Guanren Lu Bar Street Rebirth

Updated: 04 Nov 2008
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For the last ten years, Guanren Lu or Guanren Road Bar Street keeps on going as the popular “water hole” for the local expats. Little has changed in its landscape at this part of Xiamen except that there are more sports bars being opened in the street, whilst  many of its once hugely popular small restaurants have been closed for some years now


Gone are the days where the street was packed with dining tables and chairs under its shady trees and on its extra large café frontages, patrons searched for a few cool drinks, mingling with some great locals, and western tuckers.


The street was also the addresses of many popular restaurants. One of the most popular Italian restaurants in Xiamen, Tutto Bene was once upon a time a resident of the street, it has now moved to the nearby street. 



The most famous Laowai street in Xiamen and Tutto Bene at Guanren Lu Bar Street

CLICK picture to enlarge


Expats in Xiamen used to be regular visitors to this food and bar street. The atmosphere resembled some of the best café streets in Europe, minus the cooking fumes.


Sadly, it was this cooking fumes and aromas that eventually brought trouble to the street. All the venues which emitted irksome fumes had to move. This was the direct result from the complaints made from the local residents and certain commercial establishments which led to the closing ordered by Xiamen Government.


Even though it was bad news for the restaurants and cafes, there was an upside. Today, Guanren Lu is much cleaner, more up-market, laid back and cosy. It is this atmosphere that attracts many pubs into the area. And, again the street is making a comeback, at least there are more new pubs being added to the scene.


Hitherto, Guanren Lu has never lost its position as being a regular spot for Xiamen expats. The Coffee Club Bakery, Oriental Pub, The Londoner, Apple Travel etc are parts of the reasons why the street retains it‘s popularity amongst ex pats and foreign visitors..


Guanren Road has kept its shape, whereas there rest of Xiamen has changed, especially the burgeoning nightlife scene. Rapid urbanisation in Xiamen has brought about many new changes to the city, many new areas are being set up and equipped to cope with the increasing demand for this leisure industry.


China's booming  nightlife scene - largely yet confined to its major metropolises in downtown Xiamen- is still relatively young and unstable. Growth and rapid development in recent years has been attributed to better financial security being enjoyed turbulent teens and the discovery by younger people of appreciation for non traditional western tastes.


The Xiamen, night cityscape of  bars, pubs and disco has changed many times over. Many of these establishments come and go. Renovations, special attractions and various strategies are used to keep their business going strong. But many have fallen prey to changing tastes and market environments.


Many Xiamen bars are  nothing like Guanren Lu pub scene, which is a more conservative sports bar. Patrons, many of them ex pats come here to relax and enjoy the company of one another, in the peace and quiet, away from the bustling metropolis living and lifestyle.



Usually around 8pm till late, you will be bound to meet some foreigners drinking in their favourite ‘water hole’ especially on the weekend.

 CLICK picture to enlarge


Ironically, Xiamen's night scene was born 10 years ago at Guanren Lu, Hubinbei Lu, Bailuzhou Park night venues and Binlang Street, when some well known Xiamen ex pat socialites poured the first drink at La Bomba, Elite, Tienlai (Skyword), The Oriental, The Londoner, the city's first sports bars, pubs and discos. The nightspots situated here, used to be packed with an exclusively expatriate crowd.


This once popular Guanren Lu Bar Street is nestled behind Marco Polo Hotel. Located in the Xiamen top residential and commercial area, the street is still regulated by many expatriates. Secluded and shielded by many high rises, the once bustling street filled by Xiamen Xiachi or small little snacks bars are now a quiet street by day.


Guanren Lu new features by many small sports bars. Resembling a small London bar street, the street has retained its old comfortable feel and is intact except that there are more new bars are being created along the street. 1970's, 3040, One more (123 Pub), The Londoner, Orient Andréa Bar and yet to be opened Rock Roll.


For those ex pats who are new arrivals to Xiamen, jump into a taxi and ask the driver to take you to Marco Polo Hotel. You will find  Guanren Street  running along the backside of the hotel. Usually around 8pm till late, you will be bound to meet some foreigners drinking in their favourite ‘water hole’ especially on the weekend.


How to get there


CLICK here for MAP


WOX info

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