Drinking and nightlife

Top ChoiceCraft Beer in Kunming

Uncle John's Craft Beer

The new second branch of a long-standing Kunming favourite is far more accessible, and the long wooden bar is fairly inviting as well. You'd have to try quite hard to sample the whole range of Uncle John's brews...

Top ChoiceCafe in Baisha

Me Let

Of the many fantastic cafes in Baisha, and there are surprisingly many, Me Let stands apart for its selection of and passion for coffee, as well as for the fantastic garden in which to sit. The cafe is locally...

Top ChoiceBar in Shangri-la


Raven is the best bar in town and one of the best in northwest Yunnan, with a huge range of beers and spirits and a small selection of pub food. There's a big bar counter to sit around, sofas to sink into, New...

Top ChoiceCoffee in Kunming

M For Maker

Yunnanese and Ethiopian beans are roasted on-site and served as delightfully balanced brews at this tiny, unprepossessing coffee shop beyond Brooklyn Pizzeria.

Cafe in Dali

Tang Cafe

One sip of the flat white here and you'll swear you're in Melbourne, or at least Sydney. A rooftop terrace sweetens the deal, as does a small but tempting brunch menu.

Beer Garden in Kunming

O'Reilly's Beer Garden

This Yunnan-based chain of Irish pubs actually hits pretty close to the mark with a massive beer list (though disappointingly no Chinese options) and spirits and cocktails, as well as a short but appetising...

Craft Beer in Kunming

Yun Brewing

Sixteen homebrews, a fridge full of imports and a fun-loving vibe all recommend this as one of the better craft-beer places in Kunming.

Craft Beer in Dali

Craft Beer House

In a quiet corner of the old town, this fun place carries European and American craft brews plus some locally produced 'foreign' options (¥39 to ¥69). There are no Chinese craft beers, unfortunately, but there's...

Bar in Lijiang

Stone the Crows

Worth checking out is this foreign-owned, endearingly ramshackle bar with a good range of foreign beers and a mixed crowd of locals (many musicians who play in the nearby bars come here) and westerners. There's a...

Craft Beer in Dali

Chateau Pirates

Chinese craft beer (including one Dali offering) from a hole-in-the-wall taproom with just a few barstools and one tiny table. If you're peckish, the place next door will bring over fish 'n' chips and bacon...

Cafe in Lijiang

Two Cats

Coffee, cakes and a small selection of booze make up the menu at this little cafe on the eastern flank of Lion Hill, but really what keeps us coming back is the incredible views of the old town from the terrace.

Cafe in Heshun


This local chain has several branches in the area, all selling cups of tasty local coffee. Turn right from the village entrance and keep walking about 350m till you see it on your left.

Craft Beer in Shangri-la

Shangri-La Beer Bar

Drink Shangri-la's favourite local craft beer straight from the source – they've got all the varieties on tap, plus a handful of international wines, beers and spirits.

Coffee in Shangri-la

Yunnan Arabica Coffee

Local beans and a handful of sweets at this local coffee chain will see you through a day of sightseeing around Shangri-la.

Cafe in Shaxi

Corvus Corax

Perhaps the best coffee to be had in Shaxi is available at this tiny cafe and roastery just south of the old town square.

Bar in Dali


Dali's most laid-back and hidden-away bar attracts locals and expats with a fine selection of wines and foreign beers from a bar set off a small garden (hence the name). It shows live European football on the...

Cafe in Heshun

Lanna Cafe

Chilled-out spot for a decent coffee. It also does OK breakfasts (from ¥30), as well as pasta, pizza and sandwiches (mains from ¥38). The top floor has nice views out over the surrounding fields. Turn right from...

Beer Hall in Kunming


Visit this cavernous beer hall in a converted warehouse for home brews from Purple Cloud and a wide range of other drinks, including inexpensive cocktails and shooters. It's tucked into a neighbourhood south of...

Bar in Dali

Bad Monkey

Expect home-brewed beer and a party every night at this popular Brit-run spot on Renmin Lu, where you can order a flight of all four of their in-house brews for ¥88. There's music nightly at 8pm (and sometimes a...

Craft Beer in Kunming


Along with a handful of their own drinkable home brews here, there's a long list (and cooler full) of domestic and import craft offerings to complement a menu of pub grub.