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Back Lakes (Hou Hai)

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Address: Shicha Lake Scenic Resort, Xicheng District, Beijing 100009, China
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: No
Description:

This area of Beijing contains some of the most extensive old hutong...

This area of Beijing contains some of the most extensive old hutong neighborhoods and the three lakes of Xihai, Houhai and Oianhai.

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Book ahead on Viator
Recommended
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and up
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Small-Group Beijing Night Tour Including Wangfujing Night Food Market
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Bike Beijing Night Tour

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 509
    Excellent
  • 452
    Very good
  • 91
    Average
  • 21
    Poor
  • 4
    Terrible
Avoid the crowd and you'll find great spots

Houhai is a very nice area in the centre of Beijing. It can be a very quiet and relaxing place, if not going there during festivities, weekends and evenings. If you walk along the... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
Luobota
,
Roma, Italia

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1,077 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Roma, Italia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Houhai is a very nice area in the centre of Beijing. It can be a very quiet and relaxing place, if not going there during festivities, weekends and evenings. If you walk along the lake, further from the crowded clubs and shops, you will bump again into the laobeijing people, the locals.

Helpful?
Thank Luobota
Adria, Italy
Level Contributor
105 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The lake complex is a great place to go and relax. Some parts are relatively quiet, in others there are bars, restaurants and take-away places galore. Despite the "no swimming" signs, plenty of locals were taking a dip. The lakes were an easy walk from our accommodation, alternatively there is Shichahai metro (at least).

Helpful?
Thank FTMDave
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
390 reviews
135 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 268 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The lakes are very beautiful, with tree lines roads following the sides of the lakes, making it a very nice place to wander during the day. At night they are very lively with bars and restaurants. In winter the frozen lakes are also great fun because you can go out on the lakes on ice skates or ice bikes, which... More 

Helpful?
Thank KeenanL
Level Contributor
77 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

I visited in the summer and it was really beautiful with a huge bright red moon over the water and lights everywhere. There is a real party atmosphere and some lively bars along the waterfront, and also some smaller side streets nearby where you can buy crafts etc rather than the usual tourist tat. It seems that it's somewhere that... More 

Helpful?
Thank Amber L
Ankeny, Iowa
Level Contributor
172 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2016

Without going beyond Beijing, one may find sea-like waves in a place called Hou Hai, or literally Back Seas. Everything was charming and was bringing a relaxing atmosphere to me. The breeze, the waves in the lake, the trails around it, cafes and coffeehouses, and the hutongs. It's also a great place for foodies like those in my family One... More 

Helpful?
Thank Will Z
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2015 via mobile

As someone who visits Beijing frequently, this is one of those places that I just love going back to. It's not a place that you just visit once and then will skip the next time around. I love walking around this lake in the evening/at nighttime. The lights are beautiful and it's full of music and bars and others making... More 

Helpful?
Thank Elin D
Chorzow, Poland
Level Contributor
163 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2015

I truly like to visit this area in the evening of hot summer days. You can choose from plenty of restaurants and bars. My favourite activity is tio buy 2 bottles of beer, rent a boat and paddle over the lake enjoying breeze and still cold beer!!!! try it!!!!

Helpful?
Thank HappyChris008
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
38 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2015

Pedestrian area away from the international hotels this feels like old beijing. Picturesque and worth strolling the late day or evening. Explore the hutongs in the surrounding area to get a feel for the locals. The area ariund the lake is lined with restaurants and cafes..locals dancing and signing. Definitely worth visiting for the athmosphere alone.

Helpful?
Thank Patriciado1
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2015

Stayed in the Hutongs in the Hou Hai district, thought I would walk around the lakes before dinner - note, it is a very long walk. Beautiful views, locals were out exercising, fun time.

Helpful?
Thank rosekalt
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
123 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2015

Houhai is worth a nice stroll day or night, but preferably in the warmer months. Saw many bars and a couple of clubs, but didn't go in. Lots of rickshaw drivers asking NY prices for a quick ride. Supposedly they are organized into areas so that they can't take you past a certain area. Beijing is more monumental in scale... More 

Helpful?
Thank Hencat

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