2012 May 30 Sanlitun Savvy: Can You Stay Safe on Bar Street?
Young bucks going head-to-head in Sanlitun, especially the bar street, is nothing new. Testosterone- and alcohol-fueled violence has (sadly) become something to be expected in the area. The best you can do is know the dangers, be aware of the warning signs, and never be so drunk that you can’t flee in the event that you do find yourself in trouble.
But a spate of recent assaults has been a part of a more worrying escalation in the level of violent crime in Sanlitun, and has led us to wonder how far things have to go in the infamous party area before something is done about the problem.
In recent months, there have been a number of reports of innocent people being assaulted or mugged on their way home from a night out, with a number of these incidents taking place on the small street between the Village South, and Sanlitun Houjie (back bar street) leading onto Xindong Lu – the very same street as Sanlitun police station.
The recent story of a City Weekend staff member who was assaulted on her way home from a night out in Sanlitun served as another reminder that we don’t live in a safety bubble here in Beijing. It’s useful to be reminded of the fact every so often; a lot of foreigners living in the capital become blase about their personal safety, as Beijing is often a much safer place to live than the cities we come from.
And then on Monday an incredible video showed up on Beijing Cream showing one man receiving a savage beating outside Muse, the French-Vietnamese restaurant on Sanlitun Houjie. There is no indication of when the video was made, though it was posted originally on Worldstarhiphop.com marked May 23.
Though the footage is extremely violent, we thought it was in the community's best interest to bring it to wider attention. One of the most shocking elements of the video is bystanders' reluctance to interject. Not least those filming the incident.
(Warning: The following video contains graphic scenes of violence)
The startling thing about both these incidents is that they each took place within 100 yards of one of the district's main police stations.
Sanlitun can be a fun area, and this post is not intended to warn people off heading there on a night out. But it’s important to know the dangers and to try to be as vigilant as possible when enjoying the area’s nightlife.