San li tun

Sorry I’m still trying to catch up on everything I’ve done since I’ve been here. I spend a lot of my time working (I know from the amount of pictures it may not look like that but I just have really packed weekends), so I have to try and squeeze stuff into the evenings. Today I am going to be talking about an area I’ve been to a couple of times now, San li tun.

I have spoken before in my last posts very briefly about how Beijing is laid out in the ring road system, San li tun is in between the 2nd and 3rd ring-roads on the east, and is the main sort of international area in Beijing with loads of embassies, shopping malls, bars and clubs.

Before coming to Beijing I remember looking at pictures and thinking it was all really flat, and didn’t really have the same awe-inspiring skyscrapers shooting into the clouds as cities like Shanghai. However now I realise that’s because it was just showing me pictures of right in the centre. It is crazy how quickly the city goes from being quite a low built, traditional area, packed full of Hutongs, to very modern, huge skyscrapers and tower blocks. I think San li tun is a good example of this.

One of my favourite things about Asia is how everywhere stays bustling, in fact if anything it comes more alive, at night. In England it very much feels like the day is the main time for people to be out and about, but I wish it was a bit more like other countries in that we took full advantage of the days. I guess it’s based on the heat and when it’s comfortable to be outside.

I know I’ve waffled on for ages about the general vibe and background so i’ll tell you about some bars and stuff I went to now.

Slow boat brewery

Slow boat brewery, as you may have guessed from the title is a brewery and restaurant just a short walk from the main shopping area, and based opposite the InterContinental hotel (the one in the picture above that is lit up pink). Home to the ‘fry burger’, voted one of Beijing’s best burger, the western food is a lot better than you find in many places. The fry burger is layers of patty, aioli, American cheese and shoestring fries in a bun. Very good but a little bit oily. The sweet potato chips are also very good, nice and crisp (not soggy as they often can be) and served with a perfectly piquant peri peri mayo type sauce. They also have a couple of vegetarian options, my friend got a tofu burger with an Asian slaw, I’m not sure how much of a huge fan she was though. Best bit is the burgers are 2 for 1 on Monday’s.

Martini bar

Now I’m always a sucker for a rooftop bar and this was definitely up there (if you’ll pardon the pun). The views are pretty incredible, the picture above was taken there. I got a piña colada for about £5 which isn’t cheap cheap but is definitely not expensive. It was also worth it for the location. Also, slightly weird, but the toilets were amazing too.

Heaven

I’m not going to lie, by the time we got to heaven I was starting to get pretty drunk so the facts may get a bit inaccurate. Basically, hold your hats for this amazing concept, it is a supermarket that is also a bar. So you walk in and there’s every type of alcohol you could want, wine, vodka, gin, alcopops, beer, cider, whisky, and loads of different brands. You basically just buy whatever alcohol you want (including mixers), plastic cups, ice, straws and all that jazz, and just find a table and sit down. I could honestly do with one of these everywhere.

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