Where to Party? New Year’s Eve

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If you take a look at the New Year’s Roll Call Trip Report, you’ll notice that the tradition of being out of the country for New Year’s Eve began in 2000 in Cancun, Mexico. From there it increasingly improved, went stale for a couple of years, and then it began rebounding.

Each year the tradition continues but for one problem: where to go?

Here are the guidelines:

  • It can’t be in the United States. How can there be last call on NYE? Rookies go to Vegas for NYE so that’s not an option.
  • It has to be a party city. Mandalay certainly was not.
  • It can’t be somewhere I’ve already been. An Acapulco remix trip would be great, but there’s no way to duplicate dancing with the devil from a decade ago.
  • It can’t be somewhere cold. What’s the point of chicken & broccoli then?
  • It ideally would be a new country so I can add it to the Country Count List. Alternatively, it would be in close proximity to countries I haven’t been to so I can see them before or after.
  • New Year’s is an expensive time to travel so I want to use points to cover my hotel stays.

As is the format of the segment ¿Sí o No? from the best/worst sports show on television, Highly Questionable, I’ll put some options out there for destinations and respond as to whether or not I’m intrigued.

  1. Cartagena, Colombia: Oh, si, si, (in papi voice) I’m very intrigued. The chance to make up for the disaster that took us from Cafe del Mar in Old Town Cartagena to a hell bus ride from Panama City to Bocas del Toro only to find a bunch of surfers and rain would be a good choice.
  2. Punta del Este, Uruguay: Oh, si, si, I’m very intrigued. Argentinians fed up with the heat of BA head to what is usually a quiet fisherman’s town for Ibiza style partying. By most accounts, renting a villa in La Barra is the way to go.
  3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Oh, si, si, I’m very intrigued. There are beaches. There is party but damn it I’ve been there for Carnaval. Read the Guns & Butter: Rio Travel Guide to see why it may be worth returning.
  4. Margarita Island, Venezuela: Do you want to party with prisoners? I thought you’d be intrigued. This has the makings of a good TPOL Trip Report.
  5. Sydney, Australia: No, I’m not intrigued. I’ve been all over Australia including Sydney. I was not impressed with the fireworks in Hong Kong so another display doesn’t sound exciting. Sydney has nice beaches (see Bondi to Bronte: How to Spend A Day in Sydney), but as for the city itself, it’s no different than Los Angeles.
  6. Manila, Philippines: Another friend of mine has embraced TPOL’s Shut Up & Book! philosophy and makes the trek at least once a year to SE Asia for some great debauchery and raves about Manila. I’ve been to Boracay so the Philippines wouldn’t be a new country and the rest of the stops would obviously be fun, but how many times can I party with ladyboys in SE Asia? Perhaps one more time.
  7. Beirut, Lebanon: This comes from a friend that is risk loving. I’m not intrigued primarily because the weather isn’t great. Temperatures in the 60s and an unstable region – how’s that a fun time? Updated for 2019: Beirut is overrated.
  8. Europe: Not intrigued, it’s cold.
  9. Caribbean Islands: Good weather, delicious rum, and some decent points options make the Caribbean intriguing. The cost of excursions and food do not. Furthermore, where in the Caribbean besides Bahamas is a big party spot? I guess cases could be made for Jamaica and Dominican. The issue with the Caribbean is its proximity to the US. I could go there any time making it not as adventurous as other places on this list. Still, I’m not ruling it out as a stop along the way. Updated for 2019: I now live in Puerto Rico.
  10. The Moon: I could always pick a random place, buy a bottle of Jack, and get after it.

Well, this did nothing for me. If you haven’t gone to some of the gems on the list like Bali or Dubai for New Years then count yourself lucky. You still have options. If you have recommendations for me, feel free to share them. TPOL might come meet you there.

Oh, and I don’t care for fireworks so that’s not a factor despite every ‘top list’ showing a slide show of them going off throughout the world.

In case you’re curious, here’s how it all went down:

Cancun
Cancun when Cousin George had hair (2003)
And Dance with the Devil! Acapulco
And Dance with the Devil! Acapulco (2004)
Classy in Cabo (2005)
Classy in Cabo (2005)
Jim Jones in Tokyo 2006
Jim Jones in Tokyo (2006)
Junkanoo Parade Bahamas (2007)
Junkanoo Parade Bahamas (2007)
Classless Bottle Pictures: Dubai 2009
Classless Bottle Pictures: Dubai (2008)
Fucking Good Drink: Bali (2009)
Fucking Good Drink: Bali (2009)
Red Bull Gives You Wings: Panama City, Panama (2010)
Red Bull Gives You Wings: Panama City, Panama (2010)
Hurricanes, Umich victory, Bald Cousin George: New Orleans (2011)
Hurricanes, Umich victory, Bald Cousin George: New Orleans (2011)
B School Alum: Goa, India (2012)
B School Alum: Goa (2012)
new year's eve 2016
Shimmy Beach Club: Cape Town (2013)
new year's eve 2016
Midnight in the elevator! Mandalay (2014)
Michigan wins a bowl game in Orlando. (2015)
Bangkok, Thailand (2016)
Watching Michigan lose a bowl game in Scottsdale (2017)
Fireworks then LKF for blackout crawl (2018)

24 COMMENTS

  1. oh snap i made the photo album! totally forgot about panama DJ ahahaha. you forgot NYC for Phish at Madison Square Garden, bro. With an add-on excursion to “Brooklyn” to go to “Verboten” for “sick beats”.

    • I’m thinking a Latin America remix tour with Agua diente in cartagena, Margarita in Venezuela, and daquiris in Cuba. Why not add Belize!

  2. Australia is no different to Los Angeles?

    Oh boy.

    How wrong can you be. LA is hands down the worst major city in world for New Years. There is no New Years. There is no city centre. No fireworks. No crowds gathering no energy no party no atmosphere. It’s hands down depressing.

    In Australia millions head to the city centers for massive crowds and amazing energy

    Maybe take a quick look at Sydney

    https://youtu.be/gwHzUHA7eYM

      • You’re right. Having seen your photos and how you spend New Years in seedy bars getting drunk like a college student it doesn’t matter where you go in the world! Just throw a dart at a map! Every city in the world has cheap bars full
        Of drunks on New Years!

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