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Shanghai Nightlife

Shanghai Nightlife


Beijing, Shanghai, and provincial capitals nationwide have growing queer scenes where you'll find gay clubs, gay saunas, and even gay yoga classes. Shanghai even has its own bear bar (Chinese bears are affectionately known as "pandas"). What helps China's gay men and lesbians -- known as tongzhi, or comrades -- is that there is little antigay religious sentiment; gay bashing is almost unheard of. Even China's home-fostered religions, Taoism and Buddhism, are tolerant of same-sex love.

Pint After Work

If you're planning on negotiating Shanghai's thrilling nightlife, start with Western-owned Eddy's Bar (1877 Huaihai Zhong Rd., entrance at Tianping Rd.; +86-21-6282-0521 or +86-138-1667-0836 afternoons; in the gay quarter of the French Concession. It's cozy, energetic, friendly, and hip.

After Eddy's and Shanghai Studio (see below), the crowd heads to the chic Pink Home (18 Gaolan Rd. near Sinan Rd.; +86-21-5382-0373). It underwent major renovations in 2007 and is now a cutting-edge dance club, restaurant, and hotel, catering to a hot, young, primarily Asian crowd. Patrons gather in the grass and cobblestone courtyard to light up.

Lounge Chairs

Included in the benefits package for those staying at the Shangri-La is the exquisite Jade on 36 (3 Fu Cheng Rd.; +86-21-6882-3636; Perched on the 36th floor of the hotel in Lujiazui, this predominantly straight hotel bar is a hit with the city's movers and shakers. It has breathtaking Bund views, striking modern decor, and a scintillating drinks list.

For once you'll admire the glass ceiling. Kathleen's 5 , a rooftop perch atop Shanghai Art Museum (5th floor, Shanghai Art Museum, 325 Nanjing Xilu; +86-21-6327-2221; serves superb cocktails until 2 A.M. Sip a blueberry mule or try a martini concocted with ingredients such as lemon, basil, lychee, Kaffir lime, and grilled pineapple.

Cute Suits

Tucked in a basement nearby, Shanghai Studio (Room 1950, 4 Huaihai Middle Rd.; +86-21-6283-1043; is a gorgeous gallery bar that shows art videos. A hip set of scenesters and intriguing locals gather at this unlikely spot, accessed through an art-adorned hallway. It's close to many other popular gay bars on the main drag, Huai Hai Zhong Lu.

With just a discreet splash of pink on its exterior, Frangipani (204 Xinle Rd.; +86-21-5403-0227; doesn't jump out as an obvious gay venue. This is the bar to take your straight coworkers to for a quiet midweek drink. A modern, open space offers fashion shows on big-screen TVs and cozy couches for lounging. Tuesday nights are girls only.

Late Night Meetings

The consensus is that the hottest boys' venue is D2 (505 Zhong Shan Rd.; +86-21-6152-6543;, a three-floor pleasure dome a swift taxi ride from the Bund or People's Square. The "Cruzy" mezzanine offers excellent views and tables that you can book for the best views; the "Lazy" lounge has top 40 tracks and lounging beds; and the "Crazy" room houses D2's main dance floor, home to video screens, pumping sounds, and an energetic crowd.

There's somewhere to dance every night of the week in Shanghai. Check for the most up-to-date club information.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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