Jazz. Its past its prime, right? While the mainstream may view jazz as old fashioned and dreary, it ‘s actually constantly evolving. No longer just a feature of dusty records tucked away in dimly lit bars. Both on and off the stage it is increasing in popularity, with R&B favorites like Kendrik Lamar heavily collaborating with the genre and jazz festivals being a common feature of summer in many cities.
A far cry from Kenny G and elevator music, live Jazz now represents a chance to witness something unique. The artists build beats between themselves and vibe off each other to make spontaneous music that excites the audience. In the age of over synthesized vocals and manufactured beats of EDM that build but never drop – no matter how long you bob your head up and down waiting in anticipation – live Jazz is a refreshingly unpredictable alternative.
Zhuhai’s Jazz Bar and Festival
With this in mind, the bustling popularity of Zhuhai’s Jazz bar is understandable. Linked with the contemporary music institute, it boasts extremely talented musicians at the forefront of China’s Jazz music scene. Every Friday and Saturday the house band starts at 9pm and by 10 the crowd spills out of the door onto the street, beers in hand. The band consistently deliver an entertaining show, with guest performers and jamming sessions to keep each night diverse. With an audience of loyal regulars, its a great way to integrate with the community and even meet the band.
In alliance with the institute, Beishan Hall offers an annual international music festival with a line-up of musicians travelling from all corners of the globe.
This year boasted an intercontinental line up with an eclectic mix of sub genres gracing the stage. Serbian band Eyot known for their breakdown of Balkan beats, gospel inspired Cannobal from Australia, Canadian Academy Award winners Born to be Blue Quartet to name a few. Film, theater and dance also contributed to the stellar program. With the sky and stars as a backdrop, it promises to be a spectacle of talent and soul every year.
Zhuhai offers an opportunity to witness how the genre has developed in the east. Amidst the heavy boom of Chinese DJ’s in nightclubs – which are nonetheless an experience not to be missed – the Jazz scene of Zhuhai offers a somewhat smoother alternative for locals and ex-pats alike.
Festival tickets start from CYN180
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to explore more of China, or perhaps you’re just about to spend your weekend in Zhuhai? Then you have just found the perfect 48 hour guide for our beautiful coastal city.
But first, let me give you some general information about Zhuhai:
The city is located in the southwest of China’s Pearl River delta and is still southern China’s best kept secret. Its development from a small fishing village to a Special Economic Zone – SEZ – happened as recently as the 1970’s.
Zhuhai has been voted the most liveable and romantic city thanks to its clean air, geographic location and warm climate. The locals are very helpful and even though the language can be tricky you’ll always find a way to communicate. The lingua franca is Mandarin.
Lastly, life is generally pretty cheap and laid-back – especially when comparing it to other Chinese cities. With the bus only costing 2-3 RMB to most locations across the city and an average taxi ride costing 15 RMB, public transport is very reasonable and convenient.
If you want to read more about Zhuhai, click here.
Location: East coast
- The Fishergirl is the city’s icon and is based on a legend of an angels descended to earth who turned herself into a fisher girl after falling in love with the beauty of the land and in order to prove her love to a young fisher man called Hai Peng.
- You can get there by bus No. 9, 99 or the sightseeing bus.
New Yuan Ming Palace at Night
Location: North of the city centre, Lampu
- Make sure not to miss the 圆明新园 (Yuánmíngxīnyuán)
- It is a partial replica of the Beijing Summer palace covering 1.39 square km and – if you ask me – worth visiting the most in the evening when there are many beautiful lights lit up, impressive stage shows and more activity in general.
- It hosts a museum and a 80,000 square meters lake.
- TIP: If you make it there before the sunset, you can take a few stairs up at the Northern side of the park until you reach a viewing platform from where you can look out over the south of Zhuhai and see across the border to Macau. Make sure you get down again before dark as there is no external light around the stairs (speaking from experience here).
- The park closes at 11pm.
- To get there take bus 1, 25, 30, or 60.
Wetmarket at 5am (for early-birds)
Location: North-east, Xiangzhou
- Around 5 in the morning the Wet Market is a photographer’s paradise when the fishermen bring in all the fresh fish – ranging from winkles to sharks.
- If you want to read more, check out this blog.
Location: Along the east coast
- Right by the Fishergirl and all along the coast from the south to the north is the 情侣路 «Qínglǚlù».
- While having a leisurely stroll on Lover’s Road you can catch a glimpse of the Fisher Girl and the amazing skyline of Macau.
Hike to the Fishergirl’s husband
Location: central-east, Jinshan Park in Jida
- If you want to work off Zhuhai’s delicious food, walk up 2000 steps in the wonderful Jinshan Park to reach the famous Fishergirl’s husband (takes about 1 hour).
- Once you have reached the top, you can enjoy an amazing view over Zhuhai.
- Alternatively and for a small fee you can take a chairlift up the mountain and the alpine toboggan down.
Location: South (next to the Macau border), Gongbei
If it is your first time in China, you shouldn’t miss out on the labyrinth of underground stores bordering Macau. Here you can satisfy your craving for shopping, but don’t forget to bargain down 50-70% of the original price. Before heading back to daylight, you should try the delicious soup dumplings 龙袍汤包 «long2 pao2 tang1 bao1» at: 拱北口岸地下广场为食街B1310号
Zhuhai is famous for its delicious and fresh seafood, but you’ll find mouth-watering food from all over China at the various food stalls and restaurants all over the city. Here our recommendations for breakfast, lunch and dinner:
肠粉 «chang2 fen3»
For breakfast we recommend to try the traditional Changfen, which is served with for instance (BBQ) pork or beef. In the morning you will find food stalls offering the Cantonese speciality all over Zhuhai.
包子 «bao1 zi3»
Baozi are a very common breakfast in China. For the meat-lovers we recommend 肉包 «rou4 bao1» and for the veggie-fans 菜包 «cai4 bao1», a cabbage baozi. Similar to the Changfen you can find it throughout the whole city.
Location: south east, Jida.
If you want to spend a little more on your breakfast, you can go to the Holiday Inn hotel. Breakfast for none hotel guests is ¥60 and the buffet offers Western, Japanese and Chinese dishes
May Flower Dim Sum Restaurant
吉大皇朝五月花大酒楼 (Ji2 da4 huang2 chao2 wu3 yue4 hua1 da4 jiu2 lou2)
Location: East, Jida
At this restaurant you can either enjoy a delicious breakfast, brunch or lunch. It is very close to the Fishergirl so we recommend combining the two! A must try: Dim Sums 飲茶 « yum cha ». To get there take bus 9, 25 or tell the taxi driver to bring you to: Wu2 Yue4 hua1 Da2 Jiu3 Lou2.
兰州拉面餐厅（lan2 zhou1 la1 mian4 can1 ting1）
We often refer to it as Muslim Noodles as they are traditionally handmade and Muslim owned. It is a cheap and filling snack found everywhere in the city.
珠海湖南人小龙虾美食广场 « Zhu1 Hai3 Xiao3 Long2 Xia1 Mei3 Shi2 Guang2 Chang3 »
Location: Central East, Jida
This patriotic Chinese restaurant is a great place for dinner and an absolute must-see whilst you’re in China! The fiery waiters in military uniforms will serve you a range of delicious, spicy Hunan cuisine:
- «Hong2 shao1 rou4» 红烧肉 (fatty pork – Chairman Mao’s favorite dish)
- «Gan1 guo1 tu3 dou4 pian4» 干锅土豆片 (potato dry pot)
- «Yao1 guo3 ji1 ding1» 腰果鸡丁 (chicken with cashew)
- «Shuang1 she4 duo4 jiao1 yu2 tou2» 双色剁椒鱼头 (red & green pepper fish head)
Waizai Seafood Street
珠海香洲区湾仔海鲜街 «wan1 zai3 hai3 xian1 jie1»
This is THE place to go in Zhuhai for seafood-lovers. For a very low price you’ll find all kinds of crabs, oysters, prawns and fish. And if you’re feeling fancy, have a Doomen Peerly Crab (not for low-budget travellers!).
After you have bought your fresh seafood you choose one of the restaurants on the opposite the food stalls, which will be happy to prepare your dinner for you! To read more, check out the Wanzai Seafood Street blog.
Drink & Party
No matter if you just want to sip a cocktail, have a quiet wine or want to dance to wild electronic tunes, Zhuhai can offer you all of the above!
Location: South, Jida
Being a newbie in the city you cannot miss out on Zhuhai’s 300 meter long bar street 酒吧街 «Jiǔbājiē». As soon as it gets dark, bar street lights up. Here businessmen, yuppies and tourist enjoy a drink or two, play dice or on occasion rock-paper-scissors at one of the more upscale clubs or dozen open-air bars: 88 (Ba Ba), Cohiba (Xi Yang Hui), La Bohemia (桂缘), 珠海市水湾路酒吧街, Casa Pepe, 1520 Bar and a lot more.
Other nice areas in the city to have a drink are Midtown 富华里«fu4 hua2 li3», Huafa 华发商都 «hua2 fa1 shang1 du1» and Jida Beach! If you want to have a taste of the local beer go for a Haizhu.
To find out more about Zhuhai’s nightlife, click here.
To find a place to stay for a reasonable price we recommend to have a look on ctrip. Here we already prepared a link with filters for you! J Be aware that some hotels are for Chinese only. Most budget travellers find their way to one of the cheaper hotels (¥160-¥230) located in the Gongbei district as it very central. If that is still out of your price range have a look at hotels in Xiangzhou, Tangjia or Jinding (Tangjia and Jinding are in the very north of Zhuhai). Prices here range from ¥80 to ¥120
Other activities to consider:
- World’s biggest Aquarium Themepark – Chimelong (only if more than 48hrs in ZH)
- A trip to the Jintai Temple in Doumen and the Imperial Hot Springs.
- One of Zhuhai’s many islands.
If you would like to see Zhuhai from another perspective, apply for an internship now!