Must-see entertainment in China

  • TakeOut Comedy Club

    Hong Kong

    In need of some LOL? Hong Kong's first full-time comedy club, founded by Chinese-American Jameson Gong, has stand-up and improv acts in English, Cantonese…

  • Sands Casino

    Macau

    One of the peninsula's older international casinos, the Sands' gaming floors have a somewhat dated, midrange-hotel-lobby vibe. Within walking distance of…

  • Grappa's Cellar

    Hong Kong

    For at least two weekends a month, this subterranean Italian restaurant morphs into an entertainment venue hosting jazz and other live music – chequered…

  • Dongtu Acrobatics Theatre

    Beijing

    The nightly 'Classic Acrobatic Show' is cheaper and less spectacular than the performance at Chaoyang Theatre, starring the more junior members of the…

  • Fountain & Music Show

    Xi'an

    Some travellers enjoy spending the evening at the free fountain and music show on Big Goose Pagoda Sq; it’s the largest such ‘musical fountain’ in Asia…

  • Tianqiao Performing Arts Centre

    Beijing

    The Grand Theatre at this modern performing-arts complex has 1600 seats and hosts big-name touring productions like Blue Man Group, Wizard of Oz and the…

  • Punchline Comedy Club

    Wan Chai & Northeast Hong Kong Island

    A veteran on the scene, the Punchline hosts local and imported acts every month from 8pm or 9pm to 11pm. Tickets are around HK$350. Book online or call…

  • Kunqu Opera Museum

    Suzhou

    This place puts on performances of kūnqǔ (regional opera style) at 2pm on Sundays. Buy tickets by the theatre door on the day; arrive early as seats tend…

  • HKAC Cinema

    Wan Chai & Northeast Hong Kong Island

    This basement cinema in the Hong Kong Arts Centre shows mostly art films and occasional Chinese classics with English subtitles. The ticket office is on…

  • Lyceum Theatre

    French Concession

    Landmark building built in the 1930s, with many original features. It shows a number of performances, from acrobatics and film screenings to family magic…

  • Dunhuang Celebration

    Dunhuang

    Huge live evening show staged at the Silk Road Dunhuang Hotel, with a backdrop of the sand dunes. You can purchase tickets from the ticket office next to…

  • Dunhuang Goddess

    Dunhuang

    An 80-minute acrobatic dramatisation of stories on the walls of the Mogao Grottoes. It’s held at the Dunhuang Theatre; English subtitles are provided.

  • Poly Theatre

    Beijing

    Modern theatre venue that hosts a range of performances, including ballet, musical theatre, drama, classical, opera and Chinese folk music. Check the…

  • Pingtan Museum

    Suzhou

    The Pingtan Museum puts on wonderful performances of píngtán, a singing and storytelling art form sung in the Suzhou dialect. Two-hour shows are at 1.30pm…

  • T:Union

    Guangzhou

    Local folk and singer-songwriter acts take to the stage at this rustic-looking cafe venue, but post-rock and heavy metal has featured too. It's next to a…

  • UME International Cinema

    French Concession

    Modern movie complex showing films in 2D and 3D, with some in English. There are also VIP rooms with reclining chairs. Occasional Hollywood premieres…

  • Cultural performance

    Guizhou

    Twice daily performances of traditional Dong singing and dancing with the accompanying narration translated into English on LED signs by the stage.

  • Grand Cinema

    The Bund & People's Square

    This striking 1930s art deco cinema was once one of Shanghai's most famous movie theatres, and today continues to screen the latest blockbusters.

  • Shanghai Film Art Centre

    Shanghai

    This cinema is the main venue for the Shanghai International Film Festival and usually has at least one movie showing in English at other times.

  • Dunhuang Theatre

    Dunhuang

    A modern theatre that has a variety of shows, but is best known for the enduring Dunhuang Goddess.

  • Flowers of the Silk Road

    Dunhuang

    Dance performance celebrating the culture and history of the Silk Road and performed at the Dunhuang Theatre.

  • A Dream of Wudang

    Hubei

    This taichi-themed dance show is held on Friday and Saturday nights at Taiji Lake, east of town.

  • Cityline

    Hong Kong

    You can book tickets to movies and most major performances through Cityline's website.

  • UA Cinemas

    Shanghai

    Modern cinema complex in the Westgate Mall with 2D and 3D screens.

  • Impression Lijiang

    Lijiang

    With Jade Dragon Snow Mountain for a background and a strong background of Yunannese history and cultural groups to pull from, Lijiang's most popular live…

  • Hong Kong City Hall

    Hong Kong

    Built in 1962, Hong Kong City Hall is still a major cultural venue, with concert and recital halls and a theatre. It also hosts Hong Kong Island's main…

  • Gyantse Sound & Light Show

    Tsang

    This glitzy song-and-dance show is aimed squarely at Chinese tour groups but is performed on a grand scale, using the entire old town as its backdrop…

  • Gyelpo’s Nangma

    Lhasa

    Gyelpo's has long been a local favourite nangma (entertainment club), with a good floor show and singers. Gyelpo was a famous dancer on Tibetan TV. It’s a…

  • Ancient Kunqu Stage

    Jiangsu

    Holds open-air kūnqǔ performances every other day. The quality won't blow your socks off but the costumes are bright and the actors enthusiastic. Don't…

  • Culture Club

    Hong Kong

    Besides the tango milongas that take place here Monday to Thursday, this petite multipurpose venue is where amateur musicians hold their debut…

  • Star City

    Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

    This six-screen cinema, at the eastern end of Wangfujing's Oriental Plaza, usually has at least one English-language option being screened.

  • Palace IFC

    Hong Kong

    This eight-screen cinema complex in the IFC Mall is arguably the most advanced and comfortable in the territory.

  • 13 Club

    Beijing

    A student-oriented livehouse with a predisposition toward guitar solos, devil horns and dodgy drinks.

  • Peace Cinema

    The Bund & People's Square

    People’s Square cinema with an attached IMAX theatre (巨幕影院, Jùmùyǐngyuàn).

  • Mong Kok Stadium

    Kowloon

    Hong Kong's lively amateur soccer league stages games at this stadium in Mong Kok.

  • Asia Art Archive

    Hong Kong

    This reference library is a great resource for those studying contemporary Hong Kong and Asian art. It also has occasional talks by visiting artists and…

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