Nothing makes a drink taste better than sitting in an alien's lap while you have it, right? Come with us on a global tour of the world's trippiest bars.
Giger Bar, Chur & Château St Germain, Switzerland
You may not know his name, but if you've seen Alien, you'll certainly recognise the creations of Swiss graphic artist HR Giger. The decor of these bars are dark and oppressive – it feels like you're in the tomb where Alien's doomed space travellers first encountered their demonic nemesis. The seats impart a horrible sensation, like you're sitting in the slimy monster's lap.
Red Sea Star, Eilat, Israel
The Red Sea Star is a bit like Stromberg's underwater lair in the James Bond flick The Spy Who Loved Me – which is unsurprising considering that it's 5m below the Red Sea in Israel. The interior of this bar-restaurant feels somewhat reminiscent of a mermaid's lounge, with fishy fantasy motifs – including jellyfish-shaped stools and starfish-shaped lights – and huge windows through which curious (or possibly vengeful) fishand other marine creatures eyeball the customers eyeballing their seafood platters.
Depeche Mode Baar, Tallinn, Estonia
This dark corner of Estonia is filled with black-clad, rake-thin Depeche Mode fans sipping on Master & Servant or Personal Jesus cocktails while listening to the band's cold melancholia. Autographed photos, DM artwork and tour memorabilia line the walls, while video screens play continuous Mode videos. A bleak hell for some; sweet heaven for others. The bar is located at Nunne 4, Tallinn; just follow the DM lookalikes. Check out pics here.
Albatross, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo's tiny Albatross is in the bar-filled Shomben Yokocho (Piss Alley; all the bars share the same toilets). You'd be hard pressed to cram more than 10 bodies in here. There are three levels, including an art gallery, and the place is so skinny there's a hole in the upper floors through which the bar staff pass your drinks. If you don't breathe out, don't scratch your head and make sure you watch your step (people have been known to fall through the drinks hole), then you'll have a fine old time. Albatross is open every day from 6pm–3am; take the metro to Shinjuku, use the west exit and head down 'Piss Alley'.
Hobbit House, Manila, Philippines
This Tolkien-themed spot bills itself as 'the world's only bar owned and staffed by hobbits' – actually a team of dwarves and midgets. The decor is charming and rustic, with wood panelling and folksy flourishes, and tall people will need to bend over double to fit through the doorways. The Hobbit House is renowned for the quality of its live music, which happens every night.
Nasa, Bangalore, India
Bar staff resplendent in spacesuits; space-shuttle-style decor; spacey tags ('Fuel Tank' for the bar, 'Humanoid Disposal' for the toilets) laser-light shows; tables attached to rocket fins; images of the earth seen from orbit through portholes on the walls… Take off down Church Street; NASA bar is opposite the showroom for the United Colours of Benetton.
Regatta Hotel, Brisbane, Australia
The male toilets in this Australian joint are billed as the 'loo with a view'. The back wall of the urinal is a hugeone-way mirror and many a chap (and his 'old chap') has been caught out. Relax: you can see them, but they can't see you. How soon before a bar reverses the opticals?