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Pubs & Bars

Shamian lsland is a good place to begin. The island has a population of will-o'-the-wisp bars and cafes, and you can be assured that many of those mentioned here have either packed up and left, changed name, gone up or downmarket or just vanished.

One worthy survivor on Shamian Park, is Lucy 's (Tel: 8187-4106, lusi jiuba canting), a bar that serves very good beer. The food is also excellent, of the grilled chicken and steak variety, and the decor (perfect for homesick Americans) is almost as retro as the price tag on the drink. If you're planning to go to Shanghai, get drunk at Lucy' s first, it's miles cheaper.

Other bars on Shamian lsland try to hit the right note, but mostly don't quite make it. These include the lankwaifong Bar (Tel: 81919722), which tries to recreate the bustle and excitement of the Hong Kong night spot with little success, and the Shamian Bar, a pricey and tacky alternative.

The Hill Bar (Tel: 8359-0206, xiaoshanba), 367 Huanshi Lu, next to the Baiyun Hotel, is good for both pub grub and a mellow drinking session. The excellent food is remarkably inexpensive. On Saturday the place keeps going until the sun comes up -it has an excellent juke box which pumps out a fine selection of tunes. There's no dance floor, but nobody will mind if you throw back a few Tequila slammers and start jumping on the table.

Discos & Clubs

If it's dancing you want, try the One loveBar Tel: 8737 1 720, yanyangtian), which has a large beer garden, dance floor and live music upstairs. Dancing starts at 10 pm and goes on till 2 am. Entry is £§10 and a large beer is £§30. It's on the north-west corner of Dongfeng Dong Lu and Guangzhou Dadao.

In the same area, another place to be seen in is L'Africain (Tel: 8778-2433, feizhouba), on the corner of Dongfeng Dong Lu and Nonglin Xia Lu. It is a bar that has dancing till 2 am on weekdays and till 4 am on weekends. This is where the crowds settle in for the early hours.

A massive disco complex comes in the form of Hollywood East (Tel: 8766-0303, heyiluoVong), Dongrun Plaza, 838 Dongfeng Dong Lu. Inside, you'll find the Jurassic Disco (open till 3 am) and the Oscar lounge, which is a venue for live bands.

The Rock and Roll Club (Tel: 8890-8088, gunshijulebu`), down near the river at 101 Yanjiang Xi Lu, is another popular dance venue at the time of writing, with live bands, floor shows, karaoke, catwalk and disco all rolled into one. Entrance is Y60 during the week and Y80 at weekends. Opposite is the Top Show Disco (Tel: 8188-7968,yOnwutai), a similar sort of place parked by the Pearl River. Techno is on the menu at Star East(Tel: 83843559) in the Garden Hotel. Deafeningly noisy, this is the place to come if you want to shout at the barman all night while he shrugs his shoulders. Entry is Y50 on weekends.

The Face Club on Taojin Lu (opposite My Home Hunan Restaurant) and further up from Kathleen's, is in the building with the face on it. A quieter sort of spot, this is the place to come when you've no energy left but can't face hitting the sack.

Hard Rock Cafe (Tel: 8666-6888), in the basement of the China Hotel, has a from 10 pm to 2 am from Sunday to day and from 10.30 pm to 3 am on The cover charge is £§50, but the beer is pricey. Live music is also on the menu.

Other bars and clubs include 42nd Street(Tel: 87765603), 399 Huanshi Dong Lu (not far from Kathleen' s), and Catwalk (Tel: 8666 6888 ext 2068) in the China Hotel.

What remains is very much falling prey to the inexorable march of bad taste, as exemplified by karaoke parlours. If you want to include karaoke as one of your really genuine experiences of modern China, try the aptly named Sing High Karaoke Club at the White Swan Hotel. Knock back a few stiff ones, grab the golden microphone, swallow hard and try to remember the melody for `Desperado' as everyone cheers you on.


Cinemas that show decent western films are a rarity, however, international films are screened (in the original tongue) at the Film Library of the Haizhu Culture Center (Tel:8448-9893). It screens five films a day. seven days a week.

Opera & Theatre

Chinese drama and opera is periodically performed at the Friendship Theatre (Tel: 5666 2743), 696 Renmin Bei Lu. Tickets are £§80. £§120 and £§180.

Classical Music

Musical performances are sometimes held a[ the Huanghuagang Theatre (Tel: 8776-5491), 96 Xianlie Zhong Lu. Tickets range from£§80 to£§200. The Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra also performs at the Friendship Theatre (see the Opera/theatre entry for details).

Rock & Jazz

Live bands perform at the Hard Rock Cafe, Oscar Lounge, One Love Bar, Rock and Roll CIub and Kathleen 's Cafe and Bar. For details. see the earlier entries for these venues.

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