! GAN BEI ! ! CHEERS ! ! PROST ! ! SANTÉ ! ! CHINCHíN !
Every year Qingdao hosts the largest beer festival in Asia with beer from International breweries all over the globe. Being German, and even Bavarian, I was quite excited to see what the Chinese would make out of our traditional beer festivals in Germany. I don’t know how many of you have already been to a beer festival, but imagine the huge beer tents, stuffed with benches and millions of Chinese people drinking beer, screaming and cheering to Chinese music. It was great!
Besides the tents and the benches it didn’t really have a lot to do with a traditional German beer festival. They had awesome Chinese BBQ, a lot of other food stands (including a McDonalds stand), tons of rides and even some nice German sausages. Besides that, tons of different brewery tents were present; just to give you an impression: Beck’s from Germany, Kirin & Asahi from Japan, Carlsberg from Denmark, Corona from Mexico, Heineken from Holland, Tiger from Singapore, Budweiser from the states, and of course China’s Tsingtao.
There are several ways to get to the festival, probably the easiest way is going by taxi. But be careful especially taxi drivers try to make the best our of these 2 weeks, therefore they ask for absurd numbers like 200RMB to go to the festival, instead of the usual price of 25RMB. You can work around that by saying a side road of the beer fest, which we did.
When we finally arrived at the beer fest it was really crowded, no wonder because about 3 million people visit the event every year. Finding our way through, we were asked for tons of pictures, it seemed like a group of 7 foreigners is not a common picture for most of the tourists there.
We wondered along the site, had some BBQ, had a look at the different tents where you could find all kinds of Chinese music and a lot of KTV. We finally ended up in the Tsingtao beer tent, because we felt the need to support the Qingdao brewery which is a big part of our Chinese life … We had a great time at the festival, drinking beer, meeting new Chinese people and dancing to Chinese music which we’ve never heard before. After a lot of “Gan Bei” the festival closed down, it is just officially open till 10:30pm.
Chengdu is a really vibrant and energetic city, that offers you the opportunity to experience the fast-growing modern China as well as the mythical ancient China while doing an internship in a company or take part in our language classes here. Apart from that there is also a really diverse nightlife that caters for all different tastes of music, beer and atmosphere. In fact Chengdu is meant to have the highest density of clubs and bars per capita in China.
Living in Chengdu for more than 4 months now, I had the chance to do in depth research into Chengdu’s nightlife and want to share my insights with you. Since there are so many places to go to, I will split it up in two blogs in which I try to give you an overview of the bars in the different city areas – but this list is far from complete.
Yu Lin (玉林)
Yu Lin is a traditional local living area in the city centre, which fortunately has been spared by the recent building boom and has a really nice and relaxed vibe to it. You can find hundreds of little eateries that offer delicious food to very affordable prices. Additionally Yu Lin boasts a wide range of small bars with regular live music from local and foreign artist. Places to go
– Machupichu (马丘比丘): a small and chilled bar hidden in a side street off Yu Lin Nan Lu (玉林南路) with live music on the weekends. When I asked the Dutch owner why he chose the name he said, because like the ancient Inca town, his bar is small and hard to find 😉
– Little Bar (小酒馆) old & new: with two locations in Yu Lin, this bar is a one of the oldest establishments in Chengdu. The old branch is really relaxed place where you can have a beer with friends and mingle with the locals. Whereas the new bar is the bigger one of the Little Bar’s and has a decent sized stage and dance floor to host the weekly live shows.
Tong Zi Lin (桐梓林)
Tong Zi Lin is the place where most foreigners live in Chengdu, hence has a bit more westernized bar and club scene.
– Shamrock: This sports bar is popular which shows a lot live matches (rugby, AFL, NFL, etc.) and also
is the home base of the local Western-Chinese rugby team. Ladies night on Fridays.
– Jellyfish: Very popular with foreigners (males) and Chinese (girls) alike, this is the place to work on your international relations. 😉 They have a new larger location in
– Beer Nest I :- A great bar opposite the Poly Centre with a variety of > 60 beers, wines, whiskeys, cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks. There is a cozy upstairs sitting area with sofas and a lovely outside terrace where you can enjoy long summer nights.
– The Beer Nest II (Bar and restaurant) :- A second Beer Nest? Yes! But in contrast to the first Beer Nest, this one offers imported and mostly craft draft beers and tasty European food as well. Additionally, this location also offers great events like their bi-weekly Quiz Night and monthly Entrepreneurship Meetup- how cool is that?
Jiu Yan Qiao (九眼桥)
Close to Sichuan University campus, there are various bars and clubs in this area. The surrounding street BBQ places are always good for a midnight snack after long night out.
– Lan Town: Regular events with DJs from Chengdu and other Chinese cities playing a wide range of music from Hip Hop to Dub Step and Drum and Bass make this a place worth visiting if you are up for more urban sounds.
– Muse: You can find a Muse in almost every major city in China and the concept is always the same: stylish interior, pumping sounds and the occasional dance show on the stage. Good for a fun evening and a couple of whiskeys mixed with green tea.
Dong Men Da Qiao (东门大桥)
– Hemp House (麻糖): Relaxed atmosphere with a big outside area to linger around with a chilled Beer Lao after work. In the evenings they have either live bands or DJs playing until late at night.
For more info and addresses in Chinese and Pinyin check out https://www.gochengdoo.com/en/listings/itemlist/chengdu/night_life/ and https://www.chengduplaces.com/