Life after dark, nostalgia and night clubs
welcome to Beijing

Perhaps due to its status as national capital and world centre, Beijing tends to have a low-profile nightlife, looking as much to a subdued dinner with city view or a cultural performance as moving to a disco beat under flashing strobe lights.

Much of the western-style after-dark pursuits are still at the large international hotels, although many smaller hotels and restaurants have areas set aside for that ubiquitous Asian pursuit, the karioke.

Rickshaw and moonlight

A chauffeured gambol down Chang'an Boulevard to spend time in the moon-lighted courtyards of the Forbidden City will be entertaining and memorable.

Enjoying the past. Tianqiao (Happy) Teahouse and Lao She Teahouse offer folk art and other entertainment that were popular years and even centuries ago. Snacks only are served, so dine before you arrive.

Cultural pursuits

There's music at the Beijing Concert Hall, drama at the Capital Theatre, ballet in the Tianqiao Theatre, Peking Opera at the Liyuan, Chang'an, Jixian and Huguo Temple theatres, traditional Chinese music, dance and theatre at the Nationality Cultural Palace, acrobatics at the Dashilar Theatre and martial arts at the new National Martial Arts Center.

Pub crawls

Sanlitun Street, Chaoyang Park and embassy district are the "in" places and their offerings of pub grub and weekend doses of raucous rock n' roll and serious jazz.

Sing your heart out

It doesn't really matter if you can sing, various facilities around Beijing welcome karaoke performers, usually in reserved private rooms.

Going native

There's nothing like joining thousands of Beijingers in an evening stroll, street-bought guan chang sausages, zhagao fried glutinous rice cakes and a container of tea soup in hand, along Dongdan, Xidan and Longfu Temple Street. The Donghuamen Street night market close to the world-famous Beijing Hotel also offers views along the East Tongzi River.

You might also consider sampling the triangle-shaped, meat-stuffed hun dun dumpling, the thin, sorghum-flour cha tang patty, baodu fried pig stomach fillets or the yang rou chuan roasted mutton on a stick.

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