If you are looking for live music with food and your favourite tipple then head to Hai Wan gong yuan whilst you are in Xiamen. Located at the sea front and overlooking Hai Cang on the mainland it is a great place to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air. At one end is the Me & You 2 bar serving draft beers along with pretty good pizza's and a live Philipino band, to the other end having The Key nightclub where you can dance the night away to live music - on albeit a very small dance area. In between there are multiple bars including Havana on the beach serving Brazillian type BBQ, JJ's serving American cuisine and many Chinese food outlets from BBQ to full seafood restaurants. In addition to these is the KK club pounding out dance beats until the early hours and a quite large KTV club where you can either sit in the public area and watch the shows or hire a private room and sing your heart out - has a reasonable selection of western songs. Of course being China almost all of the music is played much louder then is needed except in Havana on the beach where the music is a mix of latino songs by a solo guitar player and a small Chinese group singing lounge style songs. If using a taxi to get there then ask as written above (Hi Wan Gong You An - is a closer phonetic spelling) and you will be taken to the area where The Key and KK bars are, so just walk towards the sea and you'll easily see the other bars and restaurants. Drinks at these bars are a little more expensive than at the bars in Guan Ren Lu. In The Key and KK nightclubs prices are closer to 50RMB for a beer or you can purchase bottles of Vodka, Gin etc... with relevant mixers (cheaper than buying single drinks if you intend to have a few drinks there).
Dress Code: Dress for fun - however most of the bars on the seafront have outside seating so dress warm for the chillier times of year
Guan Ren Lu is the main go-to bar street in Xiamen, and the oldest (ask a taxi driver to take you to "Marco Polo" and the bars are behind the hotel). The first bar on the street was the Orient bar and is still open for business and serves Tiger and Murphys on draft as well as the usual array of bottled beers and spirits. The Londoner was the second bar on the street and a is also still open serving an array of draft beers including Guinness, Strongbow cider, London Pride etc... . Owned and managed by Brits it has a strong connection with the local Rugby club and where you can always catch the latest international rugby games being played on TV screens in and outside the bar. Many other bars have sprung up along Guan Ren Lu over the past 4 or 5 years however, unlike the Orient and Londoner, which are about 50/50 foreigner/Chinese patronised, they are mainly patronised by Chinese. Worth a mention is Muse (if Jason is there the cocktails are great) and Bounce, both offering lively fun in the noisy but very friendly Chinese style of playing dice. Most of the bars will order you food from local vendors however close-by are quite a varied collection of restaurants serving Italian, Mexican, Turkish, American and Chinese cuisines (although I'd give Mama Mia a miss). A little further away (less than 10 mins walk) is a good French restaurant called Greg's Xiamen Xiamen.. fresh baked French bread and an innovative menu along with a stylish decor make Greg's worth a visit where Greg himself will visit your table and advise on daily specials.
Dress Code: None - just relax
Comparing to my Shenzhen, glamours Shanghai, dazzling Hong Kong, Xiamen is a lot quiet and peaceful since it has only about 2 million in population. Yet, there are not really a lot to do after dark, but Zhongshan Lu night market is really a nice place to go to. There are fashionable Paris Spring Department Store, delicious street food, and souvenir shops.
Dress Code: NO!!! You do not need a dress code if you want to have a good walk here :)
If you have the chance, make sure you see live performances of music, dancing, acrobatics etc. They are so colourful and amazing, that even if you know nothing of the background to the music or ballet, you will still have a feast for the eyes and other senses.
Dress Code: semi formal
My friend Anna with 3 of her local friends took me to a nightclub for some dancing, there are rows of nightclubs along that road. The music played are mostly Chinese techno and there's a dancefloor packed with people dancing in one direction (very funny scene, just imagined everyone dancing like robots!) The "best" part is there are plain clothes policemen in the club, standing on higher platforms, watching over the patrons!
After we left the nightclub at 3am, we headed for a supper (steamboat). The restaurant was full of people as it opens till morning.