Hangzhou’s best nightlife
Voted the happiest city in China by Oriental Outlook Magazine several years running, Hangzhou is China's leisure capital.
Hangzhou nightlife is both diverse and centralized, so it’s easy to bar hop until you find the perfect spot for you.
Dive joint: Maya Bar 玛雅酒吧
Tired of dice games, working girls, bad music and poorly stocked bars? At Maya Bar, you’ll find reasonably priced drinks being downed by locals and out-of-towners.
It’s never too loud, so this is good place to hang out and talk.
The Mexican bar food is decent, there’s an outdoor patio seating and live sports are often showing on the TVs.
More on CNNGo: Shanghai's best dive bars
94 Baisha Quan, on the corner of Shuguang Lu 白沙泉94号, 曙光路转角上, noon-2 a.m., +86 571 8799 7628
Salsa club: Night & Day 德纳咖啡酒吧
Hangzhou’s dedicated Latin dance club, Night & Day cranks out popular Latin tunes for salsa and merengue lovers, both pro and pathetic.
Thanks to its location directly across from West Lake, there's no shortage of well-dressed, good-looking people shimmying and twirling with help from a veteran house band.
Surprisingly delicious Western fare includes genuinely good steaks.
More on CNNGo: Insider's guide to Hangzhou West Lake
240 Nanshan Lu, near Xihu Da Dao 南山路240号, 近西湖大道, 6 p.m.-2 a.m., +86 571 8777 0275
Jazz lounge: JZ Club 黄楼
At the Hangzhou branch of the renowned Shanghai jazz performance and education establishment, expect class, sophistication and some of the best jazz in the country.
Foreign and Chinese vocalists and musicians grace the JZ Club’s sensuous, red-velvet-draped stage, fronted by tables filled with wine drinkers and cigar aficionados.
Prices are better than average and so is the talent.
More on CNNGo: Best jazz bars in Shanghai
6 Liuying Lu, near of Nanshan Lu 柳营路6号, 近南山路, 6:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m., +86 571 8702 8298, www.jzclub.cn (Shanghai site)
Pool hall/Music venue: 9 Club 酒球会
Hangzhou’s classiest place to hit billiard and snooker tables, this club in the western end of the city regularly hosts billiards competitions.
But the 9 Club is a wicked combination shot itself, with a good sound system and convivial pub hosting top-caliber live concerts by the likes of Hanggai, Hedgehog and other acts from in and outside China.
More on CNNGo: The 5-minute Hangzhou guide
2/F, 262 Wantang Lu, Wantang Hui South Tower 万塘路262号万糖汇城市生活广场南楼2楼, noon-2 a.m., +86 571 8106 0813, www.9-club.com.cn
Rock venue: Code Space 酷电空间
It's smack downtown, it's gigantic, modern, and artsy, it's comfy, it's got one of the best sound systems in Hangzhou. Its well-priced, chef-designed menu ain't half bad, either.
While touring, China's biggest rock acts usually hit Code Space. The club also hosts electronic dance parties and indie film screenings. TED community members hold meetings, and board game enthusiasts nerd out in the back.
One of the most popular nightspots in Hangzhou attracts members of Queen Sea Big Shark and other bands from Modern Sky and Maybe Mars recording labels.
More on CNNGo: The Little Punk of Shanghai's rock scene
177 Huancheng Bei Lu, No. 5 Building, East Building, 1F, 环城北路177号内5号楼东楼1层, 10 a.m.-late, +86 571 8515 4883,site.douban.com/codespace_hz
Karaoke: Party World 钱柜
No Chinese nightlife listing would be complete without a place to indulge in the national nocturnal pastime: karaoke at KTV.
The Taiwan-based KTV brand has branches in most major cities across China, but Hangzhou's lakeside branch can't be beat for sheer size, opulence, up-to-date, international song selection (nine languages), and full buffet bar.
Prices are reasonable. Reserve tables early on weekends.
More on CNNGo: Tokyo's 5 wackiest karaoke parlors
615 Wen'er Xi Lu, near Linyu Xiang 文二西路615号, 近林语巷, 7 p.m.-2 a.m., +86 571 8882 2955
Dance club: Elements
Hangzhou’s dance-club scene peaked in 2006 and 2007, when global giants graced West Lake's shores.
Since then, the only thing reliably electro-worthy have been the Hangzhou-based Elements dance parties, replete with fire dancers and neon, flame-throwing robots.
Here's the catch -- the Elements “club” constantly changes locales. It’s intended for only the most dedicated and fashion-minded partygoers.
More on CNNGo: The bars and clubs that define Shanghai's nightlife
Check the Elements site (www.elementshz.com) for the latest info.
LGBT hangout: Jundu Bar 君度酒吧
If you're looking for the young, local LGBT crowd, Jundu's your place. Wednesdays and weekends see legendary drag shows and the occasional live snake dance.
It’s a fun club that is becoming popular with the straight crowd, as well.
More on CNNGo: Xing Zhao: Gay people in China need to come out
2 Baochu Lu, on Shaoqingsi Li Jie, first right turn off Baochu Lu heading north from West Lake, 保俶路2号京华科影大厦内, 在绍庆寺里街上, 近西湖, 5 p.m.-2 a.m., +86 571 8511 9130