Yunnan drinking and nightlife

Top Choice Bar in Shangri-la


Relocated since the 2014 fire, the Raven remains the best bar in town (and in northwest Yúnnán), with a huge range of beers and spirits. There's a big bar counter to sit around, sofas to sink into, New York–style pi…
Bar in Dali


Dàlǐ's most laid-back and hidden away bar attracts locals and expats with a fine selection of foreign beers and alcohol and a bar set in a garden (hence the name). It shows live European football on the weekends, th…
Bar in Dali

Bad Monkey

The eternally happening, Brit-run Bad Monkey brews its own strong ales (from ¥30; the IPA packs a punch), has nightly live music and endless drink specials. There's also reasonable pub grub (pizzas, burgers and shep…
Bar in Lijiang

Stone the Crows

Worth checking out is this foreign-owned, endearingly ramshackle bar with a good range of local and foreign beers and a mixed crowd of locals (many musicians who play in the nearby bars come here) and Westerners. Th…
Bar in Kunming


Kūnmíng's late-night crowd congregate at this friendly and suitably grungy bar, which closes only when the last customer has left (often when the sun is coming up). Decent selection of local and foreign alcohol, tab…
Bar in Kunming


The original of a growing number of Kūnmíng cocktail bars, Alei is a large, low-lit, modern space that has proved a hit with upwardly mobile locals. The bartenders know their trade and there's nightly live music of …
Cafe in Weishan

Yàn Cafe

Just down the street from Xīnggǒng Tower is this laid-back little cafe run by a former Dàlǐ resident and her musician husband. Proper coffee and tea, as well as fruit shakes and beer. For now, it's the only place in…
Bar in Kunming


In the heart of the Kūndū Night Market area, and jammed on weekends when there are DJs, the Mask isn't as hip as it once was but remains popular with both expats and locals. It offers a fair range of domestic and fo…
Bar in Kunming


An expat-Chinese-run dive bar that attracts a mixed crowd of expats and locals. DJs most weekends and it shows the English football too.
Cafe in Heshun

Lánnà Cafe

Chilled-out spot for a decent coffee. It also does OK breakfasts, as well as pasta, pizza and sandwiches.