A bit of Tibet has come to Shanghai with the opening of the Sanctus Tibet Bar.
For those who have traveled to the mountainous region or are perhaps interested in its culture and special customs, Sanctus Tibet Bar, which is also a restaurant, is the place to enjoy genuine Tibetan food and drink as well as its traditional songs and dance.
Sanctus Tibet, which is located in Consulate Square at 6 Hengshan Road in the heart of the entertainment area, is decorated in an attractive Tibetan style with an abundance of silver and embroidery for decoration.
On the first floor of Sanctus ("pure soul" in Chinese) Tibet, the restaurant sells a variety of jewelry in exquisite designs that include necklaces, earrings and rings.
Amulets, which are believed to bring good luck and protect people against evil or injury, are also available.
After venturing up a narrow wooden staircase, it is here that a relaxing and inviting room comes into view. The centerpiece is a giant bar in black and golden, colors that give off the holy feeling of Buddha and his divine and elegant spirit.
A comfy Nepal-styled sofa, illuminated by soft lights, provides an ideal spot to kick back with friends and a beverage to soak in all the warm colors and ambience of the room.
It is obvious that Sanctus Tibet's menu has been carefully selected as it offers many traditional Tibetan specialities not found in similar restaurants around Shanghai.
Tibet butter tea and highland barley wine are two traditional drinks. The latter is called "Tibetan beer" and is famous around Chinese mainland.
Yak meat, a house speciality, perhaps best represents the true taste of the region as it is the only place in China that the animal is indigenous.
With traditional dancing and singing starting nightly from 9pm to midnight, it is during this time that the bar is most packed. The performances are definitely interactive as the Tibetan dancers like to pull audience members up to the stage for often-awkward and hilarious interpretations of their moves.
Singers also belt out popular renditions of much-loved folk songs and are always happy to take requests. The colorful costumes of the performers plus the various games and wrestling add to the experience.
Sanctus Tibet Bar is a little piece of heaven which attempts to shut out the realities of an often-vulgar world. It attempts to convey the pure and holy nature of Tibet and is truly a wonderful experience.