Tribe Latin Bar

When it comes to partying and enjoying the nightlife, Xian is a city that’s not shy to show off. There are bars and night clubs galore. Options are endless.
But what if you can go to a bar, a place of familiarity, that feels like your own, where friends become family. A place where the food is delicious, the drinks are tiptop, where the energy is vibrant, the rum flows freely and beautiful people fill the dance floor?

On Off Bar

It’s a tale as old as time. You are ready to go out, see the town, and enjoy the night. Maybe it’s you and a couple friends, and you are polling the room for what to do. Inevitably, you realize that some of you want good drinks, others want good music, and the rest want to club a bit while the night is young. Then, of course, you realize you have to choose 1 of these 3 options, because most places don’t really deliver on all them at the same time. That is until On/Off Bar arrived on the Xi’an scene.


Halloween approaches! Soon the dead will walk and ghastly ghosts will gather for ghoulish and gruesome fun!
As much as our favourite holiday is the time of year to dust off your creepy cosplay, hit the city, and get funky like Frankenstein… it’s also the perfect month to immerse yourself in that most malevolent and monstrous of cinema genres – HORROR!
Get ready to hide behind that cushion and scream for your lives as we take a peak through petrified fingers at my top five film picks for Halloween!

Ancient Chinese Ghost Stories


The Elusive Gui of China

The monsters of Chinese folklore haunt the underworld Dì Yù 地狱, the backyard during the rainy season, and everywhere in between— including your stomach. Here in China, ghosts and goblins in fables fuse the bizarre into scenes of normalcy. Ancient fables often show the beasts as the “other”, exposing the shortcomings and paradoxes of human nature. The monsters cross the bounds of living and dead, intruding and upsetting the lives of humans.


Every culture has its superstitions, or 迷信 (MiXin). As Englishman, I can’t walk under ladders, cross knives, or say ‘Bloody Mary’ in the mirror three times in a row (literally daren’t). With the onset of Halloween, I see no reason why we shouldn’t discuss ways in which we may avoid tempting fate, or worse dishonour our hosts, while here in China.

Traveling Domestically in China Post-Pandemic

With international travel not possible for foreigners living in China, some have felt that their travel options are somewhat limited, with many avoiding travel all together. However, domestic travel has been an option for several months now, but many are still unsure about what it would be like traveling in China post-COVID. What do you need to do? Is it possible to travel wherever you want? What loops with you need to jump through in order to do so.

What happens when you die in China?

No one plans on dying while living abroad, but sometimes bad things happen and the situation arises in which someone’s life is cut short a long way from home. In that situation, what happens? Are you buried locally or will your remains be repatriated? How is the process managed in either case? As morbid as the topic may be, and we certainly hope that this topic never need be relevant for anyone, this is something that people should be aware of when living so far from home.

Fangsuo Bookstore

It’s often been said that bookstores around the world are struggling. With the rise of the internet, and the subsequent easy access to information, as well as digital publishing, it would seem that this rumor would be true. In China, however, bookstore can still do quite well, as paper books still have a certain clout amongst readers, both for children and adults. These bookstore have moved beyond the basic model of simply providing books and have ventured into the territory of becoming entertainment centers all on their own. As such, they have often become sprawling mini-metropolises containing a plethora of options for both material objects and experiences.

Mum’s Steakhouse 娘家牛排 (北郊赛瑞喜来登店)

While there are many restaurants in Xi’an, most of them are faceless institutions, without a personal look or touch that separate them from any other. Often it seems like they are mere money spinners, designed to separate you from your hard-earned currency while delivering a mediocre product. So when you find a place that has a bit of a story behind it, there is immediately more interest.

Redeye Cafe

It’s the season of heavy coats and boots. We’ve reached that time of year where the indoors are preferred over the outdoors. Which brings me to the following point. It’s good to know which places to visit once the cold, winter blanket settles over the city. I’ve spent some time during autumn building up a list of places I’d like to frequent during the winter months. Fortunately, I was able to add one more place to my list.

Bueno South Gate 不为酒吧 (南门店)

Bueno is a brand that might be somewhat familiar to many of the expats in Xi’an who have been here for a while. Bueno started out selling their unique mix of cocktails from a cart located inside of Xiao Nan Men. It was always a place to stop by if you were in the area, as the cocktails were good and sold at a very reasonable price. Then, later on, they opening up their first store front, just a few meters away from where they had previously positioned their cart. It is a great location, and still in operation, but it often fills up quickly. Well, now space will not be a problem, as they’ve opened up a new location just outside of South Gate behind the Ginwa, a short walk from exit D2 of the Yongning Men subway stop.

Jiu Jian Shang She 玖间上舍·咖啡酒廊

Situated towards the south end of De Fu Xiang, also known as “Bar Street” in Xi’an, this upscale boutique hotel brings new life, attitude, class, and, most importantly, revitalization to an area of Xi’an still suffering post-pandemic shutdown. The hotel itself just had its soft opening in October and occupies the street front of and several floors above a former bar. Jiu Jian Shang She is across from the now-closed 3 as 4 Bar, familiar to long-time Xi’an expats as a venue for pub trivia and other events and activities.

World Diabetes Day

November 14 is World Diabetes Day (WDD). WDD was established by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization to raise awareness about a serious health risk posed by diabetes. The date of November 14 was chosen because of the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting. He co-discovered insulin and, together with John Macleod, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1923. Insulin, which is the primary treatment for type-1 diabetes and used for type-2 and gestational diabetes, has saved many lives.

China Blonde

On October 1st, 2020, China Blonde hit the shelves. Written by former Sky News newsreader and former expat resident of Xi’an Nicole Webb, this book tells about her experiences while living in Xi’an. If you’d like to get a copy of the book, you can pick up a signed copy on her website (ships globally, including to China) or you can get a copy of the ebook at Amazon by scanning the QR code on the next page.

诺茉 NONMOI: Cakes&Meals

First of all, don’t be deceived by the name – this restaurant is a lot more than just cakes. It is actually best known for its dry-aged steaks! Tucked back and away into the dining plaza of Glorious Plaza (大都荟) in Gaoxin, this restaurant featured a glitzy and higher-end collection of gastronomic delights. Greeted by clear glass walls, wooden tables and green tropical plants, we were quickly shown to an upstairs table.

True Blue 初蓝

The word traditional gets thrown around a lot here. It’s a word that is used so often as to lose its meaning, rending the awe and reverence that the word is meant to evoke a moot point. Nevertheless, when it comes to the tea café and restaurant True Blue, traditional is the word that first springs to mind, but in the most positive of ways. Located on the 6th floor of the LAFONCE center on Fengcheng Er Lu, it’s not a place that you would immediately know was there looking from the outside. However, once you arrive, you are instantly transported from the world outside to a place that feels different. Soft lighting and a delicate fragrance fill the space. And it is spacious. The restaurant and tea house fill what seems to be the entire floor, with dedicated rooms for both tea and dining. Upon entering the main reception area, you will find a long table, topped with various relics and statues, including a replica of a carriage of the first Emperor of Qin that becomes animated when a crank is turned.