By YinChun Liu
Young people meet up in Sanlitun, foreigners come here for fine foods and wines, and “the nouveau riche” come here to show off. It’s a place that satisfies everyone’s need.
Sanlitun is located at Chaoyang District, the eastern part of Beijing, which is the most popular area for shopping and nightlife. Although trends vary from minute to minute, Sanlitun is definitely the trendiest place to visit today. In the north of Sanlitun is the embassy district with green shades, straight roads and restaurants, or supermarkets selling imported products or foods.
Young people meet up in Sanlitun, foreigners come here for fine foods and wines, and the rich people (“the nouveau riche”) come here to show off. It’s a place that satisfies everyone’s need.
1949 The Hidden City
Enjoy the luxury lifestyle! Hip and trendy restaurants with a great atmosphere like “1949 the hidden city” are everywhere around Sanlitun: Great food, good customer service and of course high prices. A set of Peking Duck costing 398RMB is not unusual, whilst in other places it costs less than half the price. The average cost in this restaurant is 300 RMB and you will find that you only have shrimp dumpling, fried rice or duck. Even so, you cannot get a table without a reservation. Chinese food served in Western style is so in! Wealthy people are willing to pay for ridiculous prices for whatever looks fancy to them.
Boutiques and Luxury Brands
The very first flagship Apple Store in China is located in Sanlitun, and so is the biggest flagship Adidas store in Asia; not to mention countless boutiques and luxury brands. Sanlitun also appears in movie scenes, TV Series, talk shows and people’s conversations; you cannot miss it for sure! It is definitely the index of fashion trends of Beijing.
Nevertheless, Sanlitun is also full of contradictions, which is what makes it even more interesting. For example, you can easily find luxury cars and “tuk tuk” driving alongside or racing each other on the roads. It makes one feel like one is traveling through a time machine.
Another interesting contradiction is: even in such a modern and trendy area as Sanlitun, you can always find people spitting on the streets, or see cars and passengers running through red lights without any reason or hesitation. Not to mention using the car horns, making the street scene of Beijing sound like an orchestra without a conductor.
This is Beijing; the economy develops rapidly while cultural development chases after it.
Feature Image: Choo Chin Nian/flickr.com/photos/chinnian/5062351476/