I've been corresponding with Ken Hart, a fellow beer nut from Down Under for some time now. Ken's organization, The Thirsty Swagman, runs beer trips around the world that make our New Year's Eve celebration look like a church social. Ken has graciously invited me to attend one of his events, but so far the logistics haven't worked out. Someday, maybe. But until then, my readers will have to be satisfied with a special dispatch from Ken's "Swag Girl," Tash Marti. This trip sounds like so much fun, I decided to run Tash's piece as a guest column. Maybe some of you out there will get the itch, the courage and the gelt to "run with the Big Dogs" of the beer world, like Ken. One day, The PubScout himself may decide that Thailand is a beer destination he can't miss, just plunk the money down and say, "Phuket."
Herewith, Tash's guest column….
The Wettest and Wildest Party on the Planet
Speaking of epic places people go to party - Southeast Asia's Thailand is home to what is possibly the biggest and wildest water fight event in the world. Keen travelers from all over, pack their bags and head to Thailand every April, to celebrate the Thai New Year (Songkran) with a splash. During this time, don't be surprised when the whole of Thailand stops for 3 days to engage in an immense, country-wide water fight.
For the entire Songkran period, party goers line the streets and post themselves in every corner, ready with their water-filled weaponry (sometimes mixed with mentholated talc) aimed at who-ever dare pass by. ..So if you plan on walking more than 3 metres down the road during this time, expect to return nothing less than soaked from head to toe.
But why stop at a 3 day Thai New Year, massive, celebratory water fight – when you could turn this crazy travel experience into a full week of one totally unforgettable pub crawl marathon?
Buckle up beer-loving travelers and prepare yourselves for one exhilarating pub tour experience of a lifetime, handled by renowned Australian based tour operator Thirsty Swagman (www.thirstyswagman.com) the company offering a purely pub- and bar-based itinerary worldwide. Your experience starts with bar hopping your way through Sentosa Island, where feet in sand and beer in hand, you'll enjoy taking in the rays while making friends with the Thirsty crew that will soon be your new best buddies for the next action-packed week of partying.
After a day of blissful relaxation – you'll be ready to head to the heart Clarke Quay, a cluster of themed bars ranging from Moroccan fantasy, to the Scottish Hilander. But be warned - A typical night at Clarke Quay usually involves nothing less that downing 4L towers of beer at Brewerkz microbrewery and then heading straight to The Clinic. Not the kind of Clinic guys end up at after a crazy night they can't remember – this ironically themed pub had doctors and nurses treating you with syringes and drips filled with nothing but tasty alcohol, while you and your mates chill out on the slightly odd seating arrangements – hospital beds. The Clinic is definitely an unlikely pub, in a country where chewing gum is prosecutable.
The next destination is Phuket, Thailand, for a hard-core party in the Bangla Road. During the trip in Thailand, travelers get to experience Songkran, the Thai New Year, where you and hundreds of other partygoers, will be stumbling through the streets of Phuket with your water guns strapped on, in a fully-fledged, country-wide water fight! And did I mention? Soaked hotties everywhere!
One of the places in Thailand where pub travelers will dwell on is the hardest-rocking pub in the world, named Rock city, which is located on Phuket's Patong Beach. With VIP entry and drinks, you'll be raising your glass to the most authentic AC/DC, Metallica and Guns 'n' Roses cover bands you've ever heard. Along your drinking journey, you'll also get to nail drinks at Tiger bar and several other of Patong beach's best pubs and bar.
One highlight of this pub tour experience that mustn't be left out is your speedboat adventure to a private pub on the beautiful Naka Island. To give you an idea of just how amazing this island is – it's fit for a king – literally – as the Prince of Dubai recently stayed there. You'll land on a stretch of beach with nothing but white sand, crystal clear water, and two tiny beach shack pubs that serve every beer, ice cold!
Ready to party? Visit www.thirstyswagman.com