The Snake Pit Bar
G16A, Taizi Square, Taizi Road, Shekou
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Mike Lawrence (more shenzhen)
The Snake Pit bar and social club is a Western respite for foreigners seeking a touch of home in Shekou’s Taizi Square, just across Taizi Lu from Sea World Square.
It’s billed as the “longest established expat bar in China,” a claim supported by Shenzhen’s groundbreaking influx of foreigners after the city’s 1980 transformation into China’s first special economic zone. The Snake Pit opened in 1987 as a members-only club, largely populated by oil workers drilling in the South China Sea.
In the years since, The Snake Pit has evolved – or molted – into a social hub for events such as weekly fun runs, touch rugby games, bike rides, trivia nights and American sports viewing, while expanding its oil worker clientele to include English teachers, other local professionals, business travelers and more.

The bar also has formed its share of quirky traditions.
Rule No. 1: Don’t answer your cell phone in the bar. Doing so requires you to buy a round of drinks for all present. (Answering calls is acceptable on the bar’s balcony.) Because of this rule, The Snake Pit does not list a phone number and claims to not have a phone in the bar.

Rule No. 2: Don’t wear a tie. All ties worn into The Snake Pit are snipped, removed and permanently hung above the bar.
Rule No. 3: All new members must drink from the jar of snake wine that sits on the bar and has snake parts pickling inside.
A lifetime membership costs 400RMB and gives the buyer a T-shirt, invaluable social status and the means to acquire cheaper drinks. Large Carlsbergs from the tap, for example, cost 40RMB for non-members and 27RMB for members. The same prices apply for most simple cocktails.

Members can buy “chit books” of coupons redeemable for drinks, at the cheaper, bulk prices. The Snake Pit provides free wi-fi for all.

Formally known as The Shekou Sports and Social Club, The Snake Pit has a wood-and-leather interior that shows its years like an old dog and immediately makes newcomers feel at home. Keep an eye on the website for drink specials and events.
The Snake Pit is open from 5 p.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 2:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, noon to 1 a.m. Saturday and noon to midnight Sunday.

On the metro, take the Shekou line to the Sea World stop and use Exit D. Walk past Pizza Hut, turn into Taizi Square and look for the snake sign on the second floor.

Escape (still-will)
Pretty much sums up the Shekou Zeitgeist: as far away from China as you can possibly get while still being in China.

The Snake Pit Bar
The Snake Pit Bar The Snake Pit Bar