12 Hour Party People

We started off with a rendezvous on the 80th floor of Shangri La's World Summit Wing at Beijing's highest bar: Atmosphere. Ours ears popped around the 65th floor zooming up in a weightless, speedy, lift.

I'd just met up with our [Time Out Beijing] new Nightlife Photographer Ashely, a party-loving 21-year-old Brit from Southport, for what turned out to be an alcohol-guzzling endurance test. We were treated to some of the best looking, and tasting, cocktails in the city. Mine was served on an old skool Chinese tea tray on a bed of dry ice; it was a bourbon and tea combo. 'Just wait till I tell my mum about this one' I thought - who'd have imagined it plausible that you can mix tea with whiskey? Ash got something equally as funky, also served on the mesmerising dry ice. After swapping business cards with Atmosphere's bar manager, Vincent, we headed to his friend's hotel bar/club right next door.

As we arrived in the Park Hyatt's Xiu Bar [with apartments above owned by Jackie Chan and former basketballer Yao Ming] we were greeted with open arms and the team rushed around to clear a VIP table for us. We got acquianted with the new bossman - a lovely guy from Singapore - and settled down to continue the shennanigans.

12 Hour Party PeopleOpting for whiskey sours, we tucked into Beijing's best chicken-wings and got acquainted with the management. As we did so a wicked international seven-piece band dropped tracks like Pharrel's Happy and Mars' Treasure; networking done and we were back on track for our night of mammothness.

From here we headed for Migas in Sanlitun - one of the coolest clubs in town - that was, due to the holiday season, completely dead bizarely enough.

We bounced on to catch DJ Leslie Jaycee - the only Chinese DJ ever to play at two Love Parade's in Berlin (allegedly) - at the newly opened Gallery (attached to the Gongti stadium), and stopped briefly for another couple of drinks before heading for the nearby Lantern club. Having bumped into club and label boss Weng Weng and DJ Jackson Lee, we slammed J├Ąger shots at the capital's only literal underground, underground, club until around 5am.

Upwards and onwards we emerged from the basement just as the sun was trying to appear from behind the smog. Jumping in a taxi we made it to Gulou's hotspot Dada for the last DJ set of the night. After a few more drinks we bumped into the Baochao Hutong kingpin David from Mado Bar [now defunkt]… giving him a little nudge, we hinted at opening up his cozy bar just for us to have a few more drinks on his sinkable sofas; he took one look at the two of us and laughed it off saying we'd need a few more people than that. No problem for me, I scooted round the club and rounded up about 8-10 amigos who were up for the after-party. Opening his bar around 7am - for a group of completely wasted odd balls - doesn't faze him at all. He's a true professional mixologist and therefore he's done this shit plenty times before.

After a few more drinks including celebrating someone's 6th birthday (he was a leap year baby) we sulked off, staggering past school children on their way to class with bottles of beers in our hands: keeping it classy all the way.

So yet another clubnight in Beijing ends with the walk home as the sun in shinning and all fuelled by solid mix of adrenaline and alcohol alone. Genius. In any other part of the world there would be cocktail of chemicals involved to keep you up this late but here anything - alcohol-based - is possible.


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