Kristian and I decided to go for a couple of beers at Ming Ou cafe and then have dinner elsewhere. One thing lead to another, and after a few too many Double Deer beers, we decided to hit the bars. A short taxi ride later we arrived at Jiang Bing road where a lot of the bars and clubs are located. As soon as we stepped out of the car, semi-fresh air was instantly noticeable. The road is directly next to the sea, and it makes a huge difference. Taking a gasp of truly clean air is something I terribly miss from home.
We entered a large illuminated night club, the first building we saw. Once inside we approached the bar wanting to order a drink. Although there was a barman waiting to serve, it was a waiter who asked that we order with him. We asked for two bottles of Tsing Tao beer -- the kind you can buy from the shops for 3RMB each. The waiter wondered off, and returned minutes later with two bottles and a receipt of 100 RMB (about £10). We declined.
A few minutes passed, and I began looking at the crowd of people who were attending this night. One thing was glaringly obvious. A proportion of these people were -- how can I put it -- ladies of the night. It is an unfortunate fact, in much of China prostitution is illegal, but mostly ignored by the police -- for a price.
We didn't stay in the club for very long and decided to look elsewhere. We took a short walk outside and found a small road which looked like it accommodated some smaller pubs or bars. The tiny road was packed with people, mainly men which seemed very odd. We walked for a minute or two and realised there was actually not one bar one the street. People were exchanging money at counters for something, but I couldn't see what. There was a mountain of beer bottles (see below) just piled up on the ground. I glanced at the place where I originally thought the pubs must be located, they weren't pubs at all, it was a small apartment block. Both Krisitan and I felt very uneasy at this point. Something was going on here, whatever it was, we didn't want to know. We rapidly turned around and exited back to the main road.
It seemed our night was an eye-opener into a much seedier, stranger side of Wenzhou that only exists in the early hours of the morning. I don't think I will be going back there again.