|No. 1 Outside Beach Club
|11am - 1am|
|Wanlihao Pier, East Nanpu Rd., South Gate Bridge|
|028 8555 2222|
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Mark Hiew (more chengdu)|
There’s something calming about sitting out on a river at any time of day, but that tranquility acquires a touch of the transcendent come evening, when the bright neon lights and hulking canvases of the city skyline heighten the dramatic tension of water and concrete. It’s what makes sitting out on the riverside terrace of Waitan Number 1 so wonderful: the sense of timelessness that the Funan provides as it flows amidst the fleeting energy of the surrounding clubs and bars.
For too long, we put up with the annoying traffic and overpriced warm beer on the, “Bar Street,” seeking the sort of riverside views and beauty that the area never really provided. What we were really after was this: a long strip of red lantern-lit terrace, where one can purchase individual bottles of cold beer whilst sitting right over the river. Views range from the stark bulk of the infamous big boat to the east (Jah Bar is just down the road) over to the South Gate Bridge.
Drinks are surprisingly reasonable, but unfortunately limited: only Snow beer is available, in versions ranging from 8-20RMB per bottle. Bottles of wine start at 128RMB for a 1990 domestic bottle, but range upward into foreign varieties. A selection of non-alcoholic beverages is also available. Shaokao (1-6RMB), roasted fish (68RMB) and various snacks, including shrimp (38RMB), fried sweet cakes (12RMB) and soup (10RMB) will satisfy any late night munchies, and if you’re ready for some more excitement, the pumping pop-dance of the rather standard-looking club itself are mere steps away. Although there’s no English on the menu, it should be simple enough to order from the friendly wait staff.
The outstanding river scene and quietude of the terrace is equally good during the day over a glass of tea, or for relaxing after the smoke and crowds of the bars and clubs have worn you down. Either way, it provides an infinitely more soothing, mature environment than Jiuyanqiao’s car-ravaged, rowdier waterside bar scene.