Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Smoking cigars in China -- Part. 1 Beijing

All right, a little more about me here... I am about to move to China (again). I am 29 and I have been spending almost 3 to 4 years in mainland China already (Beijing and Shanghai mostly). In 2004, my company asked me to come back to France, but recently thay asked me to go back... Great !

But now comes the big question : where to smoke good cigars in mainland China ? Is there a "cigar culture" in mainland China ? What about the prices ? etc. It's gonna be hard to answer to all those questions in one post... Besides, China is a rather large country ! For a start, let's focus on the cigar culture in Beijing. I hope I post something later on re. Shanghai.

So... Cigar culture in Beijing :

* Grand Hyatt Beijing (Junyue Dajiudian)

Do not spend too much time in the Davidoff boutique in the lobby, and please go straight to the Red Moon bar (ground floor). They do have a decent cigar selection (mostly cubans). You can smoke your cigar next to the fireplace, or why not in one of the two private cigar lounges (4 to 6 people each) - you'd better book these in advance.

* Red Capital Club

You'll have to go to The Residence (the RCC has two main addresses : the Restaurant & The Residence) in order to enjoy a cigar in a unique atmosphere : they have installed their fumoir in a former bomb shelter ! You know there was a time when Mr. Mao Zedong was afraid to be bombed both by the US and the USSR... Very nice decoration, Chinese Kitsch embedded into traditional Beijing architecture : unique & different !

* The Courtyard

Nice restaurant, next to the forbidden city, great view. They do have a nice cigar lounge... (Location: 95 Donghuamen Lu, Dongcheng District / Tel: [+86 10] 6526-8883).

* More addresses ?

Though my favorite addresses are all here, you'll be able to find more suggestions at the bottom of this page.
On a footnote, you should also check this article from ChinaToday, about the cigar maker who used to roll Chairman Mao's own cigars.



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