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World Cup football - A festive experience at Sanlitun

07-02-2010 09:36 BJT

Every four years, the world stops bickering to enjoy a contest that captures the hearts and minds of nearly everyone around the globe: the world cup. This year, in Beijing, almost every bar and restaurant one may wander into has a television dedicated to cup play. This is especially evident in the bar area that I decided to focus my time on, Sanlitun.

Though Sanlitun normally functions as a legitimate western shopping center, during this time it dedicates itself almost entirely to world cup play. 
Though Sanlitun normally functions as a legitimate western shopping center,
during this time it dedicates itself almost entirely to world cup play.

World Cup football - A festive experience at Sanlitun
World Cup football - A festive experience at Sanlitun

Though Sanlitun normally functions as a legitimate western shopping center, during this time it dedicates itself almost entirely to world cup play. The center of the mall is turned into a sort of football arena courtesy of Adidas, while the front of the buildings are covered with large pictures of stars at play. The huge screen in the middle of the square is tuned into the games at all times during the day and observers can be found lying in the square enjoying each match.

The bar street is no different, as owners pull out all the stops to draw in the football crowd. The Red Club, amongst many others, puts a large projector out every night in front of its outdoor seating for the games. Lugas Villa, a Mexican restaurant and two-story bar, does the same and has multiple projector screens on the premise to suit its customer’s needs. When a fan attends these screenings, as I have, they find that the atmosphere largely brings the crowd together under the sport that unites the world. Although there is some friendly competition between the fans of rival teams, there is no question that it rarely turns hostile and much more often brings the viewers together with a good time. If one paints their face with their team’s colors or wears their flag to the bar, Lugas rewards them with a free beer every match. Thus, you find most people cheering while donning their team’s colors on their smiling faces. Of course, these meetings inspire a drinking culture that is more festive and rarely seen at any other time during the year. The crowds are massive as international fans from across the city come together to enjoy the games.

However, these crowds fluctuate depending on the night, and some weeknights are rather quiet. The weekends, on the other hand, boom with enormous crowds and packed bars. Even the smaller bars, like the custom rum bar Salud, become crowded with patrons and are sure to dedicate its screens to the games. Without question, for all of the international and local fans in the city, there are many choices to enjoy this world cup season. Many other bars feature the same perks as those seen at Sanlitun and some even better. However, for the international fan such as myself, there is no better place to come together with friends and beer to enjoy a night of football. One would be foolish not so stop by Sanlitun this year to see and enjoy the games that bring the world and this city together.

World Cup football - A festive experience at Sanlitun
World Cup football - A festive experience at Sanlitun

Sanlitun can be reached by taxi cab by telling the driver "Sanliturr," they always know where to go. Also if you want to save some money, take the subway to Dongzhimen and a taxi from there.

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Editor:Yang Jie |Source: CRI

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