Sanlitun and Beijing embassy area

三里屯 Sanlitun is a street in Beijing famous for two things: official representation of many a great nation and the shops, bars and restaurants that have sprung up to cater to the needs of the diplomatic corps and other employees of the local embassies. What once actually was a somewhat seedy place bringing together sex and drugs and rock’n’roll has today become one of the shiny examples of modern Beijing – entertainment and restaurant that in some places are high class and a lot of beautiful people. This has mainly been due to the explosive development of real estate in the area, knocking down the old and seedy and replacing them with the new and shiny.

Sanlitun Village shopping center

Sanlitun Village shopping center

Prime real estate and worth a fortune

There is no doubt that the whole Sanlitun area is prime real estate and then some. Located centrally and close to the diplomatic world of China the haves and wanna-be haves are drawn to the area naturally. Sanlitun commands among the highest per sqm prices in Beijing and therefore all of China. Whoever is not familiar with housing prices in China must not look down upon the just said. A 100sqm apartment easily goes for 1m USD or even more, making it not only expensive by Chinese standards but by any other standards as well.

Sanlitun soho

Among the most expensive real estate in China: Sanlitun Soho

I have a party and you are not invited

It is normal then that many a high flyer frequent the area in their sports cars, drinking champagne and eating oysters. Chinese have a tendency to show what they have got and stay in sight but exclusive. That translates into private tables at night clubs which as a normal person you can peek into and try to get an idea what they must be spending. I have never asked but a table must go for at least several thousand RMB per night including a bottle of whiskey and a fruit platter (what is it with Chinese and fruit platters anyway?). The higher level the club, the higher the prices of course, so the real haves finally have found a way to show it and be jealous of.

Useful Chinese words