The capital of China, Beijing, is the most populous capital city in world. Most agree that it is a mega city with more than 3,000 years of history. However, the 21th century Beijing is truly a unique blend of the old and the new.
Centuries-old sanctuaries and present-day high-rise buildings with its neon lights are part and parcel of the Beijing skyline. Still, the night life is where Beijing shines the brightest, observes Meheret-Selassie Mokonnen.
It is almost midnight; nonetheless, China’s capital Beijing is as lively as the daytime – if not more. While visiting one of the most vibrant cities in the world, one cannot help but stay awake to get the best of a pleasant night out.
With more than 3,000 years of history, the city has centuries-old sanctuaries and present-day high-rise buildings. Among several spots that are recommended to be visited during night-time, Wangfujing Street tops the list offering countless activities.
From a pedestrian street to dynamic night market, shopping malls to strip clubs, bookstores to fried scorpion-on-a-stick, you name it – Wangfujing has it all. Wangfujing, literally translated to mean ‘prince's mansion well’, is one of the well-known touristy streets in Beijing. The name was driven from prince’s residences which were built in the area during Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911).
The street, which is located in Dongcheng district of the capital, has been a commercial center for locals and tourists since the middle of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). Though Wangfujing is essentially buzzing 24/7, the night life is more captivating. Not only this street, but most of the city’s best moments can be caught after sunset.
Wangfujing is one of the traditional downtown areas of Beijing and until the late 1990s it was open to traffic. Nowadays it is a pedestrian street, which helps to thoroughly observe endeavors of the area. Bartenders of strip clubs in the area are usually overzealous and most of them walk around outside to summon passersby.
They go on and on about what their club offers as opposed to the others. The clubs are made of a see-through glass and anyone can see the dancers hopping on the stripper poles. Customers choose the best clubs by looking at the dancers from outside of the clubs. The clubs on this street are more public as opposed to the so called sex pubs which are more underground.
They are discrete in a sense of ‘what happens in Beijing stays in Beijing’ kind of way. In these private pubs, although most of the waiters don’t speak much English, they try to elaborate their services using Mandarin and little English. The 810-meter-long walking street fuses traditional stores and modern shopping malls.
It includes two book stores—Wangfujing bookstore and Foreign Languages bookstore—which are over five decades old. It is pleasing to see many customers going from one shelf to the other in search of books published in China and imported from other countries.
The entire street, embroidered with squares, grasslands, flower beds, fountains, ornamental columns and sculptures is often full of people. Not being bothered by vehicles, walking on the street gives some sense of freedom as one walks in the middle of the road.
Source - The Ethiopian Reporter News