With the average temperature in August a lovely 26 degrees, where else would you want to be than dancing the night away, alongside babes in short shorts and bikini tops.. a little more on the babes next ;)
4. THE WOMEN
We’ve travelled all over the world and have met some lovely ladies on our adventures… But never have we experienced women like we did on our recent trip to the Balkans.
If you’ve already been to many of the major UK/European festivals I’d highly recommend you step out of your comfort zone and check out Sea Dance.
With the beautiful weather, beautiful women and great tunes, you’d be crazy not to head over to Montenegro this August!
Here’s the highlights of last year’s event.
Hope to see some of you there.
Why Malaysia’s Penang Island didn’t do much for me
An unbiased take on the “Crown Jewel “ of Malaysia - and why I won’t be going back in a hurry...
Sitting on the top floor lounge space in our hostel, me and Lee were full of optimism about taking on Penang’s renowned street food and incredibly famous beaches. After all, all the research i’d done had said nothing more than amazing things about the island.
Penang, noted as the “ Crown jewel of Malaysia “ was in all honesty a load of boll*cks.
And i’ll tell you why..
So we decided, more due to cost that, from Kuala Lumpur to Penang we’d take a coach.
Booking the bus through www.easybook.com was painless, and i’d highly recommend their service.
But our dick of a bus driver decided he didn’t want to drive us to the correct drop off point on Penang island, so confirm with the company when you check in at the bus terminal, that the bus is going where you have paid to go.
We ended up getting the ferry across.
Boats N Hoes
The ferry was actually quite pleasant. And cheap! Like most transport we’d soon discover.
We met a little Malaysian dude who showed us the way to the boat.
The ferry costs 1.20RM each for an adult, which is like 25p. Bargain!
After a few selfies with our new best bud for his Instagram, we grabbed an Uber and headed to our hostel.
Welcome to our crib
After scouring the Hostelworld app, we’d decided upon Tido Hostel, in the heart of Georgetown.
I’m a bit of a bitch when it comes to wanting a “ clean “ hostel, and there isn’t too much choice in truth. But Tido was super clean so i was happy.
No hot water though, but its actually quite refreshing.
Lee is hungry… again
Penang, also known as a food paradise, i’d expected so much more. This is kind of where it all fell apart for us. We are miserable fucks when we are hungry, and the food here just wasn’t up to it. The renowned street vendors just didn’t satisfy our hunger. I’m sure there are some gems, we just didn’t find them. One of my favourite asian dishes, Mee Goreng… was more like Mee Go-wrong!
Subway it is then..
Suns out guns out
So after the disappointment of the famed street food, surely the beaches would be nice? They were ok. Well, we were spoiled in our weeks before with the beaches of Phuket so understandably Penang came up a little short.
Dont expect crystal clear blue sea. Nor powder white sand that you see on the postcards.
We did manage to actually eat a good meal there though… a rice dish called Nasi Goreng. Unfortunately this was the only nice dish we’d end up having.
The northeastern corner of the island is Georgetown. Home to 95% of all the hostels in Penang. This is where you’ll find most of your nightlife. Me and Lee had planned to visit all the roof top bars, but due to wind or refurbs, we didn’t end up getting to any of them.
The streets are as you’d expect in Asia, pretty hectic and noisy. And smelly. After all, they had their sewage basically next to the pavement. Sh*t hole.
After spending 3 days and nights in Penang, trying a few beaches, eateries and street food vendors, it was clear the island wasn’t for us. I’m well aware there are people who have had a great time here. But i’m just giving my honest opinion, something that i was struggling to find on the net. Nothing short of “ amazing “ is all i could find.
Just be aware of that before you book your flight or bus.
In hindsight i’d have chosen Langkawi over Penang.
Best part of our weekend in Penang?…. the coach journey back to Kuala Lumpur.
Best events and things to do in London for Christmas 2018
From Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park to Somerset House ice skating
It’s almost Christmas time once again – and that means there are plenty of events taking place all over the country to celebrate Santa coming to town.
London is the centre of the festive activities as ever so below we’ve pulled together a list of the hottest bits and pieces taking place at the coldest time of the year.
So if you were looking for some brownie points with the missus before you buy her that perfume she already has or those pyjamas a size too big (oops), here’s a few ideas to mull over.
They cover everything from ice skating to ice bars – and even if you don’t have a missus, they’re ideal for taking a date or suggesting for a work night out.
10. Sing Christmas Carols
Not everyone’s cup of tea, but as it’s Christmas why not check out the carol concerts taking place around town throughout the festive season. There’s a cracking line-up of a sing-alongs planned at St Paul’s Cathedral. The pick of the bunch takes place on December 15 and features celebrity readers alongside the Cathedral Choir and City of London Sinfonia.
Events are free throughout the month. For more info click here.
9. Chill at the Ice Bar
Icebar London is a great addition to any day out in the city, especially over the Christmas period. Their festive period runs from Thursday, November 24th and Friday, December 30th. Prices start at £13.50 for advance bookings. Click here for more info.
8. Take in a Christmas Fair
Ikea needn’t be the height of your Swedishness this Christmas. One of the many Christmas fairs taking place in London this month is organised by the Swedish church and promises shedloads of meatballs. Find out more here.
7. Bag a gift shopping
From the West End, above, to White City, you won’t be short of places to shop in London this Christmas. Oh, and don’t forget to hit Oxford Street to check out….
6. See the Christmas Lights
Oxford St, Regent St, Bond Street, to name a few will add a bit of sparkle to your christmas with their lights this year. A personal favourite of mine. Check them out!
5. Watch a festive film at a pop-up cinema
Hackney Showrooms will be hosting a Christmas pop up cinema this year, showing fan favourites like Elf. Move fast though as these tickets are like gold dust. For ticket info click here.
4. Explore the Southbank Winter Market
My favourite part of London, the Southbank, will again have its annual winter festival, with music, food, drink and lots of festive fun. Guilty of taking lots of dates here! Click here for more info.
3. Enter the Leicester Sq Grotto
New to London for 2016 is the Spiegeltent Grotto, hosting christmas shows throughout the festive season. Ringside seats to the main event start at about £48 but there’s plenty of other less-expensive stuff taking place. Have a nose here.
2. Go ice skating
Ice Skating in London never disappoints with their views adding some romance. So why not take her to one of the several rinks popping up all over town, from Canary Wharf (From £14.50) to Somerset House (From £7.50).
1. Visit Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
The undisputed king of Christmas events! Held once again this year in Hyde Park, London, your date here will not be a disappointment. It pretty much offers all of this Top 10 all in one place, so you can’t go wrong! Book your tickets here.
So that's why 350,000 people head to ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) every October...
Speeding through the streets of Amsterdam in our cab, Ibrahim, our driver was getting far too excited!
“Elaina… You have to try Elaina! ”
He had us in stitches. He was like a kid at Christmas, with a massive grin on his face talking about his favourite prostitute. He described her so well, it felt like we knew her all our lives!
No disrespect, but no thanks mate. Being her 1000th customer this week sounds a little grim. She did sound pretty hot though 😉.
We pull up outside our hotel, a plushy little number called The Hoxton. Right on the canal, centrally located, this place looked decent at 1st glance.
Ibrahim grabs all our bags out of the boot and says “Elaina! You must! You will not be disappointed!” – Haha this dude has no chill!
Free beers on check in, a great vibe and just the right amount of quirk to satisfy the hardest to please, The Hoxton ticked all the right boxes.
The rooms had all the things you’d expect plus more. High end quality for bargain prices. Cant go wrong. Highly recommended.
Anyway, enough of all that stuff!
October in the dance music scene, all roads lead to Amsterdam for ADE. Being the 20th anniversary, Amsterdam Dance Event was the place to be.
Catering for House, Deep House, Trance and Techno listeners, ADE had events all over the city spread over 5 days, from cafe raves, to underground car park raves, massive clubs and festivals.
Returning for our 2nd year for a weekend, us 7 lads couldn’t wait to get stuck in!
All showered and raring to go, we set off on our adventures… First stop, food! After all, who knows when we’d eat again!
After a few weeks of prep in group chat, we had a solid plan of what we were going to be doing. I know, so female of us! Ha.
Bar-B, was destination one. Only around a 10 minute walk, dodging maniac cyclists trying to run us over, and we were there. And what a wicked place this was too. Beers and Burgers essentially, but with that added extra that makes Bar-B stand out from the crowd.
Serving up build your own burgers and beer on tap, yes literally a beer tap on our table, what could go wrong?
Many, many beers later – and might I add – the most fantastic Wagyu beef burger ever, we were done.
Honestly, it is a crime if you go to Amsterdam and don’t eat here!
Full the the brim with burgers and beer, we decided to go walk it off for a bit.. Could think of worse places to walk it off than the Red Light District 😉.
What a random fucked up place it is too. Street after street of any shape, size, colour, you want.
Sex shows, strip bars, all kinds of other weird shit.
We opted in the end to watch a ping pong show.. Proper funny! And without going into too much detail, this girl was pretty impressive! Hitting the target from meters away.. Well mostly.. She nearly had my eye out!
1am and off to the Gashouder we went for the big club night of the evening. Completely sold out so we expected it to be a sweat box!
The Gashouder is located in an old gas works complex, in north west Amsterdam. A huge circle industrial building with an iron roof, gave this place that proper underground edgy feel, perfect for a techno rave.
Arguably the main event of ADE, Carl Cox, King Kong of the techno scene had the venue rocking! Then halfway into his set, out came the legendary laser ball. Never have i seen anything like it. Then to follow, the indoor fireworks went off and the place erupted! What a venue! What a night so far.
The venue has this drink tokens system, and I stupidly bought too many. So after trying to drink too much and about an hour into some random Italian girl waffling on about her cat, it was 6am and we decided to make a move.
Ruined, but ready for the Dockyard Festival that starts in 5 hours.
Day 2 and about 3 hours sleep later, I was feeling rather rough. Won’t go into too much detail but I was in a bad way.
Boarding the ferry over to the dockyard wasn’t my finest move.. All the lads were giving me jip, suggesting how I couldn’t handle it. Getting proper mugged off. ” Ha Gaaaayyy! “.
I made it. Thank fuck!
The Dockyard festival was just like any other festival. Just different settings which made it pretty cool.
Instead of drinking, a couple of us bought a space cake on the way. New experience so this should be fun. And fuck me was it..
The day was a complete blur of random trippy, funny shit and I spent most of my day chilling in a shipping container that had been decked out with bean bags.
The Dutch are a pretty funny bunch. Or was it the space cake? Who knows.
9pm and we’d had enough. Time to get back for some food and ready for our last night, at Circo Loco.
I don’t know whose clever idea it was to get another space cake for the walk home, but here we go.
In fact, this was a “Puff Muffin ” – the guy told us. Looked nice. Tasted nice, too.
45mins later we were fucked.
One of us got mega paranoid and thought someone was following him, so decided to leg it!
Another could hardly walk due to jelly legs. And I couldn’t walk unless I was doing lunges. What on earth had we eaten. Proper tripping balls. Funny though!
We thought it was a good idea to go back to the hotel and just ride it out, then get back out…
Nope.. We woke up sprawled across one of our rooms at 9am and missed our last night. I wouldn’t say wasted though, as I had a brilliant time. The only thing I could really remember was listening to the radio and thinking the songs were instructions – so I was buzzing about the room doing weird shit like some wacky Japanese TV show.
Beer and a fry up seemed to fix us up – and after a mini bar crawl later we ended up back at the Red Light District.
Still not convinced, I just found it all quite funny and a little grim.
Until, what I can only describe as a Worldie, opens her door and tries to usher me in. And when I say Worldie – I mean, INSANELY hot!
“Come on in baby, I’ll give you a good time” she says. While I stand there like a fucking shy looking 5 year old.
An inner battle ensues.. Do I wanna be customer 1001.. No! Snap out of it! But she’s hot! So what, don’t do it!
I blame it on the beer! Ha.
After finally coming to my senses, and escaping her spell, i gladly walked away, jumped in our cab to the airport… but couldn’t help thinking, “Elaina, was that you?”.
Stag can't make his own bachelor party - so lads think out the box...
... and make a cardboard cut-out of him and take that instead
What would you do if the stag couldn’t make his own bachelor party?
Most guys would probably cancel the trip – but not these lads.
The groom, Chris Lloyd aka ‘Carrots’ was unable to make his own stag do as he required an operation which involved a faulty aortic valve – fair dos.
But that didn’t stop this lot who decided to make a life-size cardboard cut-out of their strawberry blonde buddy and take to Magaluf!
Wonder if the cardboard version got laid?
Who needs a Valentine for Paris when you have a pocket full of euros and a wingman
Two single guys vs the capital of Love!
“City of Love?” Yeah right… The first thing we see after jumping off the Eurostar was a tramp scrounging through the bins looking for food…. decent!!
We step outside the Gard du Nord station and within seconds we’re both drenched. The weather reminds me of my ex missus’ face in the morning… Miserable and dull.
My first impression of Paris is far from Romantic.
With little shock, Lee’s hungry and needs feeding. Directly outside the station is a place called Hippopotamus – he’s a miserable bastard when he’s hungry.
The metro system in Paris is similar to London Underground – only the tickets are much cheaper. €8 give us access to all the zones for 24-hours, making it our preferred choice of travel.
Within 20-minutes we’d arrived at the Design Hotel Secret de Paris.
It’s a hotel built for couples, with rose petals scattered across the lobby entrance and candles lit in the main reception – it’s the type of place you’d WANT to bring a Valentine.
The receptionist (who carried an incredibly sexy accent) was helpful and swapped our room so we had twin beds – I think Lee was secretly disappointed.
After a quick shower we were out exploring, well… Until he found some weird barber shop and decided to get a haircut. Seriously who does this?
We toured Pigalle, a street which specialises in sex shops and is home to the world famous, Moulin Rouge – making the most of happy hour until Lee was hungry (again).
After a small pizza and a trip to the pharmacy for some toothpaste and cough medicine ( bloody man flu ), we head back, had a shower and got ready.
First stop of course, and probably the best place to party in Paris is Bastille.
As we get off the metro, we bump into a couple of cute Parisian’s, Laëti and Faten, who direct us to a street stacked with student bars, Rue De Lappe.
We tried convincing the French girls to join us, but failed.
The first bar was very loud and making conversation with non-English speakers wasn’t easy.
After an hour of cheap drinks, we decided to leave and attack some of the other student bars until eventually finding the end of the strip.
We departed Rue De Lappe and head for Time Out recommendation, Le Reservoir.
The lively venue had a band playing, which was pretty cool but it was more of a dinner scene than party, so we decided to move on.
The next place that caught our eye and for no particular reason was an Australian bar called Bootlegger.
We were just about to leave when somebody touched me on the shoulder and convinced me to stay.
It was Laëti, one of the French girls who give us directions.
We ended up spending the rest of the night with the maths and medicine students, who introduced us to their friends who were celebrating a birthday.
After some interesting debates, some poor dancing and translation issues – we decide to leave and continue our French lessons while trying to find greedy bullocks somewhere to eat.
We gave up searching for food after 45-minutes as it was now approx 3.30am. So after learning the word goodnight (se soir) we left the girls.
On the way back to the hotel, and not so far from the Notre Dame we heard three Danish girls singing, dreadfully.
We approached the blondes, and asked whether they know of anywhere that sold food.
They said to follow them to Le Marais where we’d find food at their uncles bar/ restaurant.
Fuck it, why not! It’s 4am, my beer coat is still thick and we need food otherwise will no doubt suffer in the morning.
Randomly along the way, one of the crazy Scandinavian’s jumps over a fenced-off merry go round. We followed.
Needless to say, we couldn’t get it working so ditched the pretend horses for the streets until eventually finding the place they were looking for.
Within seconds of stepping into the bar/ restaurant (or whatever it was) we decided it wasn’t for us.
We wanted to eat, not get eaten!
As we queued up at a kebab van just down the road, a legless black guy, in a wheel chair started abusing us.
Lee, who’s French is almost as bad as mine, tried putting to practice what he’d learned at Bootlegger.
God knows what he said – but the disabled fella – who looked like a homeless Samuel L Jackson – was fuming and was eventually moved on by police after getting out a gun-shaped lighter.
We grabbed the first taxi in sight, and made our way back to the hotel.
The next morning, I was woken up to a text from Laëti, from last night who was just letting us know that they were running 15 minutes late!
WTF!!! I’d totally forgot the girls had promised us a Valentine’s Day tour of the city and we had just 30 minutes to get showered, dressed and to the station.
We somehow made it in time, and our first stop was a delicious crepe place in St Michel called Chez Suzette.
After scoffing two reasonably sized pancakes each (I had kinder chocolate and a classic lemon and sugar) we were ready to climb the stairs that lead up to Sacré-Cœur.
We then tried checking on Quasimodo at the Notre Dame, but he wasn’t around so we moved on to the world famous Eiffel Tower where we witnessed some guy get on one knee and propose to his missus (she said yes, but she looked miserable as fuck! Feel sorry for the fella!).
Time’s running out now, and I need a beer. We settle for some cosy bar and make the most of the reasonably priced drinks while discussing the girls awful taste in music, films and well… simply getting to know them.
Its the first time i’ve spent Valentines with a complete stranger, but it had been pretty good fun.
There’s something about the French accent and broken English that’s insanely cute – or as I’d learned, “mignon”…
I’d say the day could not have got any better until Laëti promised us the tastiest burger in Paris!
And fuck it was, decent!
For the second time in two days, we have to say goodbye to our new mates and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little gutted. There’s something about that accent!
As we arrive back to the hotel, shattered from a days worth of walking we decide to get some rest before a before heading out for a bromantic Valentine’s meal at the Trocadero, which over looks the Eiffel Tower!
We were alone this time, and couldn’t look more gay if we tried!
We left just after the 10pm light show, and like the 5 billion bulbs that twinkle every hour but only for a few minutes, my excitement slowly started to dim as we went from place to place, in hunt of decent nightlife.
From the Latin Quarter to the Château d’Eau and horny streets of Pigalle – we certainly tried, but it was in vein.
Would I recommend coming Paris as a single lad on Valentine’s? Probably not. Nor would i recommend missing the train… That was an expensive lesson to learn!
Dumped by missus two weeks before Valentine’s weekend and now looking for someone to take her place
Are you free for a couple of nights over Valentine’s weekend and fancy a trip to one of the most romantic cities on Earth?
Well, good news because I’m looking to replace my ex – who broke up with me last week over a TEXT MESSAGE!
You’d think the two year relationship deserved a better explanation than just the words: “I’m sorry, I love you but just don’t think this is working” – but I’ve never been one to challenge a woman’s mind – so I decided not to ask questions and move on.
I’m not trying to pretend it didn’t bother me, because it did. She was like my best friend and the message really come out of nowhere. Besides, nobody likes getting dumped.
But what annoyed me more was when Eurostar refused to refund the tickets.
Funny thing is, I’d actually bought them off a mate who also got ditched by his missus in the lead up to Christmas – talk about luck.
I was furious. Less than two weeks into 2016 and I’m now without a Valentine and £600 out of pocket…
Or maybe you could help me?
What if I advertise my two night’s stay at the Design Hotel Secret de Paris, with a couple of romantic dinners, and a handful of the city’s top attractions – all for FREE.
The only catch of course, is you’ll have to put up with me for the two nights.
I guess it’s not much different to one of those internet dating sites like Tinder or Plenty of Fish, right?
So if you or a friend fancies spending the Valentine’s Weekend with me – please just fill in the form below.
We’re due to depart LONDON ST PANCRAS Saturday morning (13th Feb) and return from PARIS Monday evening (15 Feb).
Look forward to hearing from you :)
Most popular countries for sex tourism?
Everyone knows about Thailand - but surely not sunny Spain or even safari-central Kenya? We were shocked!