Sometimes throughout the week you’re in the mood for something a little bit different after work. Whether you’re an English teacher shushing kids 20 hours a week, a businessman slogging away at a 9-to-5, or a traveler eager to have a more involved experience than just throwing back a few drinks, Guangzhou’s bars offer quite a few fun, interactive nights to help you escape from the ordinary.
Open Mic Nights:
1) Ping Pong Bar乒乓酒吧 View In Map
One of Guangzhou’s finest hidden gems, this bar is a great place to chill out any night of the week (except Sunday, when it’s closed). Great décor, comfy couches, and special French rum call you back again and again. If you feel like performing a few unconventional songs in an intimate setting, this is definitely the place to do it. They usually get started around 22:00, but it really depends on when the performers and patrons show up. Performers get free beer, but if they keep the audience happy enough they might get free drinks all night long. If you’re not performing, then come early for the happy hour from 20:00-22:00, when Carslberg on tap is buy-1-get-1-free and selected mixed drinks are 20 RMB.
Add: 60 Xianlie Dongheng Lu, behind the Xinghai Music Conservatory, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 2829 6306
2) Hooley’sView In Map
A typical Irish Pub and one of the most popular expat spots in Guangzhou, this place hosts a crowded open mic night. It starts at 21:00, and you’ve got to stick your name on the list, since there’s typically quite a few people that perform each night, from solo acts to bands. Everyone who performs gets a free Tiger beer.
Add: 2 Tian He Bei Lu, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 3886 2675
3) Loft 345View In Map
The first Sunday of every month, Loft 345 hosts a spoken word open mic night. This one is quite different from the music nights at the other two bars above. If you’ve written poetry, prose, or anything else that you want to share, this is the place to do it. Loft is a great place to chill out, listen to good tunes, look at art and have a cheap drink. A winning reader is selected at the end of the night and awarded a free bottle of booze, which normally ends up being shared among friends right then and there. Things get going around 22:00. If you’ve never been there before it’s a bit tricky to find, so make sure to write down the Chinese address for the friendly security guards, and take the phone number just in case.
Add: Haizhu District, Jiang Nan East Road, No. 19 Qian Gui Da Jie, 4th floor of Xiao Gang Hua Yuan Building, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 8423 8985
Board Game Bars:
Citadels & Transfer Station
Two small bars in an old neighborhood near Jiangnanxi metro station offer an opportunity for an unconventional evening with friends. Grab a group of buddies and head to the Chinese board game bars near Jiangnanxi metro and choose one of the many games on the shelf. Citadels will definitely allow you to have a wilder time, as they sell 15 cans of Harbin beer for 98 RMB, and you can even hang out in one of their private rooms. As long as each person spends 15 RMB, you can stay as long as you want and play the 20+ board games for free. Transfer Station across the street is a bit of a milder atmosphere, with snacks and juice, but no booze. They’re close enough together that you can feel free to check them both out in person before you make a decision. The staff at both are friendly, but have very limited English skills.
Citadels View In Map
Add: 85 Jiangnanxi Rd, Qingliu Avenue, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 8442 3039
Opening Hours: Mon-Thurs 17:00-Late, Fri-Sun 14:00-Late
Transfer Station (中转站) View In Map
Add: 85 Jiangnanxi Rd, Qingliu Avenue, Guanzhou
Tel: 020 8448 1743
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun 17:00-Midnight
Getting there: From Line 2, Jiangnanxi Metro, Exit A, continue West on Jiang Nan Xi Road. Cross the street and make a left at QingLiu Lu. When you reach the first small alley, turn right and the bars will be on both sides of you.
Two pubs in the city give you regular opportunities to challenge your brain for random knowledge.
Hooley’sView In Map
Hooley’s has a well-organized trivia night that happens every first and third Thursday of the month. You have to arrive and sign up your team of 4-5 people by 19:30 if you want to be eligible for prizes. They’ve often got live DJs and bands on these nights as well.
Add: 2 Tian He Bei Lu, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 3886 2675
The TavernView In Map
Every Wednesday at 19:30 the Tavern puts on a more casual trivia night. If you haven’t got a team to sign up with, ask the bar to pair you up with some other solo contestants. The top three teams get prizes.
Add: 09-11 Poly 108 No 6 Hua Jiu Lu, Zhu Jiang New Town, Guangzhou
Tel: 020 8550 3038
13 Factories 十三行 View In Map
For those nostalgic for your college years back home, there is one place in the city that offers beer pong. On Thursday nights, 13 Factories, a restaurant/bar owned and operated by a New York native, offers a fierce beer pong competition. You and a partner must sign up before 22:30, and drop 100 RMB to cover the cost of beer for all of your games. You’re guaranteed to play at least two matches, but if you beat some other teams and continue on, you get even more beer for your buy-in. Winners can receive wine, liquor or store credit to use at 13 Factories later.
Add: 7 Tianhe Bei Jie, Ti Yu Xi Lu (Southwest Corner of Chengjian Da Sha at the North gate of Tianhe Dasha), Guangzhou
Tel: 020 3884-9230
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Keywords: trivia guangzhou open mic guangzhou trivia bars guangzhou poetry readings Guangzhou open mic nights Guangzhou
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