So you’ve slipped over the Mexican border (thus violating the contract of your US hire car company), sidestepped the dirt and desperation of Tijuana, and cruised straight down Highway 1 into Baja California.
You’ve discovered the quaint fishing port town of Ensenada and decided to stay the night. You’re tucking into a freshly cooked swordfish steak and feeling pretty smug at having not been tempted by the sordidness of Tijuana, some couple of hours back up the road.
However, you’ve still got that primitive urge to nail some Mexican beers, down some tequila and go shake it with the locals. Where to go in Ensenda then? Papas & Beer is by far the most fun nightspot here. Sure there’s still the inevitable underage crowds of American college students flashing their fake ID’s and fake tits on the bar (not a bad thing if you’re a smooth-talking but undiscerning English guy with questionable morals) but there’s also a healthy mix of glammed up local senoritas. While it all ended in a blur for me, from what I recall, there were a number of rooms playing party tunes across all the main genres and the atmosphere was very very wild.
Avenida Lopez Mateos and Ruiz, Ensenada
You get given two free vouchers for a drink at the Carlsberg Bar at the end of the self-guided tour. Definitely worth it to try out all their different beers. We went back three times!
A bus ride from the centre of town.
This place is a mixed bag. It certainly has the best rooms out of the budget guesthouses along Boeng Kak Lake, and undoubtedly the best view of the sunset. A great place for a beer as the sun sets - only rivalled by the FCC. However, you must run the gauntlet of the Scotsman who runs the place (who is mad as a box of frogs) and his pack of growling dogs.
It's not for the faint-hearted, and Brian's mad jabber can get wearing, but it's definitely worth a visit. If only for the sunset.
Down the very end of the muddy track along the side of Boeng Kak Lake, past Same Same Guesthouse etc.
If your budget allows, a great hotel to stay at in Siem Reap is the Foreign Correspondents Club (F.C.C.). Renovated from the old French Governor’s mansion, French art deco embraces modern chic. Contemporary, beautiful rooms, double rooms from $90, swimming pool, spa, room service, lovely staff, great good value restaurant/ bar serving classic Khmer food, contemporary European dishes and the best cocktails in Cambodia. Breakfast, which is included and is a vast amount, can be delivered to your room at your preferred time - from half four in the morning (to cater for the traveller who wants to see Angkor at Sunrise) until two in the afternoon.
I came to Amsterdam, a cynic of all things jazz and bohemian. I left 'Cafe Eijlders' with great memories of friendly locals, attentive barstaff, nice beer, good music and a promise to return
Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 47
1017 PW Amsterdam
telefoon: 020 - 624 2704.
Bizarre. As you stroll along the swanky Nowy Swiat toward trendy Foksal Street, look through an archway and you’ll spy an oversized garden shed. Located in a back alley right in the heart of Warsaw’s swishest nightlife district, serving strong Polish beer and a great atmosphere late into the night, this bar is delightfully out of step with its surroundings. For those who like their socialising on the downbeat side.
Location: Through an archway off Nowy Swiat, near the turn into Ulica Foksal.
Bunker chic, or a hipster’s fallout shelter perhaps, this underground pub on the Old Town Square tries hard but still manages to be very cool. The funky décor and beats, the lack of natural light, the strong alcohol, all combine to make you feel like you have entered another dimension.
Location: Old Town Square, at the south-west end, downstairs.
Without doubt THE hub of Beirut’s nightlife. This part of town is absolutely jumping all week. You’re spoilt for choice with the number of bars and clubs vying for your custom on this famous stretch. The locals really dress up when they go out, especially Lebanese women who look intimidatingly beautiful so make sure you look the part. Many of the bars on Rue Monot are seriously glam but worth making the effort for. To say the Lebanese like to party would be an understatement…
Rue Monot, downtown Beirut
This place is legendary, in an obscure-as-you-like divey drinking den kind of way. Blink and you could easily miss this bar, it’s so small. Essentially a liquor store with a few tables squeezed in as a mere after thought. Don’t be intimidated by the dark, smoky haze and the seedy pictures on the wall not to mention the resident old timers and their raucous alcoholic chatter. Open the door and go in, the locals will soon make room for you and start pouring out the arak. The beer is also very cheap and the banter top notch.
148 Sharia Bab Sharqi
You'll get advertising for Tooheys and Carltons rammed down your throat - avoid like the plague unless you really are a cheap drunk. Instead, try one of James Squire's beers (www.malt-shovel.com.au). My personal favourite is the Golden Lager, but they do a nice Porter and India Pale Ale as well. No, I don't work for them!
Most good pubs in the east, city and inner west stock it.
A great local run bar, which is incredibly friendly & has a good mix of locals & tourists. It's less a bar, more of a shack on the side of the street with tables & chairs on the pavement, but with the owner's band playing live music most nights & the Sang Som & Beer Chiang plentiful & cheap you'll want to keep on going back.
On the cross roads of Ratchadamankha by the Panda Guesthouse.
Drinking, music, good times in a relaxed (and usually trouble free) environment. Try to ignore the old men with the obviously under age girls and you should have a good evening of drinking and dancing.
As with everything ask a local.
A swanky but cool cocktail bar in downtown Siem Reap that serves *huge* cocktails for only a few dollars each. Get there for the 6-8 happy hour and a group of 4 can easily get into the party mood for less than $12.
Tel: 016 962 026
A fairly new bar in Kazimierz. We were there during their 1st anniversary celebrations. Genuinely friendly, great atmosphere and well-stocked bar. Recommended, to say the least!
ul. estery 5, just off Plac Nowy
Ha, who wanna have good craic? All of you, I guess! :) Ok, here's my advice for a splendid Friday night: first warm-up at Crowley's - best Guinness in town and from time to time good folk-musik. Then stroll to the HorseShoe - brilliant staff behind the bar ;-) and the guests in front of the bar (later under the bar) are the best people you can meet in town! After hammering a few pints you feel absolutely happy when you enter Ryan's Bar! Greetz to Finnbar! ;-) Ryan's bar may be during the summer mostly overcrowded but this keeps you up and you cannot stumble down! They often have good live acts on stage. So, and when you feel a bit hungry after this exhausting session then go on the other side of the road to Effes Snack bar - best burgers in town! Hope to see you all again soon! :)
Crowley's in Henry Street, the rest in Main Street.
Modern Vietnamese restaurant and bar. The bar is great if you want a cocktail/beer and some nibbles, try the crispy squid. The restaurant has a outdoor terrace filled with chinese laterns and has very reasonable beautifully presented food. Try the sticky ribs/scallops on papaya salad.
Where to start? Melbourne is a great town. Go to the Victoria market in the centre of town, or the smaller and groovier South Melbourne Markets at the weekend. Take a surfing lesson in Torquay after a trip along the Great Ocean Road, or a breathtaking dawn hot air balloon ride over the Yarra Valley wineries. Inner city Melbourne has some excellent bars down its lane ways: check out Honky Tonks for great cocktails or the Hi-Fi bar for grungier action. Brunswick Street Fitzroy is a haven for great food and drink and funky clothes.
No Brisbane visit is complete without a 'late Breakfast'. Swing by the Brekky Creek Hotel to sample its signature steaks, seafood and wide range of beers, including XXXX from the wood which puts its keg-raised little sister to shame....
It's close to the SCG, the beers are reasonably priced and the staff and regulars are friendly. Oh, and you can get a decent meal there too.
Bar and cafe; amazing location, good food and drink (reasonably priced considering its location) and the most breathtaking views from the terrace. Great flathead and chips, risotto, wine, cocktails etc. Also, if you happen to be around on a Sunday afternoon they also have live jazz.
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