There are lots of special evening shows on offer in Beijing – music, dance, acrobatics, opera – all great fun and easily accessible for tourists. However, should you pre book them or wait until you get there? If you are in China do you book them with your guide or the hotel concierge? And which ones do you book – for example if you are in Beijing do you go and see an Acrobatic Show instead of Beijing Opera? And if you book the Acrobatic Show do you book one with dinner served during the performance? And if you book dinner do you book dinner served by a waitress or buffet style?
I tend to book the shows once I am in China and I book them myself by taking a taxi to the ticket office in person. You get the right price and the right seat. If you decide to book a show with a guide there is a huge possibility that you will be overcharged and the reason is that they have to pay for the driver and car to pick you up at the end of the show. It’s much cheaper to get a taxi yourself. Also you may pay for the highest price seats only to get one right in the back. And if you pay for dinner you may get only a cold buffet which is more empty than full.
Beijing Opera – the best place to experience Beijing Opera is at the Liyuan Theater which is inside the four star Jinaguo Hoetl Qianmen. The perfomace takes place every day except Chinese New Year and tickets range from RMB200 to RMB580. You can also arrange a behind-the-scenes visit to meet the actors whilst they prepare for a performance. They don’t offer a meal during the performance.
Address: No.175 Yongan Road, Xuanwu District
There are many more Beijing Operas but they are usually adaptions of the folk stories and mythology aimed at the local population like the ones at Laoshe Teahouse, ( Address: 3 Qianmen Xidajie, Tian’anmen), Beijing Night Show (address No.1 Dayabao Hutong), Peking Opera @ Huguang Guild Hall, all of which offer different set menus.
Peking Duck Dinner – the best place is DaDong, according to tripadvisor. It may be the best once you get a seat and service! I prefer the Liqun Roast Duck Restaurant in the hutong area of Beijing named after his owner, Mr Zhang Liqun. The duck is roasted in the old fashioned style, in a brickbuilt oven and roasted on coal. You may not get the waiter to shred the duck at the table but the taste is out of this world!
Address: 11 Beixiangfeng Hutong, Qianmen Dongdajie, Chongwen District
Acrobatic Show – There are so many of them but I would suggest The Legend of Kung Fu by Red Theatre. The story is easy to follow and it’shighly entertaining, combining dance and Kung Fu. The theatre is very popular outside China and they were guests at the Coliseum in London.
Venue: Red Theater
Address: Workers’ Cultural Palace, 44 Xingfu Dajie, Chongwen District
There are many more acrobatic shows such as Acrobatics show @ Tiandi Theater, Acrobatics show @ Chaoyang Theater, Kun Qu Opera @The Peony Pavilion.
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