Guanggu... Wuhan, China: After Hours!

Wuhan may not be the most popular tourist hotspot in China but when the sun sets there's many places to have an unforgettable night out. From live music, dive bars and Afro-beats its a dead cert that Wuhan, China offers something different during the twilight. Without further ado let's go into the night, Wuhan's waiting for the sun to set! I married the night in Wuhan! Drink up! 

Bang in the centre of Wuhan's Optics Valley central shopping district stands 066 Bar Livehouse, Wuhan. Located on Spanish Style Street this chilled out music bar and tattoo parlour dances to the beat of its own drum! Serving a range of imported beers such as; Boddington's and Kronenbourg this Guanggu Livehouse brings something different. Setting the bar high there's also a selection of fine spirits and malt whiskys to enjoy. 066 Bar plays a weekly host of open mic nights, allowing the hip folk of Wuhan's newest district to express themselves. I haven't been to this Livehouse during the week but it gets quite busy at the weekends, but I prefer to sit from the bar and people watch. 066 Bar Livehouse, Wuhan stands a strong contender with its fellow bar and tattoo concept nighttime venues in the Optics Valley area. So, let us shout out on the rooftops about this upcoming Wuhan bar! Guanggu, let the music play on!

Staying within Guanggu I have to say that going into the night is a great thing, its not just music and bars that keeps this corner of Wuhan busy during the hours of darkness. By Guanggu Street I always get some great tasting street food from the small vendors, which doesn't cost me hardly anything. Back to the bars, I love a pint of cider but a pint of lager I shall settle at for the time being for Wuhan hasn't caught on to that delicious alcoholic apple drink. Captain Jack's is where I go for a pint of the good stuff, lager isn't just the only drink served! A pint of Carlsberg costs me around £2.50 in my British money, which is around 25 Yuan in the local Chinese currency. I like the vibe of Captain Jack's, there's nothing better than finishing work on a Friday and taking a seat at the bar to enjoy an ice cold pint. As the darkness falls its safe to say that Guanggu has a night-scene that continues to grow. Wuhan, I'll always endorse something new! Going into the night in Guanggu impressed me! Yes!

]Keeping things on the down and low, Wuhan Prison has to be one of my favourite places to go for a drink since living in China. I was first introduced to this intriguing looking dive bar during my first teaching job in July 2015. Prison always transports me to another place each time I go for a drink at Wuhan Prison. My reason for being in Wuhan, China is that I'm currently teaching English. This alternative Wuhan hangout has allowed me to meet a lot of fellow teachers from both England and the rest of the world. A younger Chinese crowd can be found breaking from tradition on any given night of the week, lets just say some of those few are breaking from the previous social norms and traditions that have been ingrained into the Chinese way of life. Like 066 Bar Livehouse this Wuhan bar has its very own tattoo shop next door to the bar, I might well get the free 'Wuhan Prison' tattoo before I go back home to Britain! I do!

Only a few paces from the underground vibe of Wuhan Prison I saw my first gig ever, I want to embrace all parts of life here in China. Vox Livehouse is famed for being one of Wuhan's most famous places for live music. Located within the Wuchang district of Wuhan city it's a great place to have a few drinks, play a game or two of pool and even rock out to a Chinese or international Rock/Indie band. Drinks are reasonably priced for the area and this type of venue, I don't go for those imported beers because I'm all about going home with some extra money left. On the 13th of August 2015 I left work without haste to get down to Vox Livehouse to see the Stone Lions, a Indie band from Tianjin, China. There wasn't much of a crowd but I loved the gig and the Lions music. Those chain smoking, violin playing Chinese rockers impressed me much! For me, I like Vox Livehouse but I'm more of a fan of Wuhan Prison if I'm in the immediate area on a night out in Wuhan. Vox rocked that night!

A night out in Hankou for me means taxis after the Wuhan Metro stops at 11pm each night, so it's rare I venture across the Yangtze River after the sun goes down. Beer Barn was showed to me during Victory Day weekend in September 2015, a random night out it fared to be with a very good friend. Overlooking Xi Hu, well West Lake in English. A modern bar fronted me with a long line of fridges full of beers from the four corners of the world. I found some Samuel Smith's special stouts that reminded me of the Anchor Tap, London. Hopping from Beer Barn along the riverside walk along West Lake we went for a pint or two at Brussels Bar, I think it was about £4.00 for a pint of Vedett beer but it was worth every drop. Using the term 'hipster' lightly I could sense some of those tones in Beer Barn, I can tolerate a certain level of 'hipster' design but not too much! Yes, Hankou's got so much more to show me! Let's get it good Wu!

As much as I love to socialise in different bars and hangouts in Wuhan I found a place where I can get down on the dance-floor, those Afro-beats put me under a trance every-time I choose Vibes Nightclub. It only costs me a £2.50 taxi fare from my Optics Valley address to Jiedaokou, which means that I can get crazy and conserve my spends. Me and my friend Elli love going to Vibes Nightclub on the weekends because we're all about those African tunes. For my 25th birthday I chose to turn it up and get low at Vibes, Jiedaokou until the early morning! Apparently a well known London born African musician is on his way to China, making a possible stop at Vibes Nightclub, Wuhan! You already know that I want to be there for that gig! Guanggu's going places, Wuchang holds it own, Hankou rules the roost but Jiedaokou gets down low! Going into the night it does not take a second to realise that China's central metropolis has a diverse and growing nightlife, make the sun set because I'm ready!

Go Into The Night!

Joseph Harrison


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