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“Lots of Chinese Bars” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Back Lakes (Hou Hai)

Back Lakes (Hou Hai)
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$98.00*
and up
Beijing Imperial Dining Experience at Bai Jia Da Yuan Restaurant Followed by...
Ranked #30 of 1,603 things to do in Beijing
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: This area of Beijing contains some of the most extensive old hutong neighborhoods and the three lakes of Xihai, Houhai and Oianhai.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
64 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Lots of Chinese Bars”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2012

We went through the streets looking for a drink but most Chinese bars either have lousy singers or lousy sound system (sorry). Still, it was a nice stroll along the waterfront. I didn't dare use the public toilet because it smelt so terrible. We walked passed a restaurant/bar which have Chinese Mask-Changing Performance - interesting.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank gooofygal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Ramona, California, USA
Level Contributor
89 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Great evening entertainment and sights!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2012

An interesting collection of bars and restaurants line the shores of Hou Hai Lake. Lots of shops for browsing and bargaining in the Houtongs to and from the subway station. The walk from the subway will be about 15 minutes. Go after 4 PM for the start of happy hour the the best people watching.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank J Scott M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Nice area with decent food and bars”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2012 via mobile

Walked here from Michaels House and was quite nice. Winding through the the little alleyways really gives you a feel for the place.

As for the lake. There were a lot of people swimming but I wonder why as half the lake side was covered and I do mean covered in dead fish. Counted around 25 before getting bored and just calling it loads. Maybe that was a one off.

The bars range from quirky and cool to standard and boring. Great atmosphere throughout.

A word of warning on food. We called in a small tea house on the south side of the lake which was quite busy with tourists and locals to get some food. After it arrived I glanced in at the kitchen whilst walking past. Let's just say we made our excuses and left. I've been unable to locate it on trip advisor to warn others away so hopefully this will suffice.

Nice place to drink and walk but be VERY careful about where you eat. Don't take the number of tourists or the price as an indicator or quality or more importantly cleanliness.

Helpful?
1 Thank Dovokin
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
43 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Beautiful waterfront”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2012

The Sichahai area which includes Houhai is an amazing amalgamation of historic attractions, modern pubs, old hutongs and restaurants. You may want to visit Gong Wang Fu in the afternoon before making your way to the area (just a short walk from Gong Wang Fu!) in the evening to enjoy the night lights and the diversity of pubs. I did not take the rickshaw ride as I was traveling alone and did not manage to negotiate to a price that I wanted and instead went exploring on foot which is definitely manageable. There is a public park along the waterfront away from the pubs area where you can watch or even ask to join the locals as they play table tennis, workout, or kick hopscotch, it is very nice to just slow down, have a seat and unwind from the stress of life on this beautiful waterfront among the elm trees and just watch life unfolds. Unfortunately, a famous food street called Jiu Men Xiao Chi has already closed down though you can still see signs pointing to the street and the signboard for it. After exploring Houhai, you can make your way to the nearby Nanluoguxiang which is just a short walk away.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank AndyStorm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hawkes Bay
Level Contributor
195 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Interesting”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2012

Had a great half day here walking and getting a rickshaw ride around. Our guide organised the rickshaw and another guide within the Hutong to show us around. Visited a local family and were shown around parts of her extended family's house. A nice experience

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Lou C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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