From the male perspective, two central elements of a good time are beer and women- both of which are quite abundant in China. Yet despite China's vast size, scenic diversity, and varied Chinese and expat population, most guys limit their entertainment to these two pursuits. The beer is cheap, and there are throngs of women for all manner of amusements. China seems like a man's paradise, and in some ways, it is.
When I first came to China in 2005, I was intoxicated by the girls and the nightclubs. For the first three years, I was quite a party animal, rockin' and rollin' at night and shaking off the mental cobwebs in the morning. I was in a serious relationship for part of this time but even when I was single, it wasn't hard to find company. After I moved to Xiamen, I met the girl who would become my wife within weeks of my arrival, so my fishing days were over. I would still enjoy boozy nights with her or with the guys, but after we got married and purchased a home, nights on the town soon became a luxury. Actually, I began to lose interest in the club and bar scene, which seemed mostly for the purpose of hooking up, and since my train had already left that station, I felt a bit distant from that crowd.
Now with the baby's imminent arrival, my mentality has really changed and I'll rarely drink heavily these days, usually pulling the plug after three or four beers. I don't know, I just don't feel it anymore. I've had my fun and now it's time to make sacrifices for my family. But it doesn't really feel like I'm giving anything up. I look at my buddies fawning over their newest pretty plaything and pounding the bars every other night and they look genuinely happy and I'm happy for them too, but for myself, I like my more moderate mentality. Everyone's got their own flavor and I'm not going to judge anyone as being irresponsible or sleazy, because we've all been there are some stage of our China journey. I just wish there were more entertainment options besides boozing it up and chasing tail. For all you guys in cities with decent music and art scenes, consider yourselves lucky.
As for me, I've learned to really appreciate a nice cold beer and some spicy barbecue on the beach. I'll take that over a throbbing discotheque any day.