If you get familiar with some Ni-Vanuatu (which is really not difficult and very likely), and if you are a male (sorry girls and ladies) he will probbaly invite you, around 5 pm, to have some kava.
If you are a lady travelling with a male partner, the invitation will be probably extended to you as well, for politeness, but in a different way.
The gentleman will be asked to join in a kavabar: usually a stall on one side of the road, with kerosene lamps or candle light, where several men stand in silence, very quiet and relaxed; the owner will pour your kava from a bucket or a basin into your shell, for 100 vt (0.7 euro).
You will be told to drink it in a gulp; this is before dinner, at best.
Kava is freshly made, every day, from the crushed roots of Piper Methysticum: it tastes of licorice and pepper, it looks like muddy water, leaving a mixed sensation of dumbness and warmth to your lips and tongue. It is said to be relaxing, and in large quantities, to slightly paralize arms and legs, till to complete loss of control (until next morning. no hangover or side effects). Your minds still remains straight.
I found it odd but pleasant.
Ladies will wait: your host will fill a plastic bottle at the kavabar, and kava will be consumed in another place: hotel or any other accomodations.
Kava bars are often referred to as nakamal: this is in fact the kastom name for the gathering site where, in villages, men drink kava at dusk: it is not meant for profit, and it is normally not open to tourists.
Kava is not a drug and not alcoolic: it is widespread in the whole pacific culture (except Papua), and its use is aimed to maintain good relationships and peace amongst men of different clans, villages, tribes, islands and so on.
Dress Code: Not really
Finding this gorgeous cocktail lounge was completely unexpected. The decor was lush and gorgeous, reminiscent of traditional cigar lounges (but without the smoke!). Everything a cocktail bar should be.
The cocktails were lovely well made, and the atmosphere is one of quiet enjoyment. Definitely a good place to just relax with a good drink.
Pricewise, the cocktails were a little bit more expensive than the ones at Iririki, but the menu was significantly different, so it was worth the trip.
Dress Code: Dressy Casual
Le Meridien Port Vila Resort and Casino, overlooking Erakor Lagoon and its own private island, is home to Port Vila's only International casino. Here we spent a great night out playing pacific poker, the dealer taught us how to play and it was a lot of fun, in the end we lost out money but it was a great fun way to spend the evening, the staff at the casio all looked after us very well and nothing was a hassle, even the manager found time to share a cold beer with us.
Dress Code: Dress code is just neat causal
Well there are a few places to go too of a night time, try the Mano Bar on the nights that the cruise ships come in, the place realy rocks, had the best indoor water fight of my life there. The manager starts it , just be prepare to get wet.
There are few night clubs in town and some of the resorts have live bands
What make's a night out here is the people, there allway's friendly and inviting, where ever you go for dinner you will get good service and a good feed.
Dress Code: Dress code is very casual all over the island, shorts and shirt is all you need and mybe some sandles.
Didn't go there myself but heard alot about it. A place called Ma Bakers. It's a pub with a difference. Stories of water fights with the barmaids and the bar turned into a slip n slide game. Patrons sliding from one end to another. Not really my scene but the younger ones might be interested.
Dress Code: Raincoat perhaps?
Trader Vics was a fun place for us to go for a drink...it wasn't very busy and there weren't many locals around but the crowd managed to do some dancing and hang out for a while...
Dress Code: Uh...well, we were dressed in dress-up clothes so I think anything goes... ;)
Nightlife options in Port Vila (it's nonexistent elsewhere) are changing fast. At the time I was there, there were namely two 'real' discos with any expats; Le Flamingo and Smugglers. The main bars are Club Vanuatu, Office Pub and Sunset Bar(this is the local name-has a french original name). Other discos/bars are the Imperial and another french-named one, as well as the ones in the hotels. In Le Meridien there's a casino.
The prices are stiff. Almost as in Norway. Usually the discos don't close 'till everybody's left. Can get very rowdy at some of the discos.
Dress Code: No T-shirts at Le Flamingo. This rule does not apply 9 if the disco isn't full, though. Which it rarely is.
The local beer in Vanuatu is called Tusker. The brewery is just outside of Port Vila on the way to the airport. I'm not a beer drinker but everyone else I was with loved it!
We started a night at the Office Pub...it was okay but the girls found it a little 'sleezy' when ordering drinks alone...
Dress Code: Anything goes...
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