Owen Daniel

Marketing Consultant; Events Manager;

Journalist & Author; Web Developer & SEO Specialist

Follow the Panda

Panda GuidesAfter meeting team Panda at our Panda Guides offices in the Central Business District (CBD) - I ventured out on a mission of journalistic research. Follow the Panda they say, but I didn't see which way he went. I did know however, the truth was out there, somewhere, and I knew the only way to find it would be to get deep and dirty blending in with the locals.

First stop - after a cunning tip-off - was Great Leap Brewing, fortunately, located within crawling distance of my hostel. Placing myself squarely at the bar I was sure to strike gold, and sure enough - as if by some twisted turn of fate - the first person I met on this trip was the marketing director of this legendary establishment (Mr Kevin), sitting just to my left.Great Leap Brewing - Beijing

To my right was Brandon (MD of his own events management company) - if anyone was born to network with industry types, it was I. After sampling one of their 18 homebrewed beers and a cheeky chicken sandwich, I headed out into the night like the disco fiend I am.

Testing my built in GPS navigation system I thought I'd see if I could find my way to the Panda office in the dark. Weaving between gold-plated Lamborghinis, BMW Z4s and god knows what else I eventually rocked up by work - conveniently situated opposite TGI Fridays. Despite the fact it was Tuesday, I went in. After a quick shandy, I was almost back at the ranch when a day-glo entrance to a classy-looking nightspot called Club Elements screamed out to my inner-teenager: "All inclusive bar 100 RMB - foreigners only". Fortunately for me (and for them), I fell head first into this category.

Walking down the stairs felt like stepping on the strings of a giant harp. An incredibly beautiful instrument, ruined when tipsy foreigners tread all over it. After getting pointed towards an obviously cheap private bar table in a venue clearly built for the city's richest - I downed a few screwdrivers to avoid any further embarassment.

The cheapest tables in this place set you back nearly 2,000 Chinese notes... for broke-ass journalists such as myself, this is as plausible as Obama and Putin snogging publicly. That said, if they do I will happily celebrate by buying a table.

By the time the DJ does come on, it's clear he's no pro - sloppy mixes are only disguised by his pretty damn good track-selection. And even then, barely so. You'd like to think if someone invests millions in a venue, they could at least invest a few pennies in the DJ. Not here though. They must have almost 400 bottles of oober-expensive champagne on display; reitterating the saying 'image is everything' - musical knowledge, however, counts for little.

Elementary my dear Watson? Hell no, this is Elements Club in Beijing - and they have a certain key element missing.

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