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Back Lakes (Hou Hai)

Neighborhoods, Bodies of water, Other, Nature & Parks
As featured in 3 days in Beijing
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Address: Shicha Lake Scenic Resort, Xicheng District, Beijing 100009, China
Website
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Fee: No
Activities: Walking, Nightlife, Dining
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
Top Rated
$33*
and up
Small-Group Beijing Street Food Night Tour

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 911 reviews
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    Average
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    Terrible
Most recent review
Best to come at night.

The Houhai area comes alive at night, when the bars and restaurants are all open, and the area is filled with locals and tourists. The lake also looks beautiful at night, with the... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 26, 2015
desafinado74
,
Melbourne, Australia
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911 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2015 NEW

The Houhai area comes alive at night, when the bars and restaurants are all open, and the area is filled with locals and tourists. The lake also looks beautiful at night, with the neon lights of the bars reflecting on it's surface. At the back of the bars and restaurants, lies a wide and lovely hutong area with many arts... More 

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Hong Kong, China
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
26 attraction reviews
146 helpful votes 146 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2015 NEW

Always loved this area. It doesn't matter if it's day or night, it's interesting to stroll around anytime. Walk away from the lakes and you are taken back to a different time where life hasnt changed much in the hutongs. Great for photography. Some hutongs have become developed and touristy but it doesn't take much to get away from this.... More 

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Bengaluru (Bangalore), India
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2015 NEW

This area has 100s of restaurants along side a lake. The place is very vibrant and colorful pubs, restaurants etc around the lake and you will be confused which one to dine at. Do not miss this as its a good refreshment after all the walking you would have done the whole day. If you go further down the road... More 

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Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
26 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2015

Pretty area. My husband had business in Beijing and several colleagues of his and the two of us went there to have dinner. The atmosphere was festive on a Saturday night.

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Lanzhou, China
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
29 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

As I went to Hou Hai last February, I was amazed by the stunning view of the lake surrounded by very interesting shops of different styles, and also by the many people iceskating on the lake, as it was partially frozen. There is a great variety of restaurants, snack bars and cafés, as well as shops with very reasonable prices... More 

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Beijing, China
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

A really nice place to spend a sunny afternoon walking around and snacking occasionally - grab some beers and sit by the lake towards sunset and the view is really beautiful. There is usually a nice mix of expats, tourists and locals milling about.

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Baltimore
Top Contributor
298 reviews 298 reviews
182 attraction reviews
136 helpful votes 136 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2015

This is a lovely little neighborhood to stroll in. For a city without a lot of free stuff to do, taking a walk can be a nice way to get a sense of the place and this is a good place to do it. It's a very relaxing pace and a good place to take photos.

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Seoul, South Korea
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2015

What makes this area interesting is its very lived-in quality- these are not unique pieces of history, but also peoples' homes! When we visited, many of the shops were closed for the New Year holiday, but it was still fun to walk about and snap lots of photos. The views around the lake are particularly beautiful, but don't miss out... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Beijing, China
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
47 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015

Very beautiful place to be at night! Winter time lake can be frozen and summer time boats roam on the lake. Beihai Park in the south and many restaurants locate here as well. If you'd like to take a HUTONG tour, here is where it starts or ends) Be careful of rip-off richshaw touts, it will charge 300 RMB instead... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Xi'an, China
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
27 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2015

Only went there at night. Lots of fun in the many pubs along the lake. Cafe31 had a great Spanish guitarists. Relaxing hangout

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

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