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Top 10 cities to go wild on holiday

Last updated on: November 13, 2009 19:20 IST

Top 10 cities to go wild on holiday

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If it has been a while since you went a little wild on holiday, maybe now is the time to travel someplace where letting your hair down is the order of the day. Whether your ideal holiday is letting off a bit of steam at some of the world's best parties, or jumping in head first into some heart-stopping outdoor adventure activity, there is something for every thrill seeker.

From full moon parties in Thailand to adrenaline-filled activities in New Zealand, here are the best places around the world to get the endorphins positively zinging.

"It's great to embrace your wild side, and there are plenty of amazing destinations around the world where you can do just that. With the economy on the upswing and the Indian rupee doing well, it's time to celebrate and to take advantage of this great time to travel," says Arthur Hoffman, Managing Director, Expedia Asia Pacific.

Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand

Known for its wild full moon parties, Ko Pha Ngan becomes a haven for many travellers who plan their holidays in line with the lunar cycle. The all-night parties have become known as one of the biggest beach parties in the world.

The exact date of when the first party was held varies, but it has grown from a mere 20-30 partygoers in the mid 1980s to global notoriety, amassing close to 30,000 partygoers each full moon during the high season.

December and January are a great time of year to visit and to enjoy one of the biggest and best beach parties on offer.


Image: Full moon party, Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand.
Photographs: Stuart/ Wikimedia Commons
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Queenstown, New Zealand

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Queenstown is often referred to as the adventure capital of the world and for good reason. For adrenaline junkies you cannot go past the renowned 'Awesome Foursome'.

This action-packed day combines a helicopter flight, white water rafting down the Shotover River, a high-speed jet boat ride and a 134 metre bungee jump from the Nevis Highwire, all of which are sure to leave you on a high.


Image: White water rafting on the Shotover River.
Photographs: Alex Proimos, Sydney, Australia
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Ibiza, Spain

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Ibiza is one of four of the Balaeric Islands of Spain and provides a postcard-like setting with picturesque beaches and high, towering cliffs. It has now become more widely known as one of the party capitals of the world and attracts travellers from across the globe to party along with some of the world's best known DJs in some of the most sought after night clubs.

Top nightspots include Privilege, arguably one of the largest nightclubs in the world, Es Paradis, known for its pool parties, and Amnesia, which is known for its foam parties.

The party season usually begins with opening parties at Space and DC10 in June and finishes on the first weekend of October.


Image: People dance during Ibiza's MTV Festival 2000 at La Pedrera de San Antoni.
Photographs: Reuters
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Las Vegas, USA

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Known as 'the' place for the quintessential boy's weekend, Las Vegas offers an abundance of opportunities to misbehave. It is hard to go past 'the strip', which is littered with hotels and casinos offering all types of table games and slots, and open to all hours of the night.

But if you are looking to cool down, pool parties are all the rage in the hot climate of Las Vegas and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino stages one of the more well known ones called 'Rehab', where world class DJs perform. If you are suffering gambling withdrawals, there is even swim-up poker so you can gamble without having to miss out on the party.

Las Vegas is also home to some of the biggest and best performers and sporting events attracting thousands of visitors.


Image: Members of the Pussycat Dolls perform in inside Caesars Palace Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas.
Photographs: Steve Marcus/ Reuters
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Cancun, Mexico

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Cancun is the infamous party town for American college students for Spring break, which brings in close to 4 million visitors each year. There are plenty of activities on offer, which are all designed for those looking to 'misbehave'.

There is plenty of excitement to be had, whether it's taking part in a Caribbean Carnival Cruise with plenty of on board competitions, music and drinks, or driving your own boat on a jungle cruise through the lagoon mangrove jungles.

There is no shortage of nightlife and for those wanting to experience a local activity you can watch the toreadors take part in bullfighting -- one of the oldest traditions in Mexico.


Image: Tourists dance in a discotheque in Cancun, Mexico.
Photographs: Reuters/ Stringer
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Mykonos, Greece

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Mykonos is 'the' place to party on the Greek Islands. Often referred to as the world's adult playground, Mykonos offers some of the best bars and nightclubs anywhere in the world.

It is unabashed and unapologetic, but travellers will remember it as a holiday of a lifetime. The Tropicana beach bar is the place to be and it will be hard to say no when the bar staff come requesting your presence to party all night.

To recover after a big night out, you can enjoy some of the best snorkelling or scuba diving on offer in the Aegean Sea or you can simply enjoy the warm sun whilst relaxing on the beautiful Paradise beach.


Image: Mykonos, Greece
Photographs: Magnus Manske/ Wikimedia Commons
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Cape Town, South Africa

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Cape Town is hard to ignore if you're looking for fun and adventure. For the adrenaline junkies there is the world's highest bungee jump at 216 meters, skydiving over Robben Island and the whole Cape Peninsula or abseiling off the famous Table Mountain.

You can even dive with Great White Sharks!

If water is your thing, there are also great surf beaches and deep sea fishing adventures. And, if you want to walk on the wild side there is also the opportunity to go on safaris in the area and hopefully spot the Big Five.


Image: A paraglider gets airbourne in windless warm contitions off Cape Town's landmark Table Mountain.
Photographs: Reuters/ Mike Hutchings
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Monte Carlo, Monaco

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Full of high fashion, fast cars and incredible scenery, Monte Carlo is the popular choice for a luxurious European holiday. It's also home to the rich and famous and provides travellers with the opportunity to rub shoulders with the elite while trying to pull off your best James Bond impression at the famous Monte Carlo Casino.

Don't forget to order your martini, shaken not stirred. If you're feeling lucky you can always try your hand at one of the games in one of the most famous casinos in the world.

The term 'boys and their toys' reaches new heights in Monte Carlo. Outside the Casino sits millions of dollars worth of horsepower with some of the most prestigious cars and boats parked for all to see and drool over. If you have already had a boys weekend in Vegas, then Monte Carlo should be next on the list.


Image: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Photographs: Reuters/ Eric Gaillard
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New Orleans, USA

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Home to the famous Mardi Gras, New Orleans brings out the best and worst in people as they party the night away.

Hundreds of thousands of travellers converge on New Orleans, predominantly on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, to witness the annual event where people can drink on the street and enjoy the festivities. The party has grown into an iconic world event with the Carnival season starting on January 6 with a masked ball event.

The best time to visit for Mardi Gras is Fat Monday and Fat Tuesday but also the weekend before as some of the biggest parades occur on those days. Remember to dress for the occasion.


Image: Revelers scream for beads in the French Quarter while celebrating Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans.
Photographs: Reuters/ Sean Gardner
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Dublin, Ireland

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There is no better place to be for St Patrick's Day than in the capital of the 'emerald isle', Dublin. Instead of a one-day event in a number of places around the world, in Ireland it is a six day event starting on March 12 and ending on March 17.

The festival includes street theatre, Irish music, dance, street spectacles and of course as much Guinness as you can handle.

The highlight of the festival is the St Patrick's Day parade, which provides onlookers with a dazzling display of entertainment and attracts thousands of visitors each year to embrace their Irish heritage.


Image: Dublin, Ireland
Photographs: Superbaer / Wikimedia Commons
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