Spending summertime in terraces

On July 18, 2012, in Beijing, Nightlife, Restaurants, Restaurants & Food, by Jack Li

When I travel to Beijing in summertime, I like to spend my days outside and relax in some terraces of this city sheltered from the beating sun. Even if all restaurants have air conditioner, and make you feel comfortable inside, nothing compares to a good time in a terrace (sometimes they are equipped with big […]

When I travel to Beijing in summertime, I like to spend my days outside and relax in some terraces of this city sheltered from the beating sun. Even if all restaurants have air conditioner, and make you feel comfortable inside, nothing compares to a good time in a terrace (sometimes they are equipped with big fans spraying mist water). Let me introduce you all the places to enjoy summertime in a terrace during your Beijing tour for a drink in the afternoon, a meal or to hang out at night.

Spend some good time with a drink after a walk

After visiting the Forbidden City or wandering in the hutongs, Houhai is a nice place to have a drink and rest. Houhai is a lake between hutongs and the Forbidden City; it is famous now for all the cafés, bars and restaurants in the surroundings. The drinks or meals in this area is not that cheap, quite expensive I would say, but having a drink on daytime is cheaper than at night. But the great thing is the view; you can refresh watching the lake and people on pedal boat, you will feel like escaping from the city. Moreover many cafés have terraces, and even if they are not visible, they often have rooftops where you can enjoy a fresh glass of juice.

Eating outdoor

Guloudajie, near the Beijing hutongs, is famous for its numerous restaurants, terraces or rooftops are not visible from the outside at first glance but you will be surprise by the tranquility in these places. If you go on the restaurants in the little alleys you will find some good surprises! And if you miss having brunch, the Bridge Coffee (in WuDaoKou) is for you. This coffee provides American menus and it is extremely popular among foreign students who live around. The coffee is good and you have a large choice among the cakes and breakfast meals. Why not having a brunch there on a sunny Sunday morning?

Dancing in rooftops

Summertime is the best season to contemplate the illuminating city at night. No one likes to be stuck in random crowded clubs as the weather is so good outside! Beijing is full of rooftops to hang out at night. For example last Friday I went to the opening of a new rooftop whiskey bar in Sanlitun, called 99 degrees, by a French restaurant owner who already has a lot of restaurants in Beijing (Le Petit Gourmand). The advantage was that they could offer free cocktails and free BBQ prepared by a French chef for the opening. Near this new whiskey bar, there are the Kokomo and Migas. Kokomo is a nice bar/club with affordable drinks in the neighborhood, highly appreciated by all foreigners. Migas atmosphere is classier, people are better dressed, and music is less loud than in clubs, in fact it’s like if you were in a cocktail party. The crowd is between 25 and 40; you can have a drink sitting in some tables or in giant eggs with some cushions for a cozy atmosphere. There are so many beautiful terraces in Beijing, but I must say that the Yin Bar has the most beautiful view of the capital. Imagine the illuminated roofs of the Forbidden City and Temple of the Coal Hill shining like stars at night just for your eyes? You can afford it going to the top of The Emperor Hotel.

I hope that my article helped you to find good places to take a lot of nice pictures during your China travel! Don’t hesitate to send some to us and participate to our photo contest!

Got to Love The Gypsy Jazz Jam Session

On June 21, 2012, in Beijing, Entertainment, Ethnic Group Flavors, Nightlife, by Jack Li

Did you ever ponder what a gypsy/ Spanish pub would be like in China? Well I did not until I heard about a little place called Salud that is tucked in Sanlitun’s back streets. The word salud means health in Spanish not just physical but mental and social health as well and spending a night […]

Did you ever ponder what a gypsy/ Spanish pub would be like in China? Well I did not until I heard about a little place called Salud that is tucked in Sanlitun’s back streets. The word salud means health in Spanish not just physical but mental and social health as well and spending a night in this interesting bar really will make you healthy. For any person who just finished one a long first day of Beijing tours this place is a great location to sit down and enjoy the company of friends or complete strangers. And if I might suggest an order to place, for those who love food, their tapas is legendary and it comes free with a pint of Tsingtao.  It is the only place I have been to in Beijing that actually gives you a pint when you order a pint. I addition to their tapas all the other food they serve is amazing as well and the service is fast and kind. If you are not hungry when you get there though there is plenty of drink options from around the world including special rum made at salud. It is only 20rmb to get what they call The Salud Special Spice Flavor on the rocks and it is probably the only drink you can get in Beijing that is worth more than what you pay for it. For those who head home late from this bar though make sure to get a metered cab back to your China hotels otherwise like me you might end up splitting a 100 rmb cab between 4 people.

If you are a music lover salud always has different artist playing. When I went I got to listen to a band that played improve and they were amazing. The night I went it was Gypsy Jazz Jam-Session night. The music was so funkalisous it was hard not to dance even sitting at a cramped table with 7 of my friends.  The bar itself is not cramped though in fact it has two floors though if you are taller watch out for some of the low hanging beams. They also host a variety of events weekly that always come with specials such as a free entrance fee cheaper drinks and I have been told free drinks for those who come on special nights. So if you are doubting weather of not to book your Beijing flight because there is much more to explore if you only look around.  “People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.” – Dagobert D. Runes

 

 

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How High? Beihai and Houhai!

On June 20, 2012, in Beijing, China Attractions, Cool Places, Nature Scenery, Nightlife, by Jack Li

Restaurants, live music, and the lake; what more could you possibly ask for in an evening? Houhai Lake offers all of the above listed things and more. When you travel to Beijing, I guarantee you will not experience an area in any other part of Beijing quite like Houhai Lake. Comparable to South Beach in […]

Restaurants, live music, and the lake; what more could you possibly ask for in an evening? Houhai Lake offers all of the above listed things and more. When you travel to Beijing, I guarantee you will not experience an area in any other part of Beijing quite like Houhai Lake. Comparable to South Beach in Miami, Houhai Lake area is one of the most fun areas that I have visited in Beijing. When you make plans to  travel to Beijing, Houhai Lake is an area that you should take time out of your schedule to go visit. Houhai Lake is not only a great tourist attraction, but also an area where you can experience many of the local cuisines and music.

Houhai Lake is located in the Gulou area of Beijing and is a great place to spend an afternoon outdoors. During the summer, you have the ability to rent paddle boats or to ride in a boat with someone rowing it for your group. Tickets are relatively inexpensive and the boat rides typically last for about an hour and take you all around the lake. Similar to Houhai Lake, Beihai Lake also offers these same activities. Both lakes are relatively close together and both attractions can be visited in one day. These lakes are an immense amount of fun and I would go to both if the option is a possibility.

Along with renting boats or riding in a row boat, Beihai Lake has one of the largest Chinese Gardens in the area, which is beautiful to see as are the lily pads floating in the water. It also contains a place called Bai Ta or as we may know it, the White Pagoda. Its body is made of white stone. Sun, moon and flame engravings decorate the surface of the tower. The White Pagoda is situated on the highest point in the area and offers a three hundred and sixty degree view of Beijing. The view is absolutely amazing and mirrors the beauty that the rest of the park has to offer.

When you travel to Beijing and visit Houhai Lake and Beihai Lake, I recommend that you visit the lakes in the later portion of the afternoon and start at Beihai Lake. If you begin at Beihai and see the garden and White Pagoda, you can then make your way down to Houhai area and walk around to the different street vendors. They sell everything ranging from clothes to fried scorpion. If you are feeling adventurous, they not only sell fried scorpion, but also fried sea horse. I myself am not that adventurous and stuck to the food the restaurant had to offer me, but if you want a chance to try some of the “local cuisine,” there are many street vendors selling a variety of foods. The options for restaurants with a lakeside view are endless. You can eat anything ranging from Chinese food to American food. We chose a restaurant offering both and although it was a relatively pricey meal, the atmosphere more than accounted for the price we paid. After dinner, you can walk around and listen to the live music that many of the bars and cafes have to offer and enjoy the scenery simultaneously. Visiting the Houhai Lake area made for an amazing afternoon and evening!

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Wudaoying Hutong Cafes

On April 27, 2012, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, More Places of Interest, by Jack Li

Hutongs are excellent places to see the city’s old streets if you travel to Beijing with some superb Beijing tours operating in and around different hutongs. Stepping off the subway at Yonghegong Lama Temple tourists will encounter over the road from the temple, a maze of amazing (pun intended) cafes in the Wudaoying Hutong. This […]

Hutongs are excellent places to see the city’s old streets if you travel to Beijing with some superb Beijing tours operating in and around different hutongs. Stepping off the subway at Yonghegong Lama Temple tourists will encounter over the road from the temple, a maze of amazing (pun intended) cafes in the Wudaoying Hutong. This hutong is recognizable with its large gate and is the ideal place to have a beverage if you want to waken your senses in this transcendent location.

Sirena Bar is simply complements the alternative and recently regenerated nature of the hutong. Influenced by the Japanese ‘Hello Kitty’ franchise, Beijing has leapt on board to embrace the feline variety. The owners of the cafes have been successful with their venture with the café going from strength to strength with the café currently home to nine cats. Customers can choose to sit near the bar where it is likely you can spot a silky-smooth Siamese cat perched on rest. Yet, if in a small party, you could always hide on the couches upstairs which is pleasantly lit by natural light. The cats are supposedly kept away from the kitchen area for hygiene reasons, but because the cats generally lounge freely in the café, if you have an allergy towards cats, this place may not be ideal.

Sirena’s somewhat Mediterranean appearance with white walls and blue fittings gives the feeling of being in a quaint village which it a wonderful contrast to the hutong outside. The cafes along Wudaoying Hutong are definitely special in how they all have a unique presence. In contrast to Sirena’s bright façade, a few doors away is a bar with has a dark vampire theme with blood-entitled cocktails. If you like the sounds Sirena Bar’s appearance (but you are not a fan of cats), then Sand Pebbles Lounge is might appeal. This fresh-looking café serves Mexican/American-style food with a refreshing seaside décor to match which is quite a change from Chinese cuisine or fast-food joints.

Wudaoying Hutong does have a few eating places, although surrounding areas might be best if you are looking for cheaper and more localized dishes. Recommendations down the hutong include; the Vineyard, The Veggie Table and the V.A. (‘vanguard’) Bar. The only thing truly in common with these establishments is the letter ‘v’; apart that they all provide express their distinct vibes – The Vineyard with its romantic air, The Veggie Table for those who like their greens and the VA for its jazz music.

Due to the casual atmosphere of the Wudaoying Hutong, this unsurprisingly attracts many liberal-minded individuals and or backpackers. Thus logic follows this, and there are subsequently quite a few hostels to be found around the hutong. The Confucius International Youth Hostel is situated on Wudaoying Hutong and the Lama Temple International Youth Hostel is close by. Another option is to have a read of the Beijing hotels listings for those who prefer a little extra comfort and privacy.

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Beijing: Home Away from Home

On April 19, 2012, in Beijing, Nightlife, Nightlife, by Jack Li

This article is intended for anyone who will travel to Beijing and stay long enough to feel they miss some comforts from their western homeland. Sure, the malls in Beijing offer plenty of outlets which you can find back home such as McDonalds, Zara and Starbucks; but outlined below are some venues where you can […]

This article is intended for anyone who will travel to Beijing and stay long enough to feel they miss some comforts from their western homeland. Sure, the malls in Beijing offer plenty of outlets which you can find back home such as McDonalds, Zara and Starbucks; but outlined below are some venues where you can unwind and even forget your in a foreign country. All the places mentioned below are well within the city and thus suitable Beijing hotels will not be a problem too far away.

In particualar, some places down Guangqu Road might interest you. Here is where you will find western-style venues; namely, The Brick, Grinders Bar and Lily’s American Diner. If you are looking for a pub/bar, the Brick fits the bill. After noticing the brick walls when the walk in, the name of the bar becomes clear with bare ‘brick’ walls covering the interior. At first glance, the Brick might pass you by because of its small size, yet this place is worth having a relaxing drink with friends. The laid-back décor of the Brick means customers can chill out over a pint in quite an intimate setting. Hanging above the bar, for instance, you will be able to spot an old bike whilst up the spiralling staircase you and your friends will be able to enjoy a few games of pool.

A couple of doors up from The Brick is the North American-style bar, Grinders. The bar is attractive and spacious and an ideal environment to watch a sports game, drink a beer and grab a bite to eat, with the bar providing at least three decent sized screens. Perhaps the only criticism of the bar is that it is relatively expensive compared to other local venues. However, this makes sense after considering that the wide-range of their tasty beers is imported. The selection of beers on offer includes European, North America and Australian brands. Typically, you might expect to pay around 40RMB for a drink and 50RMB for their signature sub-sandwiches (which, after sampling, are definitely substantial and delicious).

If any readers are a fan of the late-1990’s early-2000’s TV show Friends, then the ‘Friend’s Café’ in Beijing is a must-see. The owners of the café have meticulously fitted the place with furniture and items to give the appearance of Central Perk café from show. Situated on the sixth floor of the Chaowai Soho complex, the café was founded in 2010 by Du Xin (who has himself been likened to ‘Gunther’, the manager of Central Perk!) The Friends Café is the perfect place to unwind and sit on the couch as the TV characters often would. The only difference here is that you have the opportunity to watch countless Friends episodes while sipping your coffee and nibbling on a cake. Alternatively, you can hang out in ‘Joey’s Apartment’ next door and play some table-football. Once a week, the café may even host some entertainment for customers to enjoy and even participate with songs and games from a Phoebe look-alike!

One more place for your consideration is Paddy O’Shea’s which is Beijing’s only Irish-owned and Irish-managed bar. This venue is full of life and was voted as the ‘Best Sports Bar in Beijing’ for over three consecutive years. The bar is roomy and, of course, serves stouts and Ireland’s famous Guinness (again, these might be quite costly). Nevertheless, this is another prime location to socialise with friends as the bar holds regular events such as weekly quiz nights and live music. Note that Paddy O’Shea’s is also the perfect place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and becomes teeming with jovial customers. That said, all these abovementioned places will hopefully encourage you to book you Beijing flights even sooner!

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Nightlife in Beijing

On July 6, 2011, in Accomodation, Beijing, Nightlife, Tours, by Jack Li

After a good night’s sleep in one of the many luxurious hotels offered by  Beijing Hotels or China Hotels and having already tasted some of the unique flavours China’s delicacy had to offer, I felt as though it was now time to enter into a whole new cultural realm of Beijing, its nightlife. Club Scene […]

After a good night’s sleep in one of the many luxurious hotels offered by  Beijing Hotels or China Hotels and having already tasted some of the unique flavours China’s delicacy had to offer, I felt as though it was now time to enter into a whole new cultural realm of Beijing, its nightlife.
Club Scene
I opted for the most obvious option for evening entertainment, Clubbing, entering what was to become an incredible experience. First stop was Sanlitun Bar Street. As soon as we opened the door of the cab our ears were awakened by a loud chorus of beeping cabs, a variety of tourist dialects and of course the bass from the clubs.
Stepping out of the cab our eyes were stimulated by the bright lights reflecting from the tall glass buildings, housing familiar high-street brands  such as Addias, Uniqlo and Mango; not to mention the light bulbs neatly placed in every tree along the strip. As we paraded towards recommended bars such No.52’ and ‘ Top Club Beijing’ our nostrils were filled with the beautiful fragrance of street foods such as ‘yángròu chuànr’, Lamb Kebab on skewers cooked over charcoal sprinkled with Cumin and Spices. Almost immediately we had set out a plan of what we were to eat on our way home.
Beijing’s club scene is not to be underestimated, you will be sure to hear a variety of sounds from different cultures from Asia to Europe to Africa. Beijing’s nightlife is like no other.
If going for drinks and networking are more your scene then Beijing offers several ‘Bar Street’s including Sanlitun Bar Street, Houhai Bar Street and Luoguoxiang Bar Street.
Massage Parlours and Spa’s
However, if you are still recovering from the night before, or the club scene is simply too much for you, Beijing offers activities at the complete other end of the spectrum; including fine relaxing massages  at one of Beijing’s many luxurious chain store massage parlours such as ‘Liangzi’.
Theatre & Cinema
Whilst your body is preparing to shut down, the kids may not be quite ready to go to sleep yet, and so you hold the option of visiting the cinema or theatre.
Night Markets
Alternatively there is still a chance to shop at one of Beijing’s unique night markets many of which not closing until 1.30am. With prices ranging from as low as  20RMB to 100RMB; the markets are equally as exciting as the clubs and theatre. The markets offer a range of not-so-familiar snacks ranging from octopus tentacles to cow stomach’s. It is the perfect place to satisfy your hunger, learn about the culture and experience distinctive flavours the chinese culture has to offer.
As you can see, Beijing is truly a city with something to offer the whole entire family.
If Beijing has all of this to offer in the at night, then you can only imagine
where a tour with ChinaTours could take you in the daytime!
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Zeta Bar

On November 15, 2010, in Beijing, Nightlife, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

The Zeta Bar is located on the 2nd floor of The Hilton Beijing, which is in the Chaoyang district. If you want some laid back drinks in a sophisticated and  a trendy environment this is the place for you. The newly opened Zeta bar is a smooth, classy lounge that screams elegance a lot like the […]

The Zeta Bar is located on the 2nd floor of The Hilton Beijing, which is in the Chaoyang district. If you want some laid back drinks in a sophisticated and  a trendy environment this is the place for you. The newly opened Zeta bar is a smooth, classy lounge that screams elegance a lot like the people who hang out there, the bar is illuminated and very modern with a wacky twist.

The Hilton

One of the most unique things you will find here believe it or not is in the bathroom with a perspex cage like theme and lush decor, I could have spent the whole night in there! There is an aviary inspired theme throughout the lounge with many bizarre birds and hanging cages and many feathers. Drinks are very expensive but well worth it at around 45RMB for a cocktail and 30 for beer and if your looking for something a little more special champagne starts at 600RMB.

Zeta

This place is fast becoming a after work hangout hot-spot with many business men and women relaxing every night. Ladies night is on a Thursday which means that all girls get free drinks form 9.00pm to 12.0,0 this is from a special ladies night cocktail list with about 10 different cocktails to choose from. I would recommend the Zeta Long island tea very tasty and will set you up for a very good evening.

Ladies night at Zeta

The music varies from day to day but they mostly play chiiled out tunes such as jazz once however once the night gets going they usually dabble in a bit of electro or house, nothing too intense though. There is a very small but stylish dance-floor in the centre which is illuminated and raised a must for all you party animals!!

If this account has inspired you to want to travel Beijing but don’t know where to start for some great low cost travel idea’s go to China Tours. Or if you need advice on hotels go to China Hotels.

Xiu at The Park Hyatt

On November 5, 2010, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Nightlife, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

The Xiu bar is located on the sixth floor of The Park Hyatt Beijing, it is a very exclusive club where the stylish and rich people come out to play anyone whose anyone hangs out at Xiu! Xiu is a lush bar elaborately decorated and in a Chinese style with a modern twist, there are pools of […]

The Xiu bar is located on the sixth floor of The Park Hyatt Beijing, it is a very exclusive club where the stylish and rich people come out to play anyone whose anyone hangs out at Xiu! Xiu is a lush bar elaborately decorated and in a Chinese style with a modern twist, there are pools of flowing water and large outdoor terrace its all very sophisticated and sleek.

Great place to meet people!

If you fancy a deliciously mixed cocktail this is the place for you although there is a price tag on average prices range: from about  45 RMB for gin 70RMB martinis, 65RMB mojitos, and ten different wines sold by the glass, ranging from 60-140RMB. All the staff are expertly trained you will not be disappointed.

The Band

If your looking for some real entertainment head down to Xiu on a Thursday you will see hundreds of classy ladies strutting there stuff, this is probably the busiest night and ladies get in for free and drink for free between 9am and 1.00am man sadly have to pay 100 RMB but it is well worth it!  This night has everything great people amazing atmosphere its hard not to have a fabulous time, there is also a I’ve band who play current tunes they are excellent.It’s a place where you can chill out with friends or have a boogie, a great place to meet new people.The dance area is rather small but intimate, though at times it can get crowded. I would recommend arriving around 10pm as it gets really busy and there is always a long queue.

Xiu Bar band

If your not in the mood for a crazy night out I Xiu bar has turned into the number 1 hot spot for after work drinks the perfect place to take clients for that wow factor! They have a daily happy hour from 5-8pm which means you can get buy one get one free on selected drinks.

This venue is perfect for those warm summer evenings as there is a wonderful out door oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the hectic dance floor. You can sit and chat to friends and check out the amazing views of Beijing its tranquil, I have spent many a night relaxing in this area.

If this account has inspired you to want to travel Beijing but don’t know where to start for some great low cost travel idea’s go to China Tours. Or if you need advice on hotels go to China Hotels.

Friends Drinking at The Hyatt

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The Beach

On October 22, 2010, in Beijing, Nightlife, Nightlife, by Jack Li

Over my time here in Beijing I have sampled  a lot of the night life, one of my favourite places to go is a little roof top terrace bar called The Beach since its reopening this bar has fast become one of the hottest bars in Beijing. The bar can be found on the 4th […]

Over my time here in Beijing I have sampled  a lot of the night life, one of my favourite places to go is a little roof top terrace bar called The Beach since its reopening this bar has fast become one of the hottest bars in Beijing. The bar can be found on the 4th floor of  Block 8 outside the West Gate of Chaoyang Park there will be music playing and drinks flowing from 9.00 every evening get there early for a good spot.

Birds eye view of The Beach

The Beach is one of the most exclusive and coolest lounge bars in Beijing as it offers a night of relaxing house music underneath the twinkling stars. The bar really does give you that holiday ambience as it is equipped with to large pits of white sand, pseudo-Dedon sleek day beds,sexy flowing champagne and music which is reminiscent of Ibiza. This glamourous bar is also home to some of the most famous cocktails in Beijing which are professionally made by trained staff. It also offers a incredible and fabulous birds-eye view of central Beijing lit up in all its glory at night, which is a must see for any visitors to this great city.

A great night!


The bars blue lighting and and slick white seats really give the bar that cool mediterranean vibe that set the scene for a chilled out relaxing night. My advice is to wrap up and take warm clothes as this bar is fully outside so it can get a bit chilly late at night.

The Bar

The best night to visit The Beach is on a Wednesday especially for girls as they will receive free drinks between 10.00pm and 12.00pm, there is a wide selection of free cocktails on offer to suit everyone’s tastes. On a Wednesday they mix up the music and sometimes have a differnet DJ who plays Hip hop which is always fun, although there is no dance floor alot of people dance in ther seats of just by the bar. This is a really good offer as single drinks can range from 55-100 RMB.

Having fun with friends

If your a young vibrant individual looking for a great packed night full of fun this place is defiantly for you get your self down to The Beach to mix with Beijing’s elite and have the time of your life!

If this Account has inspired you to come to Beijing to sample the amazing night life for great idea’s look on China Tours or if you have already got some great ideas and need flights and hotels a great website for this is china travel.

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