour misses out some great night life highlights of Thailand. It doesn’t cover many bars, and traveling in Thailand independently is easy and cheap anyway. There is really nothing to be scared of. Thailand is probably one of the easiest countries to travel around by yourself whether you are a man or a woman.
My biggest gripe with this pub tour is that it doesn’t actually take in the best parties in Thailand. It certainly is not ‘the biggest pub tour in Asia’. I counted just a handful of people on their youtube videos. And the biggest pub/bar in Thailand is Chaweng Lake View (which it doesn’t go to). Here is what I think are blaring omissions in the itinerary of the ‘Asia Annihilator Pub Tour’ that could be covered by the $1,000 if you made your own tour:
1) Bangkok nightlife – Sukhimvit and Patpong
2) The Full Moon Party in Haad Rin
3) The Half Moon Party in Ban Tai
4) The Black Moon Party in Koh Samui
5) The Escape House Party in Koh Samui
6) Bars and clubs in Changmai
7) Live music in Pai, near Changmai
And for pubs / night clubs
1) The Three Monkeys Bar in Sri Thanu, Koh Phangan
2) Green Mango and Sweet Soul Café in Chaweng, Koh Samui
3) Banana Republic near Lamai, Koh Samui
4) Funky Buddha and Jungle Bar in Thong Nai Pan, Koh Phangan - both are now closed
5) The Castle, near Sairee Beach in Koh Tao
6) Wednesday night jam session at Omega Bar in Chaloklum, Koh Phangan
There are no doubt many more great bars, night clubs and music events in Thailand. The list is more to demonstrate what the Thirsty Swagman clients are missing out on: namely, bigger and wilder parties and many funky and fun bars and locations. Not to mention the world’s largest monthly beach party. I guess it’s about going in a group (with the possibility of drunken liaisons) and not having to do boring stuff like book a boat ticket or hotel.