Where the hell are all the dive bars around here? I was in Beijing for a few months and on every other street you could find a bar serving 10 kuai or less beers. Now, although I am from the US, paying 40 or 50 kuai for a beer in China just doesn’t cut it for me. Direct me to any bar where the beer is cheap and we can all get shitfaced for less than 150 kuai. Disappointed in Shanghai
In the glitzy, gutless nightlife of Shanghai, a cheap beer is hard to find. There are dive bars aplenty, mind you — but these dumps stay open by preying on that lonely, cash-soaked foreigner, hard up for company and six dollar beers while staying at the Hilton. In fact, many bars in town, like the much-maligned Manhattan on Maoming Lu, or any number of dirty dives on Julu Lu (still Shanghai’s place to be if you’re 40, wrinkly and wearing rhinestone-studded high heels) sell beer on the commission system. Girls earn money by luring lust-struck oldsters in, then selling them 50 kuai pints with the tenacity of a polyester-suited used car salesman. Persistence pays.
For the rest of us, there are a few spots to slug cheap cold ones. Windows serves the cheapest beers in town at RMB 10 for a Tiger, with mixed drinks around 20. With three locations featuring bad Top 40 hip hop and vomit perfumed bathrooms, this may not be your scene, but you can’t beat the price. Struggling Tongren Lu upstart the Stock Exchange now boasts the best drinks deal in town — RMB 50 gets you as much Carlsberg as you can swallow, all night, every night. For great beer at a good price, hit the British Bulldog Pub at happy hour for 2-for-1 pints of McEwan’s for RMB 45. And Plan B, a bar with a decidedly collegiate feel on Yongjia Lu near Maoming Lu, offers decently priced pints and plenty of free shots, which may remind you why you slept through so many classes back in your college days. But the best spot in town for a cheap cold one is still your local Lawson’s or streetside xiaomaibu, where you can pound Tsingtao to your heart’s content before hitting your local watering hole, spending peanuts and eating them too.
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