VIDEO: Going Local in China, Part 5: Top Spots in Modern China

This is the third post in new video contributor Kelley Ferro’s five-part video series on China, the first of many series covering destinations across the globe. The first part is here, the second part is here, the third part is here, and the fourth part is here.

When I travel, I always make an effort to meet locals, whether it’s just for a passing tip or a maybe even a coffee or meal. I found China’s locals were particularly friendly, especially the younger generation, and they went out of their ways to help me—a stranger. It definitely helped that the guides on my tour were knowledgeable and spoke English well—making them great representations of their country. They gave me a true, behind-the-scenes look into China and answered my questions honestly. We chatted about relationships, family life, what they did for fun, and pop culture.

But I also asked them the hard questions about living in China today. They shared insight into their parents’ generation and their relationships with the old China transforming rapidly into something new. You can hear some of their thoughts in the video above, and below are some of their local recommendations. I checked out all of these so I can attest to each as a must on your next visit to China:

  •  (Beijing)  A hipster coffee shop turned cocktail bar with live music and dual level space, located in the charming hutongs of Beijing.
  • , (Beijing) — Spain meets China in this ultra swanky rooftop restaurant and bar in the Sanlitun area. The food lives up to the views and the roof DJ parties and incredible cocktails might make you never want to leave.
  • Bar Street (Xi’an): It’s easy to find the type of bar you want on this street, as it’s chock full of options. The whole ambiance is welcoming of people of all cultures, and it definitely seemed like the spot where the young people hung out.
  • Nanjing & Old Town (Shanghai): Nanjing Street is synonymous with shopping, so for your designer brands in a pedestrian-friendly street, this is where you go. However, for more traditional goods, don’t miss Old Town, which I much preferred for its architecture and funky, one-of-a-kind shops.


Watch the video above, and see below for more!

For more on guided travel in China, visit . For more on the specific itineraries and guides from Kelley’s video, check out .

Kelley Ferro

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About the Author

Kelley Ferro
Kelley is an award-winning TV personality, experienced travel journalist & social media influencer. Obsessed with world travel (and Indiana Jones) since childhood, she parlayed that passion into her career, starting at 19 as a National Geographic intern. She went on to be the Director of, and now she is the producer & host of several web series, which feature hotels, tours and destinations across the globe. Her shows focus on the local experience, the world’s best hotels and the best in every destination. Join her on her jetsetting adventures via , or her .

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