You’re a backpacker in Indonesia, you’re enjoying the warm sun and unique culture, but you’re looking for somewhere to let loose. You want to drink a few too many Bintangs under the stars in the land of endless summer! Well never fear, Indonesia has any kind of party scene you’re looking for. You might be surprised that the largest Muslim country in the world (by population) has some great party spots. Muslim countries are known for having strict rules and adhering to tradition but in many parts of Indonesia this is certainly not the case, in fact many locals like to get just as rowdy as backpackers. From chilled out live bands by the beach, to clubs with DJs and strobe lights, to reggae dance bars, Indonesia has your back.
The most visited island in Indonesia is of course Bali. When backpackers de-plane, most of them settle in on the nearby Kuta beach for at least one or two nights. The beach is crawling with hawkers and Aussie tourists, and the rip curls are great for surfing. At the epicentre of the maze of streets there’s a whole block where every door leads to a dance club with a different theme. Any day of the week you’ll find a melting pot of local Indonesians and backpackers from all corners of the globe dancing the night away in Kuta beach, Bali.
If you’re more of the chill type, and you’d prefer to drink a few beers, listen to a live band, and meet some new people around a camp fire. Well, you can do this on almost any populated beach in Indonesia. All the way on the island of Flores, there’s a charming town that stretches up a mountain side called Labuanbajo. In this town backpackers flock to a bar called the Reggae Bar (it seems that there’s always a Reggae Bar no matter where you are in Indonesia). This one isn’t on the beach but there’s a beautiful view overlooking the bay, a pool table, and a live band that plays many different covers including a lot of Bob Marley.
So Indonesia has opportunities to turn up and places to chill out, but maybe you’re someone who enjoys a party vibe that’s in between those two extremes. Well Gili Trawangan is the place for you. This island is referred to as “Gili T” for short and is one of three small islands in between Bali and it’s neighbour Lombok. In the only town on this small island there’s a row of beach restaurants and bars where it’s easy to find a chill place to have a few drinks. There’s even a restaurant with a screen and projector where they play movies every night. But as the night winds down (or gears up, depending on who you are) the restaurants close and a handful of dance bars open. The most popular dance bar is called Sama Sama, and of course it’s a reggae bar too! They have an impressively well rehearsed live band that plays an assortment of reggae covers and originals, a good selection of delicious cocktails for a reasonable price, and beers for cheap. Sama Sama is impressively well attended for a bar on such a small island. Backpackers come to Gili T for this unique scene and it seems like every traveller on the island ends up at this bar by the end of the night. Sama Sama gets packed from wall to wall, the party spills out onto the beach and you get the best of both worlds.
No matter what kind of party scene you’re into, Indonesia will have what you’re looking for.