Next clubbing hotspot–the West Bank?

One thing that travel teaches you is that wherever you go, people want to have fun. You just don’t expect that people are able to have fun in some places.

The West Bank is commonly perceived to be one of those places. The Israeli blockade, factional power struggles, terrorism, and poverty should be enough to kill all the fun in the region. Yet some Palestinians are determined to buck the vibe by opening nightclubs to give locals the chance to relax in what has to be one of the most stressful places in the world.

One popular club is al-SnowBar in Ramallah, 10 km (6 miles) north of Jerusalem. Their Facebook page, which has more than 550 fans, explains that the club offers day and night activities. By day, “families can relax and enjoy both good food and swimming. Al-SnowBar offers a full restaurant with its own personal chef, full bar service, and argyleh (hooka) service. Al-SnowBar is soon to be offering a basketball court.”

How many Ibiza clubs offer a basketball court?

At night it becomes more like what you’d expect from a club with “Jazz nights, weddings, exclusive parties, and DJ nights.” There’s also a bonfire that clubbers like to dance around.

Sounds pretty cool, and it’s only one club among many, but as a BBC report points out, only a small percentage of Palestinians can afford to go to such places. The clubs are doing well, however, and draw in people from other towns. A Palestinian woman from Jerusalem explained that she comes to Ramallah to party because she doesn’t feel welcome in Jewish-owned clubs. So while Palestine isn’t about to join places like Goa in the international clubbing circuit, it’s nice to know that even in the toughest conditions, people can still have a good time. If you want to join them, check out this handy guide to traveling safely in the West Bank.

Photo of Ramallah courtesy Soman via Wikimedia Commons.

Top 10 nightspots in the world

We each travel for different reasons, but for some travellers, a spectacular nightlife is a major draw to certain destinations. Which is why sent a team of reporters out to find the 10 best nightspots in the world (man! I want that job … ) Here’s the list they came up with:

  1. Rooftop Cinema, Melbourne, Australia
  2. Cafe Cairo – Hamilton, Bermuda
  3. Melody Bar – Toronto, Canada
  4. Bar Yellow, Santiago, Chile
  5. Q Bar, Beijing, China
  6. Glamour Bar, Shanghai, China
  7. Monsoon, Shanghai, China
  8. 15cent15, Paris, France
  9. Cibeles, Mexico City, Mexico
  10. Terrasse, Renault, Mexico City, Mexico

Been to any of these places? Yeah, me neither, and I’ll probably never make it since I’m more of a fan of small, out-of-the-way, holes in the wall. But some of them sound kind of cool. To read about the picks more in-depth, click here.