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Beijing Nightlife

(People's Daily Online)

17:06, August 22, 2012

City Guide - Beijing - Nightlife
Beijing will not only ensure that you have a full and interesting day but will also present you with colorful choices when darkness falls.

Traditional performances such as the Beijing Opera, acrobatic shows and dramatic performances in the teahouses are popular with the more mature visitors to the city, while the younger generation seems to favor the snack markets, pubs, clubs and cafes. For the stranger who wishes to become acquainted with the city, a stroll along Chang'an Street to Tian'anmen Square is highly recommended.

One place that cannot be omitted when considering the nightlife options for the old Beijinger is the Tianqiao (Overbridge) Area. In actual fact it is not a bridge but a location popular for gathering to eat, drink and to enjoy the entertainments and amusements on offer there. Tianqiao has been a favorite venue for ordinary folk since the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). This area was also the cradle of Chinese folk culture and art where many original folk performances such as acrobatics and music were devised. The area has changed somewhat over the centuries but the quality of the entertainment here continues to be of a high standard. Two of the most famous venues are the Tianqiao Theater and Tianqiaole Tea House (the name means Happy Overbridge) and it can be found at No.113 in Beiwei Lu, Xuanwu District). The theatre specializes in modern song and dance performances while by contrast the teahouse offers the more traditional arts of Beijing Opera, Acrobatics, Martial Arts as well as folk songs. Visitors to China may be a little apprehensive about going to the opera but it is an experience not to be missed as the performances are really quite spectacular, including as they do music, dance, acrobatics and spectacular costumes.

Other places to explore Chinese folk culture include the Laoshe Tea House (3F, building 3, Xi Da Jie, Qianmen, Beijing), where you can experience the famous Chinese tea culture and find a quiet place to relax and maybe do some reading. There is also the Liyuan Theater (inside Jianguo Hotel, Qianmen, at No. 175 in Yongan Lu) here there are nightly performances at 19:30 pm of genuine Beijing Opera and other folk performances. One need not be concerned about language difficulties with Chinese opera and drama as both make considerable use of mime. The opera often has subtitle boards displaying a translation. As a result they are quite easy to understand.

Chinese acrobatics have a long history and is one of the most popular art forms among Chinese people. Performers have achieved worldwide fame for their wonderful skills and marvelous acts. Acrobatic Shows can be seen at the Wansheng Theatre, 95, Tianqiao Market, Xuanwu District beginning at 19:15pm every evening.

Other traditional Chinese performances such as puppet shows, exotic ballet, opera, concert and modern drama are put on every day in Beijing.

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