Why Xian isn’t known more for its nightlife, I have no idea.
The first stop on our party tour was a place called “One Plus One,” fondly described by the guidebook as a place with “hot music” and “cheap drinks.” The better part of me wanted to turn back after I was confronted with a metal detector and a pre-pubscent guard holding a night stick at the door. I pressed on, however, and was rewarded, well, handsomely.
Fantastic light-up platform covered with still-sober punters.
Fantastic light-up platform covered with now drunk punters.
After the waiter informed us that we could only sit at a table if we ordered 300 RMB worth of beers (that’s about 18 bottles), we headed to Xian’s very own bar street. Settling into an American-themed bar called Danny’s with walls plastered with Harley Davidson posters and pictures of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, we realized that the real draw of the place was a fantastic keyboardist and vocalist. The latter was a local celebrity while the former, I was told, was one of the top 10 finalists for China’s Super Boy contest. What luck!? The keyboardist offered to play a song out of his notebook for us to sing along to, but we declined when we realized they were all Chinese songs and Michael Jackson was nowhere to be found.
Salsa turned out to be a megaclub that would rival anything, anywhere, completely packed for a Monday night and offering lethal mixes of Sprite and whiskey from giant carafes. I was told by a seasoned dancer that Salsa was the best place to go to in Xian, not just for music but for inspiration.