Living in Asia

Fashion, Hip-hop, Lifestyle………………BlackLight


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Best Night Clubs in Beijing

If you are travelling to Beijing and are only able to stay for a short period of time, these are your best options for a guaranteed good time.

1. Club Vics

vics

VICS nightclub gives travellers a clubbing experience unique to any other venue in Beijing. VICS plays a mix of Top 40, pop, reggae and hip hop to passionate drunkards.  VICS offers a fun and foreign friendly place to party for tourists.   Wednesday night is LADY’S NIGHT, which provides free entrance and drinks for girls.

Website http://www.vics.com.cn/

Address : Workers Stadium north gate, Beijing

Open Time : Daily 7:00pm – 4:00am

Phone : 86-10-65936215

2. Spark Night Club

spark

Spark nightclub promises to get you dancing, conversing with the city’s sexiest  individuals and offers an unique lighting scheme. It’s a little classier than the usual clubs around the Workers Stadium (MIX/LUXY/BABYFACE).   Many Taiwanese enjoy going there because is the sister club of one of Taipei’s most popular nightclubs, Spark Taipei.

Website: http://www.sparkbeijing.com.cn/

English Address: B108, The Place, 9 Guanghua Lu.

Chinese Address:光华路9号世贸天阶B108

3. Club Suzie Wong

Buzzing bar scene, Suzie Wong's, Beijing

Come well dressed to this staple of the Beijing nightclub scene.  Many models and wannabe actor/actress frequent this establishment to hobnob with Beijing’s social elite.  Two rooms both play everything from Top 40 to Hip-Hop. One of the more chic places I’ve partied at in Beijing.  Drinks are expensive by Beijing standards so make sure you pre-drink!

Website: http://www.clubsuziewong.com/

English Address: West Gate of Chaoyang Park

Chinese Address:朝阳公园西门

Open Time: Daily 7:00pm to 5:00am

Phone:86-10-6500-3377

4. Mix

MIX

Right across from Vics. Music is somewhat repetitive.  Two main rooms.  If you switch rooms you are liable to hear the same songs over and over.  Drinks are also expensive. 40 RMB for a bottle of water. WTF? Occasionally hosts top quality international DJs, Mix is known as a hot spot for the hook-up if you are a local.  Most rich Chinese clubbers go here and order a huge bottle of whiskey and sit in booths.  Not as foreign friendly as the other spots.

English Address: Inside Worker’s Stadium North Gate

Chinese Address: 工人体育场北门内

Open Time: Daily Daily 8pm to 6:00am

Phone:86-10-6506-9888,86-10-6530-2889

5. Wu

wu_0

This is the place to hit if you are from 18-25 and staying in the Wudaokou area.  It’s still geared towards the student crowd with Top 40 hits blaring, cheap drinks and depending on the night ALL YOU CAN DRINK, but it’s got a clean look and great space management. 

English Address: 1/F, NW corner, Wudaokou U-Center. 28 Chengfu Rd, Haidian, Beijing, China

Chinese Address: U-Center大厦一层西南角

Open Time: Daily 8:00pm to 5:00am

South Koreans Drink 4X as much as Americans!

soju

This is the absolute truth. Ha.  I’ve lived in both countries.  South Koreans take drinking to another level.   Trying mixing Soju with coca cola or Soju with beer.  Tastes Grrrrrrrreat. The biggest alcohol drinkers on the globe aren’t cuddled up somewhere in sub-zero Siberia; they’re sipping on Soju, in South Korea.


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Pros and Cons of Teaching English in Taiwan

When I first decided upon teaching English in Taiwan, I would never have thought that I’d be coming to a country where the people are as friendly and as hard-working as Taiwanese people are.  There is a sense of pride in what they do.  It’s inspiring.  I’m going to look at a few key areas and answer some of the burning questions the readers have.

Lifestyle and Entertainment

Taiwan is an easy country to live in, especially if you reside in any of the more notable cities, such as Taipei, Taichung, or Kaohsiung (Taibei, Taizhong, Gaoxiong).  Here, you have access to world-class rapid transit, with enough subways and buses to get you where you need to be in a short, clean and comfortable time.   There are loads of night markets and traditional day markets where you can fill your belly and your fridge, all while having a sufficient amount of cash left in your wallet.  As far as entertainment is concerned, the cities are loaded with nightclubs, bars, and restaurants to balance out your work life and bring a little joy to your week.  If you love shopping, there are enough malls and markets to dive into.  For the health conscious individual, there are gyms and riversides spread all across the cities.   Gyms are affordable and convenient and offer a variety of classes, such as Yoga, dance and Jiujitsu.  The riversides often have more than enough basketball courts, soccer fields, and football fields, along with some baseball diamonds.  It’s simple to travel in Taiwan and there are so many outdoor activities to engage in.  There’s a lot of nature to explore, from biking to hiking and mountain climbing to scuba diving.  Stay fit and entertained while you explore a new lifestyle and culture.

Food

For those who don’t cook, Taiwan is known for its affordability and convenience.  Most street corners host 24-hour convenience stores that sell just about anything you might need, from a T-shirt to a chicken sandwich.  There are also countless independent venders everywhere who sell all varieties of food and drinks, many of which remain open until midnight.  Markets are also a great place to find a vast selection of tasty treats and hearty eats.  If you prefer to cook your food, day markets, or traditional markets, are the place to be.  They open  at the crack of dawn, and they sell fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats until the mid afternoon.  They are much better than your average grocery store.  It’s the best choice for health conscious individuals.

Teaching

A large majority of the foreign residence are either teachers or students.  There are also many who work with the elderly.  For teachers, there are so many English schools in the cities.  These are referred to as either cram schools or buxiban.  These are schools where primary and elementary school students go after their regular classes.  Essentially, it’s school, after school.  Most cram schools will provide lesson plans, while some are more free-form and are accepting of your input.  It’s rather simple to follow the lesson plans.  Like any job, it takes a while to get into the flow of things, so don’t beat yourself up when you face challenges.  As a teacher, you are the language expert.  You cannot forget this.  You are paid a handsome wage to deliver quality and care from the perspective of a native English speaker.  Understand your value and purpose and you’ll reap the rewards.  It’s simple to get interviews.  You could very well send out resumes, via e-mail, and a quick call at that very moment and find that you have an interview in a few hours.  If the job opening is posted, they want it filled, immediately.  A lot of people teach elementary school students, but there are many who only teach adults.  Both options are great, but the adult teaching game isn’t as widespread outside the cities.  Try to pick up one or two private students for conversation to fill out your time.  It’s well worth it in the bank and it’s a great way to be social.  Those who have teaching certificates and degrees may work in elementary schools or even high schools, where they work longer hours, but earn a sufficient amount more.  The life of a teacher in Taiwan can be amazing.  Since you’re only working 15-30 hours per week, you’ll have a lot of free time to study the language and travel.  If you have an independent business idea, this is the place to allow it to grow.  Make a plan and see it through.

Housing

Living is affordable in just about every area of Taiwan.  Whether you’re living alone or sharing a place with friends, you’ll find that it is simple to find a place that suits your needs.  It’s safe to say that you can find a 2 bedroom apartment, complete with a bathroom, living room, and a kitchen for around $500CDN per month.  Most apartments are at least partially furnished, some completely.  You may have to purchase some odds and ends.  Amenities are beyond reasonable.  The closer you live to a subway (MRT) line or bustling area, the more expensive, naturally.  Housing is not an issue.

Money

As mentioned earlier, you will be paid a handsome wage for your work.  This is mostly by Taiwanese standards.  You may be paid two or three times the amount of your average Taiwanese local.  You should be getting paid a minimum of $20CDN per hour, to start.  The more professional schools will offer regular raises, either at the end of the year or half-year.  Learn the conversion rate and learn how to manage your money.  Many new-comers tend to spend much more than necessary, because they are wowed by low price tags.  Understand how Taiwanese people use their money and look carefully at what they view as expensive.  It will prove to be beneficial in the end.  With food and living expenses as low as they are, you should have no problem saving money and sending some back home, monthly, to keep your other accounts active.  Living here is more about how you spend and save, as opposed to how much you earn.  When you understand that balance, your wealth will increase.


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BlackLight Inaugural Pub Crawl…………..Sanlitur (Sanlitun, Beijing)

Last weekend BlackLight held its first, and certainly not last Pub Crawl.  The BlackLight Nation took over Saniltun in Beijng.  We had 15 people show up for the first event.  The stops included Kai Bar, Kokomo, Red,  First Floor, Bar Blu and The Door.   Reviews for each of these bars will be posted in the near future. We lost some good men and women along the way but all in all it was success.    Keep checking the website for info on the next BL Pub Crawl nearest you.

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