Mink Machine

Going bananas in Beijing

Yesterday I had a drink at a small place discretely hidden inside one of the old hutons (traditional narrow alleys) of Beijing. The owner was a friendly chap and recommended a club in town called the Banana Club. I was quite skeptical due to the corny name, but he wrote down the address in Chinese letters and we took a cab there.

It turned out to be a fairly hip club, crammed with friendly Chinese and bustling with neon lights. Some areas felt like a mix of Blade Runner and that bar in Episode 2. At first I had some trouble understanding how to order anything from the cool bartenders juggling bottles in a cloud of smoke, and we got quite a lot of stares since we were almost the only foreigners. Being a head or two taller than most people and sporting blond hair with blue eyes, it’s fair to say that you get some attention in China.

Banana club The main dance floor.

The dance floor was filled with people and oscillated quite heavily when we bounced to the music. The most hilarious episode was the pretty Chinese girl who said (in very broken English) that I had bad English, in a country where few speak any English at all.

I even found a video from the club:

If you happen to be in Beijing, I strongly recommend a visit.

2 comments

  • avatar
    Jonas
    30 Sep, 2008

    Can’t say that I visited that club when I was in Beijing, but I hope they didn’t try to rip you off as they tried in the bar we visited. The waiter simply added a few hundred per cent to the bottom line and when our Chinese colleague found him out, he tried to prove a completely new math where a number of small figures added up to a much, much larger figure.
    I don’t know where it was, but it should be possible to locate as it was in a bar district around a artificial lake, but we where all amazed by the cover band playing. They played western rock hits from the 80ies and 90ies like the originals, if not better. Absolutely awesome!

  • avatar
    05 Oct, 2008

    I think we got fair prices on the drinks, and the entry fee was ridiculously low.
    Speaking of cover bands, some days later I went to Qingdao and found a club where a band performed a Rammstein song! Quite unexpected.

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