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Home Travel in Beijing Distinctive Sip of Beijing — Shichahai Bar Reviews
Distinctive Sip of Beijing — Shichahai Bar Reviews
Travel in Beijing
Shichahai(什刹海) is the city, some say, and they have a point here: as a prosperous business area it shows the part of a metropolitan Beijing, well with lakes, bridges and Hutong in sight it is just another history-haunted place in an ancient town with stories ready to tell.
Bars in Shichahai know this and they obey the rules well— they have their modern glamour and a Beijing touch. With pubs packing and spreading around, you may finally get lost in choices. But remember, when you are here you are looking for specials and a distinctive sip of Beijing. Start from this page with and only featured bars are recommended here.


"Perfect Combination of western drink and oriental components. After a few cups you will breathe Beijing-like. "
Interesting name and last thing you can think of that has something to do with alcohol. But this is Shishahai, and it sounds just so right. One of the first bars in this area, now Buddha has its five branches in business here.
Owner of this place has a keen interest in Buddhism culture together with his Chinese complex. And that is what makes Buddha— bar from western origin while doing so well with all Chinese features.
With Buddha statues in dimming lights, Buddha bar is soaked with a sacred mystery. Unpolished wooden tables easily bring you back to time with merely a touch, seems that thousands of years’ time is condensed in a strikingly simplicity. Up stairs a stone lion is right in the corner and you go and check it out whether it is female or male (lioness has a cub under her claw and ball for the male for your reference).
Walls in Buddha never fail to be an eye-catcher. Drawings, Buddhist scriptures and old photos of what this spot used to be, let the drink reminds you that you are still in a bar rather than collector’s chamber. The fun is that you can draw your own sketches and if good enough it can make to the wall too.


"Do not let alcohol dazzle your eyes, for the exhibition of Chinese folk paper-cuts will. "
Never saw a Zhua Ji Wa Wa? Lucky you because in this bar you will surely see a lot. The bar got its name from a figure of Chinese folk paper-cut, generally means girls with twisted hair knots. In Chinese tradition, households put up this pattern onto windows, hoping the sacred power will keep diseases away from family members. Now Zhua Ji Wa Wa is more of an artwork.
The bar owner has real talent in paper-cutting and if you see the paper-cut flower on the wall you will agree.
Want to try it out yourself? All you have to do is grab a scissors then watch and learn. Paper-cut gurus frequent here, teaching paper-cut ABCs and telling stories behind those figures. Don’t need to be deft playing with scissors and it may not be a challenge to you anyway, but always an adventure. Bet you will love this red color and what flows under your every cut.
A part from Zhua Ji Wa Wa in this bar, you may wonder what those opaque articulated figures attached with sticks are for. Shadow play is the answer. Shadow play is another folk art rooted in ancient China. Held and moved by the sticks, the jointed leather-made figures perform behind an illuminated curtain that moving shadows will invite you to a folk story being told through centuries. In the bar Zhua Ji Wa Wa, outdoor shadow play shows are be staged summertime and you can see how its magic works yourself.
Tired of any ordinary bar drinks? Zhua Ji Wa Wa does have a room of alternatives with a Chinese flavor: Shaoxing Huadiao (a southern-rooted yellow wine), Tibetan beer and rice wine. The menu is served with a music playlist—you tell your preference the music follows. Tips are, do not miss the folk music—they are rich with a wide ethnical diversity of the country.
One night in Zhua Ji Wa Wa, even drown in music and drunk from wine, you will still wake up with a wonderful memory.


"Alcohol AND Tobacco? Is this life doomed or just too aesthetic to be true?"
The name says it all: Tobacco-Pipe Bar, and with a drink the pipe is souvenir and tobacco ready for a taste.
Yan Dow Xuan used to be an old-timey two-story private house resting in Hutong (or an alley) and that is what the home-like cozy feeling is from. The owner of this place is a Beijing-savvy and story-teller. Tales, anecdotes can just keep coming and from his narration pieces of this city will put up in your mind in a life-like way. True that history never leaves town and it deserves another look before you pass it in a hurry. Go and have a casual chat, and if your Chinese fails you, just let the drink do the talk then.
The view from up-stairs open-air bar can heal any soul that frustrated by an urban life on fast-lane. Enjoy a quiet drink and leave all nonsense behind. Beijing has her elegantly old-fashioned moments, and that happens to be caught by you.