Posted by Alex Lennartz

Shengems Episode 8 – The Secret Spot

*Researching for this article, I saw that The Secret Spot is a hotel and restaurant. This article is a review of the restaurant. I did not stay at the hotel and therefore cannot offer any opinion.

Summer is coming. After the damp gloom of early April, the weather has taken a significant turn for the better (much to my delight). Having not yet experienced a summer in this city, I’ve been told tales of heat and humidity that will make you sweat buckets. Not looking forward to that…but, I have found a place to rest my weary bones when I decide to go cool off at the beach and have myself a burger afterwards.

After a precarious, day-long hike from Dong Chong to Xi Chong (miles and miles of rocky terrain and steep drops = fun), food and drink were needed in short order. There was a restaurant where our group met at the end of our hike that looked fine enough. Especially on an empty stomach after a six hour schlep in the blazing heat. However, there were some girls who wanted to go to a place further down the beach that held promise as a nice beach bar.  I decided to literally go the extra mile and check out the Secret Spot. Very glad that I did so.

The bar is on Xi Chong beach and for ex-Californians, has that kind of funky Venice/Marina Del Rey feel to it. Throw in a little Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville action, and you get the idea. There are surf boards lined up on the wall, some Jack Johnson-esque music playing and perhaps the luckiest dog in China in attendance, getting petted by pretty girls and being fed to its heart’s content. It’s all very ‘I’ve been here before’. It’s very close to the water so you can hear the tide come in, which I found very soothing. A very friendly and mellow vibe conducive to enjoying good company.

They food is pretty good and the beer is inexpensive and ice cold. It would be hard for me to properly play the food critic in this instance I admit. Why? You know when you haven’t eaten all day and have been doing a physically strenuous task like hiking, everything tastes phenomenal. I inhaled my food, which was definitely very good, but due to fact that I was dizzy from hunger, I shall refrain from making grandiose statements. So if you make the brilliant move of skipping breakfast before a day long hike, you can also experience such great heights.

All in all, The  Secret Spot is a perfect tonic after a long hard day of relaxing and watching the sun go down. The staff is friendly and speaks some English.  It is a place that serves as a clear reminder that there is a really nice beach a short bus ride away. Living in Shenzhen, being surrounded by concrete, cars and construction all the time, one can easily forget this. It does a body good to get out and enjoy some sunshine and have a beachfront meal with friends.

The Secret Spot is located on Xi Chong Beach, Building 80, 2 Qu, He Do Chun, Nanao

That’s it for this episode

Making banana pancakes,

Alex Lennartz