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All You Cats: Beijing Is the Brand New Thing

Illustration for TIME by Wu Wing Yee.

Hong Kong is old hat, Shanghai is oversold and even Lhasa is getting passÚ. But Beijing? This formerly stodgy, sprawling, communist capital is the new thing. There is a rave on the Great Wall every summer, and Starbucks opened in the Forbidden City last October. But how do you separate the merely new from the truly hip? Here's our guide.

Like Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong or Leicester Square in London, Beijing's Bar Street, Sanlitun Lu, in the northeast of the city is the place to start. To reach the trendiest spots, it is constant push and shove past row upon...

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