The Sanya Where to Party Guide is part of The Year of the Monkey Trip Report which covers the following places:
- New York, New York
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
- Guangzhou, China
- Hong Kong
- Shenzhen, China
- Sanya, China
Who likes to rock the party? I like to rock the party. And so does Sanya, sort of.
Sure, most people come to Sanya for the sea and the water sports but not TPOL. I came to drink by night and sleep on the beach by day. Unlike the rest of mainland China, there is last call in Sanya. And it comes surprisingly early. By 3AM everyone’s gotta go home or head to the beach.
Chinese Drinking Game
I wrote a guide on how to make friends in China. The easiest way in any Chinese city is to play the dice game. Each city has its own choice liquor for playing this game. Interestingly, in Sanya, many of the people used beer instead of liquor to play. That’s the definition of champagne lifestyle, beer budget.
Jiu Ba Jie (酒吧街)
If you’re staying in Dadonghai (my recommendation for where to stay in Sanya), hop on a motorbike and ask him to take you to Jiu Ba Jie which means Bar Street. 5-10RMB should do the trick. If you are staying in the northern beach areas, take a taxi and be prepared to spend 50-60RMB to get here.
Once you arrive in this shit show that is Jiu Ba Jie, head to one of the mini-marts for a Tsingtao beer. Trust me, the area is much more approachable after some libations.
Clubs here, clubs there, clubs everywhere! So which should you try? My suggestion is all of them. There is no cover to get in and the metal detectors are just for show. Ultimately, the best one is M2 (the same M2 brand is in Shanghai). The crowd is a combination of Chinese, Russian, Ukrainian, Cape Verdeans, Cubans, a German Kung Fu instructor, one American (TPOL), among others. The music is mostly electronic but I seem to recall some hip-hop. While drinks are a bit expensive, you probably won’t pay for them if you follow my friends guide above.
If you are against taking shots of Johnnie Walker from strangers and are on a budget, you will find that the smaller bars are more your style. There, they serve PBR.
Another option is Club 88. I’ve been to this franchise in Shanghai (now closed) and in Chengdu. Unfortunately, the one in Sanya does not compare.
My second favorite option after M2 is Soho. The setup is typical of a Chinese club. What makes it fun is the live music. The Chinese club goers are very passionate about their pop music.
I was lucky enough to find out about the after hour beach party. It is only on Friday and Saturday. It’s almost worth skipping Jiu Ba Jie and staying out just to go to these parties. Every expat on the island heads to Dadonghai beach on Friday and again on Saturday. The drinks are cheap, the music is groovin, and the atmosphere is awesome. I don’t think I have been to a party that had this much diversity. It can be hard to find which is why I’ve include the GPS coordinates.
Do not confuse Sanya with Bali. It’s tamer. Still, there is plenty to do, especially on the weekends, if you’re looking to get into some trouble.