River Retreat: Bund 18

Picture this: serenity, music, soft sofas, cocktails, a view…Captivated, your eyes drift on the river toward an end that you don’t fully know, whether it’s mid-afternoon or moonlight.

This is the magical realm of Bund 18. And it is for you, your significant other, family, friends, colleagues—even your boss will get a kick out of the transcendental experience—you really feel like you’re somewhere else far away from the hustle and bustle of Dongguan’s streets and offices.

A few years ago, the owner Betty saw the space by the river and couldn’t say no. Since then, she and her team brilliantly and smoothly inserted their brand of romance, cocktail bar, live music, restaurant and entertainment in Binjiang Xi Road’s budding local community by Huancheng West Bridge. Not just one building, the place invites you in with an illuminated staircase ascending from the street to what at first seems to be just a deck. Only when you get to the top do you see the way down between two buildings, fairy lights radiantly guiding you to a large bottom level with stylish deck tables and sofas.

As you reach the bottom and turn around, you find yourself turning at least two more times—a stage, a restaurant, KTV rooms and the cocktail bar—there’s absolutely something for everyone there. A different local band plays every night inside the bar, so as to keep things fresh. It may not seem the most formal place, however, the tone is still set immediately with clean tables, a well-stocked bar and friendly and well-dressed staff.

The menu sports a wide array of drinks at varying prices. It’s worth noting that they have daily specials on beers when you buy a dozen or so, ranging between 250 RMB to 350 RMB. Their rainbow shooters tray is a definite must! Blue curacao and coconut rum with grenadine mix is topped with a little something-something for a special effect, and at 200 RMB a tray with 12 shots, it’s worth the trip. Moreover, their Long Island cocktail isn’t only a refreshing concoction, but makes a great accompaniment for relaxing by the stretch of river—it’s as if you’ve headed out of Dongguan. Billed out at 55 RMB, it is a must-have when you go.

If you’re feeling hungry, their bar snacks are as unpretentious as they are delectable and fresh, with julienne carrots and cucumber and Thousand Island dipping sauce to name but a few.

Address: No.1, Bin Jiang Xi Road, Wanjiang