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Beijing Thoughts: Partying

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  • Beijing Thoughts: Partying

    Sanlitun
    This is the main party area of Beijing and pretty close to the Defcon China venue. I'm not endorsing this stuff but the Nali Patio area like El Barrio or the terrace at Martini are options. There is also a whole row of tourist bars right next to here. If you're a dude and a woman on the street asks if you want to go to a "lady bar" do so at your own risk. It's actually not a big deal (it's not a strip club or anything as that doesn't exist in China) but could be a scam if it's off the beaten path. If it's one of the aforementioned bars you can probably negotiate your first drink price if you're so inclined. Also close by, and if you want more of a proper club environment, there is: One Third, Element, Lantern, Mix, plus a couple others I can't think of. Expect to pay a cover.

    The Hutongs
    I think the Hutongs are pretty unique (and disappearing) and have some cool bars. Beware though as they can be a maze. For a couple of them you need to know exactly where they or you risk getting lost and/or never finding the place. You might be right next to it and have no idea. They are also a bit further away but still relatively cheap to get to via DiDi. Again, no endorsements but there is Capital Spirits, Cafe de la Poste, Tiki Bar, The Great Outdoors, School Bar, Dada (three actual venues in that building), plus others I've forgot or I'm sure I don't know about.

    If you're hitting the clubs beware of fake liquor. This is more from a price perspective vs. health thing (i.e., you're not gonna go blind or die). Unless you're at a reputable hotel you might want to steer clear of premium liquor and go for well drinks. I'm not saying all bars do this but it is a thing in Beijing.

    Craft beer
    Beijing has some solid craft beer if that's your thing. Check out Great Leap (also my favorite pizza plus a good burger), Slow Boat (good burgers and pretty good food in general), Jing A, and Arrow Factory Brewing. In Sanlitun there is also Heaven Supermarket. They have fridges full of of beer. You buy what you want, optionally order food, get a table, and drink.

    Also note that it's not uncommon for businesses here to literally disappear overnight. Even ones that are doing well. One day you might walk to a bar, store, barber, etc. you've gone to for months or more and it's gone.
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