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!

Tagged with:  

Paddle Boat The Day Away and Boogie Down At Night

On June 13, 2012, in Activities, Beijing, Cultural Experience, Nightlife, by Jack Li

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Hey I should Travel to Beijing”? Well I did and I do not regret it, in fact if I could I would live in this diverse and booming city for as long as possible. However, I don’t think one could see and experience all that Beijing has to offer […]

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Hey I should Travel to Beijing”? Well I did and I do not regret it, in fact if I could I would live in this diverse and booming city for as long as possible. However, I don’t think one could see and experience all that Beijing has to offer in one life time. This being said there are a few must see places for those who only visit for even a week. First of all everyone should check out the numerous Beijing Tours because everyone’s taste buds for fun are different. But if you want to spend a day exploring on your own, Houhai Lake in the Gulou area of Beijing is the place to be even on Sundays. This district is constantly alive with the sound of music and laughter and if you like me love to be on boats you can rent electric boats, paddle boats and guided boats to see the district from the lake. It is about 120rmb for a six person boat and if you split the cost it is much cheaper and more fun than say the swan boats in the Boston commons. If you are more adventurous you can try one of the Dragon boats but it is quite tiring. If you do go out on the lake look out for the swimmers and fishers, I personally almost hit a few. The view from the lake is gorgeous in every direction and Is a great photo opportunity. Another word of caution though if you want to go under the bridge to the narrower part of the lake you might get caught in a traffic jam of boats trying to do the same thing. It is not an unpleasant experience in fact it is quite funny and everyone caught in the jams laughs and says high to each other. You might, like me, even end up reaching over your boat to shake hands with a complete stranger you have just bumped into.  In the winter I have been told that it is the primary place to go ice skating outdoors, now that I want to try.
If you are not into boating another option is to just walk around the street and see the shops and vendors running about. Or you can rent bikes which zoom all over the area. There are even tandem bikes large enough for three people. When I was there this past weekend a man selling erhus or Chinese violin as it is called by many foreign countries. When he came by my friend Ellen wanted to try to play one so he let her and even gave her some short instructions in broken English. However, when she started to play (terribly might I ad) tourists from all over the area began to flock around her and take pictures of her attempting to play this tricky instrument. I ended up buying one to play in my free time however my attempts to play made Ellen’s seem like sweet music and I was quickly asked to stop by my other friends.  After this riveting experience we went to get a frosty beverage and one of the many restaurants and bars on Houhai’s bar street. Many of these bars are very nice and often have rooftop seating for a great view of the lake or even comfy chairs right next to the lake. Most have amazing live music, hookahs and even karaoke which I must say I am quite bad at. My favorite of these bars is called Michele Jackson and it is completely decked out in pink chairs with rhinestones in them.  This is just one of the many places to visit on your China travel. If you have ever thought of going to China go, it is a place where everyone can find their own unique and fun experiences.

Tagged with:  

The Musical Water Fountain

On May 17, 2012, in Nightlife, Other Places of Interest, Xi'an, by Jack Li

For visitors who travel to Xi’an there are lots of cultural highlights to see during the day. If you want to go out in the evening one recommendable activity for all travelers regardless of age is the musical water fountain at Fountain Plaza at the foot of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The well-preserved pagoda […]

For visitors who travel to Xi’an there are lots of cultural highlights to see during the day. If you want to go out in the evening one recommendable activity for all travelers regardless of age is the musical water fountain at Fountain Plaza at the foot of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The well-preserved pagoda itself, built over 1300 years ago, is worth being included in your Xi’an Tours during the day (it is not open to visitors at night). It is situated in the Da Ci’en temple complex which is of great importance for Buddhists.

The most popular show is in the evening because the lights create a wonderful atmosphere against the dark night sky. The last show starts at 8:30 pm during spring time although some homepages or guidebooks indicate different times. It might be best to ask your local hotel staff for the exact time because they might change depending on the season.
In any case it is advisable to get there half an hour to one hour in advance for the evening show because with many visitors who want to see the spectacle it gets pretty crowded. From a platform north of the pagoda you get a great view over the fountain complex and for that reason those spots are particularly popular and not easy to get.

Before or after the fountain show it’s nice to walk around in the area surrounding the fountains, especially on hot days when it slowly cools down after the heat of the day. With the illuminated Big Wild Goose Pagoda in the background and the lights of the city there is a nice scenery to have dinner in this area. There is no entrance fee for the show; the plaza is open to the public and doesn’t have any entrance gates.

The show is announced by speaker in Chinese and in English, it lasts about half an hour and has great effects with the fountains in different formations with light effects to the sound of music. The music is mainly instrumental but partly includes some singing. It is a good international mixture reaching from traditional Chinese music to classical and modern pieces of music. This show is just a great way to end an exciting day with something that you don’t get to see all the time.

Especially in the evening many vendors offer to take pictures with the fountain in the background. You need to decide for yourself if you think this souvenir is worth the money, but if you decide to, bargain and don’t go with the first price the photographers offer. Since the pagoda and the fountain are located about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from downtown Xi’an you can either take the bus or a taxi to get there. After the show it’s pretty crowded around the plaza and not easy to get a cab so you should consider taking the bus back to your Xi’an Hotels or be prepared to wait a little while. Either way, you shouldn’t miss this ecxiting and unique show!

Tagged with:  

Beijing – The City that Never Sleeps

On September 23, 2011, in Beijing, China Travel Gossip, Nightlife, Nightlife, by Jack Li

A Beijing tour is not complete without sampling some Beijing’s bustling nightlife. From a quiet expensive cocktail to unlimited drinks for 30RMB. Just a short walk from your Beijing hotel when the sun goes down, you will come across a new world full of excitement. Most bars and clubs stay open until 4am or later so you […]

A Beijing tour is not complete without sampling some Beijing’s bustling nightlife. From a quiet expensive cocktail to unlimited drinks for 30RMB. Just a short walk from your Beijing hotel when the sun goes down, you will come across a new world full of excitement. Most bars and clubs stay open until 4am or later so you will be no doubt be spoilt for choice!

 

Night Market
If you want to experience the smells and tastes of China at its best, then a trip to the night market in Wangfujing Street is something to behold. From starfish to live scorpions on sticks, the night market has it all! However for those who are less adventurous, there are candied fruits and traditional Chinese food such as spring rolls and Kung Pao Chicken.

 

 

 

 

Sanlitun Bar Street

This thriving place is the expats favourite desintation to party. With an endless streets of clubs and bars to suit every taste. My personal favourite is called Kokomo which is a Caribbean themed club on the 4th and 5th floors of TongLi Studios and is  a lounge and has a roof terrace (which is covered in the winter) and has received a variety of awards over the last 5years. Other notable clubs include Vics which is incredibly popular among expats and is considered one of the largest and most impressive clubs in the capital and Boys&Girls which is ones of the most popular bars on the street teamed with it’s neon lights and live Chinese pop and rock bands.

 

 

Juicy

Juicy bar is one of Beijing’s best kept secrets, situated near Chaoyang park, for a one off payment of 50RMB you get yourself a members clubcard which entitles you to free entry everyday except Wednesday (where you pay 30RMB entry fee) and entitles you to half price drinks on Sunday – Tuesday and free unlimited drinks on Wednesday. The bar also has a wide variety of different flavours of Shisha which can be enjoyed on the roof terrace for only 40RMB.

 

 

 


Atmospher
e

For those who want a more exclusive feel, Bar atmosphere is definitely the place! Situated on the 80th floor of the China World Trade Centre, making it the highest bar in Beijing. As well as enjoying the views, you can enjoy a variety of single malts, one of the 300 available cocktails (starting at 65RMB) as well as some light snacks and cigars. This exclusive bar has a strict dress code after 6pm so make sure you get your glamrags on! In the evening there is entertainment from an excellent Jazz Band playing a variety of music from Duke Ellington to Norah Jones. This is the perfect venue for a special occasion or a romantic drink.

 

 

 

So when booking you Chinese flight, remember to look forward to the exciting nightlife that Beijing has to offer. There is something for everyone and you will not be bored of things to do.

Entertainment in Beijing: Acrobatics, Opera & Kung Fu Shows!

On September 15, 2011, in Beijing, Entertainment, Nightlife, by Jack Li

A must see experience on any China tour is a visit to an acrobatic show. Attractions like this can be very hit and miss but Chinese acrobatics is definitely a hit and has to be seen to be believed! The shows are an eclectic mix of dance, gymnastics, contortion, martial arts and incredible stunts, with […]

A must see experience on any China tour is a visit to an acrobatic show. Attractions like this can be very hit and miss but Chinese acrobatics is definitely a hit and has to be seen to be believed! The shows are an eclectic mix of dance, gymnastics, contortion, martial arts and incredible stunts, with insane acts such as five men on motorbikes whizzing around a gigantic hamster like ball.

 

The history of Chinese Acrobatics dates back over two thousand years and when you travel to Beijing the best and most recommended location to see the extravagance is the Chaoyang Theatre. The theatre is easy to get to and located in the east of the city, the nearest subway stop is ‘Hujialou’ on line 10. Performances are available each night, with a viewing at 5.15-6.30pm and another at 7.15-8.30pm with the cost being around 200RMB for the cheapest seats, however this can rise up to 800RMB for those with the best views.

 

Chaoyang Theatre has a souvenir stall selling merchandise related to the performance including a DVD of the show, and there is also a small shop selling drinks and snacks to bring into the theatre with you. Performances are around 75 minutes.

 

The show is a spectacular combination of movement, lighting and sound and makes for some beautiful photos. Other theatres in Beijing offering shows are the Tiandi ‘Heaven and Earth’ Theatre (nearest subway stop is Dongsishitiao on Line 2) with shows daily at 7.15-8.30pm and Tianqiao Theatre (best accessed by taxi) with shows at 7.15pm. Both cost in the region of 180RMB for the cheaper seats.

 

In addition to Acrobatics there is also an energetic Kung Fu performance on show at the Red Theatre (closest subway stop is Tiantandongmen, Line 5) entitled ‘The Legend of Kung Fu’. There is more than just martial arts to this show which follows a narrative, as it involves dangerous stunts with variety of props and sharp instruments. There are performances every evening beginning at 7.30pm and tickets cost from 180RMB. Shows last 1 hour and 20 minutes.

 

Another traditional attraction is the Beijing Opera (known as Jingxi) which, although not as comprehensible as the above attractions, is still worth a visit – if not for the impressive costumes, make up and stage design. The most popular theatres for this are Liyuan Theatre (accessed via the Liyuan stop on the Batong line) and the National Centre for the Performing Arts (subway stop Tian’anmen West (Xi)), both have evening performances starting at 7.30pm. Alongside the original opera performances many popular Chinese teahouses also combine the traditional tea tasting experience with Opera entertainment, and often this can be combined with a Peking Duck dinner too.

 

If you are unsure about organising any of these activities or would rather be a part of a group visit many Beijing Hotels and online travel companies offer tours or package deals to all of the above attractions.

KTV: Sing, Dance and Be Merry!

On September 8, 2011, in Beijing, Cultural Experience, Entertainment, Nightlife, by Jack Li

KTV (short for Karaoke Television) is a popular social activity in the far east, and is an interesting twist on the typical bars and clubs we commonly visit in the UK, Australia and America. It is an experience any tourist should try at least once when they travel to Beijing and there are KTV venues […]

KTV (short for Karaoke Television) is a popular social activity in the far east, and is an interesting twist on the typical bars and clubs we commonly visit in the UK, Australia and America. It is an experience any tourist should try at least once when they travel to Beijing and there are KTV venues located all over the city near to many Beijing hotels and attractions, you will usually spot them by their big sign with ‘KTV’ in neon lettering.

 

 

The entrance lobbies are generally very grand with extravagant decor, vibrant colours and giant chandeliers. You are usually met at the entrance and shown to your booth for the evening. KTV rooms are available to rent for an evening or per hour, and there is a broad price range which varies between establishments.

 

 

They have many different rooms ranging from a simple 2 person room right up to big rooms suitable for work gatherings and birthday parties.  The idea is to rent out a booth with a group of your friends, select your favourite tracks and sing your heart out. The booth is closed off and private, and provides television screens with the music video and lyrics so everyone can sing along with you. In Chinese culture it is a very popular pastime even if you are not so vocally talented, and the locals use it as a place to vent their emotions, socialise and relax.

 

KTV establishments normally provide food and beverages or have them available to purchase giving you no reason to leave your private area, and each room has a spacious dance floor for those who feel less than confident about singing in front of their friends!

 

There is normally a variety of music to choose from with both English and Chinese favourites available, including all the latest popular chart hits from back home. Karaoke rooms are kitted out in style with fancy couches, a modern computer playlist and giant flat screen televisions. The atmosphere is generally very party orientated with twinkling coloured lights, disco balls and dimmed lights.

 

KTV was originally invented in Japan and came to China about 25 years ago, originally existing in mostly expensive four and five star hotels, before moving on to nightclubs and specific KTV establishments. Alongside the private rooms there is usually a general public karaoke area where groups can gather and sing together.

 

KTV is the perfect way to chill out with your friends and sample the culture first hand, a must see on for your China travel itinerary!

Latte

On November 9, 2010, in Beijing, Nightlife, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

Latte is an amazing and vibrant club located in the Workers Stadium In Sanlitun, it is a great place to go and socialise drink and generally have a great time! The club a part of a very well renowned line of clubs in Beijing, so naturally it has a lot of hype around it. Latte had […]

Latte is an amazing and vibrant club located in the Workers Stadium In Sanlitun, it is a great place to go and socialise drink and generally have a great time! The club a part of a very well renowned line of clubs in Beijing, so naturally it has a lot of hype around it.

Outside of latte

Latte had a lot to live up to as the owners were the same as the once King of the clubs Chocolate and cappuccino. Latte didn’t let us down with its strange,tacky yet classy style. This is the place where the rich and powerful business men come out out to play and flaunt there wealth, if your lucky they will invite you to their deluxe table to feast upon the sumptuous fruit that is in abundant supply. Latte is worth the visit just for to experience the amazing show that they put on once an hour although very cheesy it’s very entertaining all the same!

Making Friends in latte

If your not up for pounding music and provocative dancing I would swerve latte, however if this sounds your scene thrown in with crowed sofa’s,thrones and creepy wall masks the doors are open until 6.00am most nights.

Good fun!!

The prices in this place are not for the faint heart-ed, as a simple beer will set you back 30RMB with a G&T costing 45RMB, if your really feeling like you want to splash the cash there is a wide range of champagne available starting at around 700RMB!

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.

Tagged with:  

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

Tagged with:  
Page 1 of 11