Voted the happiest city in China by Oriental Outlook Magazine several years running, Hangzhou is China's leisure capital. Hangzhou nightlife is both diverse and centralized, so it's easy to bar hop until you find the perfect spot for you.
Dive joint: Maya Bar:Tired of dice games, working girls, bad music and poorly stocked bars? At Maya Bar, you'll find reasonably priced drinks being downed by locals and out-of-towners. It's never too loud, so this is good place to hang out and talk. The Mexican bar food is decent, there's an outdoor patio seating and live sports are often showing on the TVs.
Address: 94 Baisha Quan, on the corner of Shuguang Lu ; noon-2 a.m., +86 571 8799 7628
Salsa club: Night & Day:Hangzhou's dedicated Latin dance club, Night & Day cranks out popular Latin tunes for salsa and merengue lovers, both pro and pathetic.Thanks to its location directly across from West Lake, there's no shortage of well-dressed, good-looking people shimmying and twirling with help from a veteran house band.Surprisingly delicious Western fare includes genuinely good steaks.
Address:240 Nanshan Lu, near Xihu Da Dao, 6 p.m.-2 a.m., +86 571 8777 0275
Jazz lounge: JZ Club : At the Hangzhou branch of the renowned Shanghai jazz performance and education establishment, expect class, sophistication and some of the best jazz in the country.Foreign and Chinese vocalists and musicians grace the JZ Club's sensuous, red-velvet-draped stage, fronted by tables filled with wine drinkers and cigar aficionados. Prices are better than average and so is the talent.
Address:6 Liuying Lu, near of Nanshan Lu , 6:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m., +86 571 8702 8298,
Jazz lounge: JZ Club: At the Hangzhou branch of the renowned Shanghai jazz performance and education establishment, expect class, sophistication and some of the best jazz in the country. Foreign and Chinese vocalists and musicians grace the JZ Club¡¯s sensuous, red-velvet-draped stage, fronted by tables filled with wine drinkers and cigar aficionados. Prices are better than average and so is the talent.
Address: 6 Liuying Lu, near of Nanshan Lu ; 6:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m., +86 571 8702 8298,
Pool hall/Music venue: 9 Club:Hangzhou's classiest place to hit billiard and snooker tables, this club in the western end of the city regularly hosts billiards competitions.But the 9 Club is a wicked combination shot itself, with a good sound system and convivial pub hosting top-caliber live concerts by the likes of Hanggai, Hedgehog and other acts from in and outside China.
Address: 2/F, 262 Wantang Lu, Wantang Hui South Tower, noon-2 a.m., +86 571 8106 0813
Rock venue: Code Space: It's smack downtown, it's gigantic, modern, and artsy, it's comfy, it's got one of the best sound systems in Hangzhou. Its well-priced, chef-designed menu ain't half bad, either. While touring, China's biggest rock acts usually hit Code Space. The club also hosts electronic dance parties and indie film screenings. TED community members hold meetings, and board game enthusiasts nerd out in the back. One of the most popular nightspots in Hangzhou attracts members of Queen Sea Big Shark and other bands from Modern Sky and Maybe Mars recording labels.
Address: 177 Huancheng Bei Lu, No. 5 Building, East Building, 1F; 10 a.m.-late, +86 571 8515 4883
Karaoke: Party World:No Chinese nightlife listing would be complete without a place to indulge in the national nocturnal pastime: karaoke at KTV. The Taiwan-based KTV brand has branches in most major cities across China, but Hangzhou's lakeside branch can't be beat for sheer size, opulence, up-to-date, international song selection (nine languages), and full buffet bar. Prices are reasonable. Reserve tables early on weekends.
Address: 615 Wen'er Xi Lu, near Linyu Xiang, 7 p.m.-2 a.m., +86 571 8882 2955
Dance club: Elements:Hangzhou's dance-club scene peaked in 2006 and 2007, when global giants graced West Lake's shores. Since then, the only thing reliably electro-worthy have been the Hangzhou-based Elements dance parties, replete with fire dancers and neon, flame-throwing robots. Here's the catch--the Elements "club" constantly changes locales. It's intended for only the most dedicated and fashion-minded partygoers.
LGBT hangout: Jundu Bar: If you're looking for the young, local LGBT crowd, Jundu's your place. Wednesdays and weekends see legendary drag shows and the occasional live snake dance. It's a fun club that is becoming popular with the straight crowd, as well.
Address: 2 Baochu Lu, on Shaoqingsi Li Jie, first right turn off Baochu Lu heading north from West Lake; 5 p.m.-2 a.m., +86 571 8511 9130