*update: note new address*
Small bar with homey, laid-back feel. Dark, wooden interior decorated in a Reggae theme with music to match, plus a nice mix of hip-hop, rock, and rap as it gets later into the night. Caters to the foreign crowd, with an English menu and imported drinks. Staff is friendly and a couple of them can understand some English. The DJ has a huge music library and will sometimes take requests, will even rip out November Rain for me when it's not crowded.
Large selection of drinks plus several hot bar snacks, such as wings, fries, and pizza, means you can stop in for dinner as well. They usually open around 6, though you are unlikely to find any customers there (besides myself, perhaps) untill 8 or 9. While the boss, of course, would like to attract more customers, this downtime at the bar makes this my favorite place to escape the crowded streets of Hangzhou and unwind after work.
Weekend nights will be quite busy, however, and while there is no dance floor, per se, you might find a few people busting a move by the entranceway.
Good mix of foreign and local crowd. Prices are not cheap if you are a local though, you can expect to pay at least 20 kuai for most beers and more than that for cocktails. Pizza will cost you 30 RMB or more.
Dress Code: come as you are
Used to be located on Hefang Jie, in a beautiful and historic building. Now it's on a busy road, tucked in behind a large building with no character. Still fun inside though. Music, pool, Western food, and of course, one of the few places in Hangzhou to find Guinness. They tend to throw great events for the holidays. You'll find a mostly Western, sophisticated crowd here.
Dress Code: Nothing special, but most people attempt to look pretty nice when they go out. This place isn't cheap.
Live music shows organized biannually (the latest one was in May 2009), featured on Chinese soft rock music and some pop songs.
It is not really good music, but very crowded as young people regard it a trendy thing, also a chance to social, and express "free wills" - most of languages were sex related.
Attached pictures show post-its on a wall erected during the festival, on which were messages from whoever is looking for sex/one-night-stand.
Dress Code: No dress code
OK I was forced into this visit, Hooters s not really my type of place BUT we did have a nice meal and a few coldies. We went on a Monday when all meals were half price from 5 - 7 pm (but you still had to spend 60 RMB per person)
Hooters is for the young and trendy brigade and you will love it.
Dress Code: Couldn't see one but then we were not looking to stay just visit on cheap meal night. Those arriving as we were leaving were dressed for clubbing.
The DJ was good.. If you like Bonbon in Shanghai.. In Club will be your place. Two western girl dancers are gorgeous. Weekend night could be pretty packed. Cocktail is RMB40. Open till late... I usually went there after Night and Day.
I went to this bar everytime when I was in town. Live band play a lot of Latin songs at the 1st floor. They used to have a Argentinean keyboard who left for home last year.
High reputation for food.. There are entirely 3 levels. 2nd floor is quiet.. Go top floor to grab a nice lake view.
Same investor of Xin Tian Di in Shanghai.. Me myself prefer this one more... Many bars and clubs..Though I prefer to go during day time.. nice lake view.. only have been to CJ bar but i didn't like it too much.. there are many restaurants too, tried Vabene once. I was on my own, so just had one pasta, it was good.. live philippine band play at dinner time.
Huge Chinese discos in Hangzhou are all pretty much the same. Too many small tables with too-tall stools, very little room to dance, terrible house music, expensive whisky being watered down with green tea and ice, and prostitutes (both real and the wannabe bar girls) all about. If this is your style then go to SOS or MAX or the disco strip NanShan Road.
If not, here's a great alternative. GenJuDi (0571 Club) has opened this year. It's small, but comfy with some couches and tables in addition to the usual stools. Dark inside with disco lighting and (in my opinion) the best dance music in Hangzhou (some Chinese pop with disco beat added and more American and Korean rap than in other places).
There is a small area in front of the DJ perfect for dancing, though you might have to get the dance party yourself. On the weekdays, most Chinese customers are more interested in playing dice games and drinking unimaginable quantities of beer.
There's a friendly manager Eddie who speaks a little English and will be happy to play dice games with you or answer your questions about Hangzhou. They have drink specials, such as the first 3 tables each night (weekdays) can get dicounted bottles of vodka (only 141 yuan rather than the usual 180, which is also pretty darn cheap for Hangzhou). Also, if you buy a bottle of something, they usually throw in a free mixer drink and some snacks. And if you don't finish your bottle you can have the waiters store it in the bar for you. They'll give you a little card that you can come back and use on any weekday (sorry, on weekends you'll just have to settle for beer or what the heck, buy a new bottle).
Dress Code: None. Most Chinese girls dress up pretty nice when going to the bars.
***After not one but 2 renovations, the old Boyi Bar has been sold to a new owner and so an era ends. The name has gone with the wind, but the prices and the atmosphere are about the same. It's now called "Hong Fang Jiu Ba" but will always be Boyi in my heart.***
Good bar to hit before going to party on NanShan Road or before going to dance at club Max just a few doors down. The beer is cheap. You can buy the green bottles of Zhong Hua Pi Jiu (Chinese Beer) 3 for 10 kuai. Can't beat that! You won't find many foreigners here, but that can be refreshing. The clientele is mostly 20-30 something Hangzhounese workers from many walks of life. Many are young, single professionals who come with groups of their friends. Here's a good place to learn Chinese dice games and other various, silly Chinese drinking games. Chances are, even if you come alone, you'll soon be drinking and playing with some friendly strangers.
The manager is friendly, and if it is your first time here, will probably come drink with you. His English is very limited, but he has a few catch phrases (thanks to yours truly) he can work in there with his usual vocabulary of English explatives (thanks to Hollywood). If you hold up 3 fingers and say "Chinese Beer" that will be enough to get you the cheap house special. (Sadly, he too has been replaced by a new manager, who's older, more professional, and not drunk everyday. As a consequence the quality and responsiveness of the waitstaff has improved greatly.)
This is one of my favorite bars, because the people are friendly, the silly drinking games are fun, and the beer is dirt cheap, even by Chinese standards. If I lived closer to downtown, I would be probably still be going to this bar most every day.
Dress Code: come as you are
It's a proper club with good music, nicely done interior, pretty girls, carefull staff, premium quality sound and lasers... and of course CHIVAS with Green Tea. :)
It seems like the only thing Chinese are drinking in clubs is Chivas mixed with Green Tea. A friend of mine actually said that probably China consumes in one night same amount of Chivas the whole world is consuming in one year... and I presume he might be actually right!
Good DJ's also come in here from time to time, last week it was Eddie Halliwell, this week Randall Jones is coming.
It's a good place to party!
Dress Code: clubbing
This 3 floor newly opened bar shows a lot of potential. It is a welcome change from all the disco bars on Nanshan Road. First floor is plays anything from rock to rap to Chinese pop, second floor is romantic with comfy chairs and couches and plays light music, third floor is a roof patio with BBQ. The decor is colorful but tasteful, kind of a Southamerican theme. There is a large-screen TV on the first floor for watching sports matches. Weekends are busy but weekdays so far are pretty mellow. Second floor would be a nice place to take a laptop and get some work done in a cozy environment. Too bad I am still without a laptop, haha.
Dress Code: None
This bar has been around a while, but ownership has transferred. The new boss/manager is from the USA and really knows his alcohol. The atmosphere is warm, yellow tones, wooden bar stools. Foreign music, foreign folks, foreign liquour. Prices decent. Menu isn't much yet, but I think things will just be getting better and better for this little bar.
Dress Code: None
A rock band from Inner Mongolia livens up this large bar every night (from 8pm-1 or 2 am I think) playing Chinese pop and rock as well as a few English songs. They've got a couple of great Guns N' Roses covers that keep me coming back for more!
The bar feels kind of like a converted barn, with a second floor balcony, and wooden stools like tree stumps sticking out of the ground. Most seats have a good view of the band, so you can watch them or play dice games like all the Chinese kids.
Beers aren't cheap, neither are the fruit plates, but you're paying for the entertainment as well and prices are similar to other NanShan Road bars.
Dress Code: casual
A great activity during the day and evening. Except I didnt actully get to do it as during the day was way too hot and in the evening we were too busy meeting up with VT member honestjohn to be out paddling!
Just took this photo to show you how beautiful it looks by night. This is the kind of activity that is done by lovers, families or friends. There were benches going right round the Lake and every single one was taken. A really wonderful way to spend your evening.
This was taken at the Lake near to The Shangrila Hotel, one a small bridge on the way to a famous restaurant called Lou Wai Lou.
Dress Code: Well there are no LAKE police around here checking out your attire, so don't fret..anything goes! Afterall, it's just a lake..so why would you have to dress up!
Have fun, dress casual...or if you're trying to charm someone, then of course, bring out the tuxedo!
It was only my second day in Hangzhou, and I was still unaccustomed to the wicked summer heat. My feet were tired and I was dripping with sweat, so I could not have been more happy to find this Irish bar (!!!) of all places right by He fang jie.
It was midday, so I was the only one sitting at the bar downstairs, where a nice Chinese bartender poured me a small glass of Guiness. I was being stingy with my money and thought that 25 RMB was a lot to pay for a beer. I wasn't about to pay more for a whole pint. However, I later found out that this price is typical of the more fancy bars and night clubs here.
But after several days of drinking watery Chinese beer with a spicy alcoholic aftertaste, and a day of walking on tired legs and melting in the sun, It was probably the tastiest beer I've ever had. Dark and cool. The bar was cool as well and spacious. Other foreigners came in and headed upstairs, where I think there is food served as well. It seemed much busier up there, but my legs were too sore to explore.
On my way out, I noticed many English posters advertising live music and other events at the bar. I got the impression that, being a foreign-owned Irish bar, this was a fun place to go if you're an English-speaking foreigner that wants to feel "at home" for a few hours. My roommate confirmed that when she reported back to me about her night out there: fun and packed with foreigners. I'll be stopping back there on my next trip to Hangzhou to check out some of the live music.