The word will be familiar to any foreigner who’s been to Beijing – and probably to many Chinese people too. SanLiTun is an area of Beijing located around the ’embassy area’, three kilometres north east from the centre of the city – literally, the name ‘SanLiTun means ‘three milestones’.
When you’ve been in China for a while, SanLiTun is a happy respite. You can find everything there, like:
a trendy cafe that serves a decent soy latte.
a silver porsche
posh apartment buildings with matching vertical and horizontal white lines.
It is a backpackers’ paradise (it started as ‘a bar street’), as well as a playground for the children of brand-conscious aspirational Chinese people – and their parents.
Incidentally, many diplomats and journalists hang out there a lot. Some say the Village Starbucks is full of spies, or mikes. No doubt Many discussions that will end up having a profound impact on the world take place around these ‘puccinos.
Yet – surprisingly? – the place is also quite boring, and seriously daggy, like a cheap holiday resort in a sunny place.