Beijing Nightlife, China
Twenty years ago Beijing was full of traditions and conventional thinking. With its glorious history as China's capital, Beijing has maintained an orthodox culture that screams tradition and laid-back lifestyle - but not anymore. The city may not be as contemporary as Shanghai is, but it's no longer just sleeping through the night.
Most Chinese from this northern area were quiet and conservative. They mostly have families with whom they spend their nights inside their homes just watching TV or simply sharing stories. When the city's stores pulled down their metal doors to wrap up the day, the streets of Beijing began to transform into a deserted place. Tourists and local people were then forced to tuck themselves to bed early in anticipation for the next daytime activities.
For the tourists who clamor for fun at night, there was a very limited number of choices. Most of the entertainment available was traditional and cultural in nature such as the Beijing opera and acrobatic shows. If these did not appear truly appealing, visitors could just stay in their hotels, check for a cozy place to have a drink and pray he'd fall asleep soon.
As things get stirred up down south, the government realized that there is great opportunity in encouraging tourists into Beijing, too by providing a diverse selection of night entertainment without sacrificing its cultural roots.
At present, Beijing boasts a nightlife full of activities in old yet revived as well as new and modern venues. Adult-preferred cultural choices continue to proliferate with teahouse theaters, acrobatics and cultural events, concerts, live entertainment shows and cinema.
For the younger breed that thrives on musically inclined activities, there are themed and exotic bars and restaurants, trendy dance clubs, karaoke bars and cafes. Admission to the larger venues ranges from $7 to $11 while the smaller pubs admit customers for free.
Beijing transformed into a cheaper night entertainment hub. Although still less magical and dazzling than Shanghai's, its nightlife continues to evolve fast and Beijing is seeing more and more innovations setting the club scene up. The best thing about this side of China is that entertainment is a lot cheaper yet you get to enjoy the spectacle nonetheless.
Old-fashioned Beijing spots are still must-sees. There's Tianqiao Area, a popular place to gather around, eat, drink and be merry since the Yuan Dynasty in the 12th century. The Tianqiao Theatre and the Liyuan Theather are best bets for modern and folk song and dance performances operas and acrobatics.
At the Chaoyang District, near the embassy area, lies a cradle for Modern China. The Sanlitun Pub Street is where many foreigners and young people flock to for drinks and various rock-and-roll hip-hop and jazz joints. There's Poachers Inn, The Tree Browns, Passby Bar Bed and World of Suzie Wong among others.
For those with a flair for food adventure, Beijing opens its night market when darkness sets in to snack carts that offer Beijing native foods. These areas include Dongdan Street Xidan Donghuamen Gate and Longfusi Temple.
It is difficult to describe all you have to do and se in Beijing when night falls, but there is certainly a great buzz happening at this side of China.
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