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Travel & Resources: BEIJING

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BEIJING -- area code (86-10)


General Information

    Everyone you meet in Beijing will tell you how much the city has changed in recent years. While not as radical as the space-age transformation of Shanghai, solemn Beijing refurbished its historical and cultural assets along with its infrastructure in advance of the Beijing Olympics and seems to have kept up the pace of improvement since then.

    The official "color" of Beijing (gray!) is now splashed with color, and fresh garden landscaping is optimistically employed to combat the smog and dust. Residents are happy, as any evening stroll around a hutong (traditional neighborhood) will demonstrate, and there are plenty of shopping opportunities for the middle class in dozens of new mega-mall projects. Beijing is also a foodie heaven with a bounty of fantastic (and cheap) dining opportunities everywhere.

    The population is over 22 million, including nearly a million Utopians.

    Peking Man

    Beijing is bursting with youth, and the abundance of good looking soldiers and policemen is stimulating to say the least. While a lot of fun can be had flirting with friendly locals, Beijing is not a place for abundant nightlife or a quickie holiday romance - "419" in contemporary local gay slang (as in "for one night"). Educated gays tend to socialize in small circles of friends, visiting bars and saunas only occasionally and usually in groups. If you are able to make a local friend, then you'll have an inroad to meeting the single men in their network, although this may take more time than a visitor on vacation will have. Conservative and romantic in his approach to finding the right partner, Peking Man is not inclined to "jump into the river of love" on a whim.

    Many locals caution that bars, saunas and parks are filled with "MBs" (moneyboys) on the prowl -- mostly needy men from other provinces - but less and less so these days.

    People here in the capital work hard and so clubs that welcome gays are busiest on Fri and Sat nights, and quiet on weeknights. Mid-week gay Happy Hour venues are listed in our Bars and Clubs section and these locations change frequently. The Net is the most popular way of finding new friends. Although you may not be able to access the Chinese language QQ system, try PlanetRomeo or Craigslist Beijing. Jack'D is a more popular phone app here than Grindr.

  • Beijing Gay Scene Updates message forum
  • Lesbian listings
  • Men in Beijing message forum

    Navigating the local gay scene is easy with our interactive Utopia Map of Gay & Lesbian Beijing:

click for our interactive map of Beijing



Organizations

  • Beijing LGBT Center UTOPIA VERIFIED APR 2013
      Xintiandi Plaza, Room 2606 Tower B, Jia Jia No 1 Xibahe Nan Lu, Chaoyang Dist, Utopia Map, 010-6446-6970, email. Non-profit, community-based organization that empowers the LGBT community through social services and advocacy programs to further the LGBT movement, eliminate discrimination, and achieve equality. Their work promotes cultural diversity and contributes to civil society development. Established in 2008.

  • BeijingLGBT UTOPIA VERIFIED MAR 2014
      Email. Gay and lesbian-friendly group for people living in Beijing interested in meeting and socializing through Fri night cocktails, regular dinners, live shows, picnics in the park or Sunday brunches. They gather at trendy, comfy and popular spots around Beijing, enjoy each others company, chat, laugh and share. A good opportunity to meet new friends, network and just relax.
  • BGLAD
      Beijing Gay, Lesbian, and Allies Discussion is for those belonging to or wishing to support the gay/lesbian/bi/trans community in Beijing. Multicultural and multisexual, their aim is to bring these individuals together in a safe space that is supportive, friendly, and really FUN. They meet every 1st and 3rd Sun of the month in Sanlitun and welcome non-Chinese to join in.
  • The Bitten Peach Society UTOPIA VERIFIED MAR 2014
      Email. An alternative to the bar/club scene for gay men living in, or passing through, Beijing. Sun night gatherings at popular restaurants. No set agenda and gay men of all backgrounds are welcome to attend. Gatherings are capped at 10 people to allow for more interaction. You only pay for what you order (or imbibe).


Travel Services

click for China Mango travel

    ChinaMango UTOPIAN VERIFIED MAR 2014
      Email. Gay and lesbian-friendly, professional licensed tour guide from Beijing. Discreet, individual tours for discerning travelers. Day and night tours. Customize a tour for you and your friends at no extra cost. Explore Beijing's best places for eating, shopping and nightlife. Speedy reply with helpful advice and itinerary suggestions. Utopia Member Discount

      Comments from Utopians:

      "We found ChinaMango on Utopia. They were very friendly and answered all our questions and organised two tours. We met Jet first for a night tour of Beijing. He was very friendly and we first went to the Olympic Park by night. It was a very good idea (we never would have gone there otherwise). He showed us how to take the subway, what to do by night, where to go to take a drink and go out, good restaurants, gay night life, etc. Because of him our stay in Beijing was really fabulous! We also decided to go to the Great Wall. They proposed different options, explained the different possibilities, and we choose what we wanted. We went by car. All was very easy. Afterwards, he proposed to drive us to see modern parts of Beijing. Jet was more than a guide - like being with a friend who showed us his town!" -- Thomas and Yves, Mar 6, 2014


Popular Spots

Accommodations

      Click here for Beijing hotels and accommodations.


Bars and Clubs


Cabarets


Discos


Galleries

798 Art Zone (c) 2012 by John Goss

    • 798 Art Zone UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2013
        Utopia Map. An industrial area turned largely over to art galleries, shops, and studios. What began as a freewheeling experiment and breath of fresh air for the arts community has gentrified into a more commercial area sporting products by some of China's most famous comtemporary art stars. Still, its fun and fascinationg to wander around the neighborhood, if only for the steam-punk thrill of all the relics from China's early industrial era.
    • La Galerie Tao UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2013
        #83 Dong Hua Men St, Dong Cheng Dist (at the intersection corner just east of the East Gate of the Forbidden City), Utopia Map, 133-9188-0427, email. This contemporary fine art gallery specializes in Chinese gay artists and the Chinese male nude subject, as well as a variety of high quality fine and decorative arts. Conveniently located one block east of the Forbidden City in an area full of shops, restaurants and tea houses. See some of their works in our Chinese Masters of the Male Nude exhibition.
    • Red Gate Gallery UTOPIAN VERIFIED MAY 2013
        Dongbianmen Watchtower, Chongwen Dist, Utopia Map, 6525-1005, email. Founded in 1991 by Brian Wallace who first arrived in China in 1984, Red Gate Gallery is the first private contemporary art gallery to be established in China. Prior to opening its doors at the 600-year old Ming dynasty watchtower in Dongbienmen, they organize and curate exhibit the best of Chinese contemporary art as well as facilitating cultural exchanges and dialogues between China and the rest of the world. With monthly exhibitions, the gallery showcases painting, works-on-paper, graphics, sculpture, photography and installation by both established artists and emerging talents. Gay-owned. Utopia Member Discount


Karaoke


Massage for Men

      Click here for Beijing massage and spas for men.

click here for Border Zone Male Massage

click here for MR. BEAUTY


Meeting Places

      HAIDIAN

click for our interactive map of Haidian


    • Tsinghua campus
        Find the bigger of the two lakes (they are separated by a street). Prime cruising ground is the dark lane south of the facilities, but the whole lake is cruisy.


      OTHER AREAS

    • Liu Lang Swimming Pool
        Bagou (just outside the south gate of the Summer Palace), Utopia Map, 010-6263-5992. Take the number 10 subway line to the last station, Bagou, and then walk 10 mins northwest to the intersection of the river and 4th Ring Rd at Huoqiying Bridge. For summer months, west Beijing's largest outdoor swimming pool has become a 'must-go' place for locals. They congregate there on one side, especially on Sat afternoons. Just use your gaydar to spot them. The pool has shallow and deep sections, as well as lanes for serious swimmers. Entry is only Y$10, with a deposit for the locker key. Take your own towels, soap, and slippers for the shower afterwards, but only cold water. (special thanks to ChinaMango for the tip!) 巴勾柳浪游泳场
    • Starbucks by Pacific Center.
    • Yu Yuan Tan Park, San Li He Rd, Utopia Map. No info on specific area or best times.
    • The Wudaokou area near the Beijing Language and Cultural University. Surprisingly nice, busy and very cruisy. The small cafés and bars are full of university guys eager to talk and make new friends.


Restaurants and Cafes

      CHAOYANG

click for our interactive map of Chaoyang

    • Bellagio (Taiwanese cuisine) UTOPIA VERIFIED APR 2012
        6 Gongti Xi St, Utopia Map, 010-6551-3533. This large and modern restaurant attracts trendy gays as it lies directly across from Destination disco. Beijingers really enjoy the Taiwanese-style desserts on offer here. 鹿港小镇 - 北京市工体西路6号
    • Ghost Street UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2013
        Dongzhimen Inner St, Utopia Map. From Beixinqiao Subway Station all the way to the 2nd Ring Rd. Red lanterns create a carnival atmosphere for happy local diners who come for heaps of peppered crawfish. Order up as many as you like by size (Y$2, 3, 4 or 5 apiece) and deshell with your fingers for the succulent and tongue-numbing tail meat. Prepare to sweat! As usual, to select the best restaurant, look for a place that is packed with customers. Lots of other delicious side dishes and many menues have English as well as pictures to point to. Or, if you want to try excellent modern Beijing cuisine in a heritage courtyard setting, go to 235 Dongzhimen Inner St where you can dine on a truly incredible contemporary Chinese menu (in English with pictures of wonders like salmon spring roll sprinkled with lime Pop Rocks and, pictured below, chocolate-dipped purple potato sticks with fruit loops!), watch acrobats twirling teapots on a stick and gawp as their award-winning chef creates a "never-ending noodle" choreographed to music! 东直门内大街(簋街)

    • JingZun (Peking duck) UTOPIA VISITED MAY 2013
        6 Chinxiu Rd, Taipingzhuang Nanli, Chaoyang Dist, Utopia Map, 6417-4075. This bright, clean and modern eatery not only serves fantastic Peking duck and other local dishes (try the shredded chicken in "Beijing sauce" wrapped in tofu) but the price is very reasonable -- about 1/3 the cost of most duck specialty restaurants. 北京市 朝阳区 春秀路 太平庄南里6号楼 北侧

      Comments from Utopians:

      "I would like to recommend Munch New York, a new-ish, gay friendly restaurant located in Chaoyang Dist right, between UIBE (University of International Business & Economics) and and BIFT (Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology). The staff are very cute guys from those universities. One of the cooks, nicknamed 'Chairman Mao,' is a big, welcoming bear who fills the place with all his contacts from the bear community around Beijing. Great home-style New York City cooking! Pizzas, pastas, panini, and fantastic daily specials from the American owner. Very reasonably priced (around US$10/person). Good European wines by the glass for US$2.50. New York loft atmosphere, warm and inviting. Great service! Loved the Andy Warhol paintings on the walls upstairs!" -- William, Nov 16, 2013


      FORBIDDEN CITY / CENTRAL BEIJING

click for our interactive map of the Forbidden City / Central Beijing area

    • The CourtYard (fine dining)
        95 Donghuamen Ave, Utopia Map, 6526-8883. One of Beijing's first modern fine dining restraurants. Beautiful view of the moat and East Gate of the Forbidden City. Expensive.
    • Pianyifang Roast Duck Restaurant (Peking duck)
        G/F Hademen Hotel (opposite the New World Center) and another branch on 3/F of the second phase of the New World Shopping Center (with the ice rink in the atrium), Utopia Map. This is one of the two most famous Beijing roast duck restaurants. The most expensive duck on the menu is cooked inside a pot rather than roasted in the oven and supposedly has a more exquisite flavor. Crispy roasted is cheaper and plenty good. 便宜坊烤鸭店
    • Tianjin Baijiaoyuan Catering Franchise Co Ltd (dumplings and Chinese)
        12 Jia Xin Wenhua St, West Dist, Utopia Map, 6605-9375. Don't let the name fool you, this is one of Beijing's best dumpling restaurants with a menu featuring over 100 types of dumplings, from healthful herb and vegetarian versions to spicy dog meat. The menu is very easy, with both pictures of the ingredients for each and English descriptions.天津市百饺园餐饮连锁有限公司 - 北京西城区新文化街甲12号


      OTHER AREAS

Huguosi food street Beijing

    • HuGuoSi Street UTOPIA VERIFIED MAY 2013
        Utopia Map. Foodie alert! A stretch of refurbished old buildings housing a wide variety of tasty regional Chinese cuisines, from sweets and dumplings to Muslim food and donkey delights. The lane is decorated with folk art paintings of many traditional food practices that have vanished from the streets of modern Beijing. Mostly locals here (not a tourist trap), so follow the crowds to find the popular places.


Saunas and Fitness for Men


Saunas and Fitness for Men

      OTHER AREAS

    • Baby Blue Adult Shop
        268-91 Renmin Rd, FengTai Dist, email. Gay and lesbian-friendly shop providing high quality adult products at the reasonable prices. Baby Blue understands the private nature of such products and guarantees your privacy. Utopia Member Discount
    • Nanluoguxiang UTOPIA VISITED MAY 2013
        Utopia Map. South Luogu Lane is a revitalized traditional merchant street running through one of the best preserved hutong (traditional urban housing area) districts in China. New shops, cafés, beer bars and boutiques line this avenue and side streets beg to be explored and reward the intrepid explorer. One of the most enjoyable evening strolls in Beijing. 南锣鼓巷



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