The word "Sanlitun" means three-mile village, and is presumably three miles from the city center. Despite it's distance from the core, it could be argued it is the real center of the city for many of the expats and foreign tourists who come to enjoy Beijing. Sanlitun has something for everyone. Fine food from around the globe, shopping, entertainment and great people watching.
Stores like Nike, Adidas, Steve Madden, Uniqlo, Apple, Mango and more are housed in the Sanlitun South Village. The North Village is separated by a junky back alley street of bars and clubs. Make your way through these and you'll find a replica of the South Village with even more high-end brands like Armani, Dior, Prada and others. Whatever your shopping desire, you'll find a way to appease it at the village. And if legitimate shopping isn't your goal, the fakes market Ya Show is located right next door where you can bargain hard for great deals on shoddy fakes.
Sanlitun Village — Photo courtesy of jlap
Restaurants and Nightlife:
The American Blue Frog burger joint is on the third floor near the grill house Union. A fancy Japanese eatery, Hatsune graces the area to the East while the ever-healthy Element Fresh is nestled gingerly nearby. Whatever your dining craving, you'll find something in Sanlitun to fill up your belly and keep your smile firmly in place. And for dessert, the area now has a ColdStone Creamery in addition to the smaller ice cream shops dotted around the compound.
Aside from some of the best people-watching and fashion-watching in Beijing, you'll find a MegaBox theater in the basement catering to your Western and Chinese film needs. The village also hosts monthly events in the main square, everything from fashion shows to product promotions to dazzling works of art.