Shamian lsland is a good place to begin. The island
has a population of will-o'-the-wisp bars and cafes, and you can
be assured that many of those mentioned here have either packed
up and left, changed name, gone up or downmarket or just vanished.
One worthy survivor on Shamian Park, is Lucy 's
(Tel: 8187-4106, lusi jiuba canting), a bar that serves very good
beer. The food is also excellent, of the grilled chicken and steak
variety, and the decor (perfect for homesick Americans) is almost
as retro as the price tag on the drink. If you're planning to go
to Shanghai, get drunk at Lucy' s first, it's miles cheaper.
Other bars on Shamian lsland try to hit the right note,
but mostly don't quite make it. These include the lankwaifong
Bar (Tel: 81919722), which tries to recreate the bustle and
excitement of the Hong Kong night spot with little success, and
the Shamian Bar, a pricey and tacky alternative.
The Hill Bar (Tel: 8359-0206, xiaoshanba), 367
Huanshi Lu, next to the Baiyun Hotel, is good for both pub grub
and a mellow drinking session. The excellent food is remarkably
inexpensive. On Saturday the place keeps going until the sun comes
up -it has an excellent juke box which pumps out a fine selection
of tunes. There's no dance floor, but nobody will mind if you throw
back a few Tequila slammers and start jumping on the table.
If it's dancing you want, try the One loveBar
Tel: 8737 1 720, yanyangtian), which has a large beer garden, dance
floor and live music upstairs. Dancing starts at 10 pm and goes
on till 2 am. Entry is £§10 and a large beer is £§30. It's on the
north-west corner of Dongfeng Dong Lu and Guangzhou Dadao.
In the same area, another place to be seen in is L'Africain
(Tel: 8778-2433, feizhouba), on the corner of Dongfeng Dong Lu and
Nonglin Xia Lu. It is a bar that has dancing till 2 am on weekdays
and till 4 am on weekends. This is where the crowds settle in for
the early hours.
A massive disco complex comes in the form of Hollywood
East (Tel: 8766-0303, heyiluoVong), Dongrun Plaza, 838 Dongfeng
Dong Lu. Inside, you'll find the Jurassic Disco (open till 3 am)
and the Oscar lounge, which is a venue for live bands.
The Rock and Roll Club (Tel: 8890-8088, gunshijulebu`),
down near the river at 101 Yanjiang Xi Lu, is another popular dance
venue at the time of writing, with live bands, floor shows, karaoke,
catwalk and disco all rolled into one. Entrance is Y60 during the
week and Y80 at weekends. Opposite is the Top Show Disco
(Tel: 8188-7968,yOnwutai), a similar sort of place parked by the
Pearl River. Techno is on the menu at Star East(Tel: 83843559)
in the Garden Hotel. Deafeningly noisy, this is the place to come
if you want to shout at the barman all night while he shrugs his
shoulders. Entry is Y50 on weekends.
The Face Club on Taojin Lu (opposite My Home
Hunan Restaurant) and further up from Kathleen's, is in the building
with the face on it. A quieter sort of spot, this is the place to
come when you've no energy left but can't face hitting the sack.
Hard Rock Cafe (Tel: 8666-6888), in the basement
of the China Hotel, has a from 10 pm to 2 am from Sunday to day
and from 10.30 pm to 3 am on The cover charge is £§50, but the beer
is pricey. Live music is also on the menu.
Other bars and clubs include 42nd Street(Tel:
87765603), 399 Huanshi Dong Lu (not far from Kathleen' s), and Catwalk
(Tel: 8666 6888 ext 2068) in the China Hotel.
What remains is very much falling prey to the inexorable
march of bad taste, as exemplified by karaoke parlours. If you want
to include karaoke as one of your really genuine experiences of
modern China, try the aptly named Sing High Karaoke Club at the
White Swan Hotel. Knock back a few stiff ones, grab the golden microphone,
swallow hard and try to remember the melody for `Desperado' as everyone
cheers you on.
Cinemas that show decent western films are a rarity,
however, international films are screened (in the original tongue)
at the Film Library of the Haizhu Culture Center (Tel:8448-9893).
It screens five films a day. seven days a week.
Chinese drama and opera is periodically performed at
the Friendship Theatre (Tel: 5666 2743), 696 Renmin Bei Lu.
Tickets are £§80. £§120 and £§180.
Musical performances are sometimes held a[ the Huanghuagang
Theatre (Tel: 8776-5491), 96 Xianlie Zhong Lu. Tickets range
from£§80 to£§200. The Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra also performs at
the Friendship Theatre (see the Opera/theatre entry for details).
Live bands perform at the Hard Rock Cafe, Oscar
Lounge, One Love Bar, Rock and Roll CIub and Kathleen
's Cafe and Bar. For details. see the earlier entries for these