As a common understanding, Shanghai has the most colorful night life in China. But if you have ever participated, you may feel it is probably the most colorful one in the world!
The following are the main sections where the nightlife concentrates.
Xin Tian Di
It is a great success of combing the ancient architecture with the modern life. Xin Tian Di displays a comparatively traditional Shanghai architecture called Shi Ku Men. But walking into all those newly built-up, you find everything modern, western and trendy. There is a great conclusion for two kinds of people whom like to be here: The one likes to look at or the one likes to be looked at. So VTer, which type of person you are? ;-)
Fu Xin Park
It took me and my friend almost one hour to find Park 97(ranked as the best bar in China now) as it is located in the most inner side of the park. But be awared of the price. They charge us 50RMB for the entrance and a Gin Tonic for 54RMB. Another bar next to Park 97 is Guan Di as many Chinese celebrities go there often. The best Karaoke house Cashbox(Qian Gui) is also located inside of the park. So this park has it all! But it is no longer a park as all vechicles drive in by jetting out the poison and polluting the whole park during the night.
Mao Ming Road
I have not been to this area. But it looks like a local style to enjoy the nightlife.
Hen Shan Road
It's my favorite place to get involved with nightlife. It was the hottest place before Xin Tian Di. It seems lossing its attraction right now. But still my favorite place since it shows a more natural and real Shanghai taste. Taking an afternoon walk on Hen Shan Road is the most joyful thing, with all the noise scattering away from you, with all shades covering upon your head, with little people passing by you. Probably it's the best Shanghai life.
Dress Code: Whatever you like.
This street in Shanghai is famous by its bars, discos and active nightlife.
Some nice people gather there during the evening, where some good restaurants and bars are located.
Nice places, worth a stop in one of its restaurants or bars...
Dress Code: Be yourself.
This street is supposed to be famous in Shanghai for its crowded bars and nightclubs, but as we went there there was absolutely no signal of nothing going on...
Remarks: the streets around were on renovation. Maybe that is the reason for so few people out there...
A small - actually tiny - bar off Hengshan Lu, just north of Hengshan Lu metro station, Lily's Pub is a friendly place.
One lady behind the bar, always keen to try out her English, and the manager pops out every few minutes to see what is happening. Loud music (but often good....where do they get a karaoke DVD of Eric Clapton live?)
It's just ten spindly wooden tables, a rough wooden floor, and chronically uncomfortable stools and chairs.
It's nothing special, Lily's, but it is a friendly enough place for a glass of Tiger and a chat. As with many, many, many 'pubs' in China, you will possibly be the only person in all evening.
A little bit of everything. This is where the local expats hang out and chill out. The road has a bit of everything - eating, drinking, merriment. "Xin Tian Di" is for tourists. The prices in Tong Ren Lu is more local. Why pay the extra just because you are a tourist?
Cloud 9 in the Grand Hyatt was the highest hotel bar in the world (until the SWFC was built next door), with correspondingly dizzy views of the city (providing clouds don't obscure your view). It's certainly not cheap and there is a minimum charge, but drinks and nibbles are good, and service is excellent. The main attraction is definitely the view but you'll have to ask to be seated by the windows to take advantage of this (the staff have been obliging both times I've been here).
Dress Code: Smart.
At the rooftop of Captain Hostel you'll find Captain Bar, with reasonable priced drinks and one of the best views of The Bund and Pudong area. The bar is open to everyone and not just hostel guests. We were there on Halloween night and my picture of The Bund has a ghost like feeling due to the haze... Everyone but a few of us was dressed in costumes. If I remember correctly, it's open between 11am and midnight.
Dress Code: Come as you are.
Hengshan Road in Shanghai is only 2 km.long, but on both of its sides are several dozens of big and small amusement facilities. It is, therefore, known as a street of leisurely enjoyment. The street is an avenue with European atmosphere. There are luxuriant French planes on both sidewalks and many buildings of European-style architecture of the ‘20s and ‘30s. In the evening, many well-dressed people and young people in fashionable clothing come here to take a walk, play chess or cards in the tea club, have a drink in the bar , while listening to music spend some time in the bowling room or discotheque, enjoying themselves freely.
Dress Code: Nice and fashionable
Xin Tian Di will be your closest match to what Lan Kwai Fong is to Hong Kong. Indeed, this ambitious area was build by Hong Kong's Shui On Group and contains stylish and expensive shops, pubs and restaurants.
Prices for food generally start at RMB 200 but if you head into the 'mall' complex at Xin Tian Di south, you will find a McDonalds and a few medium-end restaurants where you can save your wallet from certain destruction.
Xin Tian Di Plaza is divided into the North and South Blocks. In the South Block, modern architecture is the motif while Shikumen is an accompaniment. In the north, preserved Shikumen set a nostalgic tone, forming a splendid contrast with the modernity to the south. A shopping, entertainment and leisure complex of 25,000 square meters in the South Block opened in mid 2002.
After my VT meet up at Park 97, at 2330 we went straight to Babyface Discotheque.
It is a big disco setup alrite but its totally packed and crowded. So many guests making it impossible to dance. All guests were dancing only limited space, just by moving their bodies.
Anyhow, lots of beautiful faces can be seen inside this disco. Most are young Chinese girls and boys. But I do see also few westerner around that nite.
As it was getting too crowded, we decided to heads back to the hotel at 0030.
But if you really enjoy socializing, this is a perfect spot to go. Tunes played by DJ that nite were very good indeed.
Its packed but worth the experience.
Also from Bing Jia Rd, you can get such a wonderful view of the bund, especially at night, when the lights are all on, it is gorgeous.
I would suggest you take the ferry instead of the metro to get there so you can experience more of this city's night scene.
(For more pictures from here, take a look at my travelogue)
Describing itself as the craziest party in Shanghai may be a bit boastful of this Mexican/Spanish bar, but good times are still to be had by all. They freely invite people to jump up and dance on the bar while tequila is continuously flowing. Margaritas are key here as it is the theme, and tacos and burritos can even be found earlier in the evening. This is a good nightspot but can get a bit crowded so avoid if that's not your thing.
This was a special treat . Something I learned while here is Circus acrobatics has been around in China for 2000 years . We were pinned to our seats watching the two hour show of these world famous acrobats!!
7:30pm, usually seven nights a week
If you tire of Xintiandi, this is a good place to go for nocturnal drinks (alcoholic or otherwise) and nibbles. It's slightly difficult to find, and the entrance is deliberately discreet and cryptic - you'll have to solve a puzzle to get in. Once you've found the solution, the front door opens magically to reveal a multi-room bar/restaurant. Drinks and food cost roughly the same as the bars in Xintiandi, and it's less of a "meat market" compared to Xintiandi. The loo doors can be equally confusing to work out. I shan't spoil your fun, but think airlines!
Dress Code: Smart casual.
Went to Park 97 to meet a VTer. It was a place introduced by a Malaysian friend of mine that frequently travel to Shanghai.
Noticed that it has 3 sections, each section playing different tune of music.
Not only disco, this club/pub do offer tables for dining.