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Back Lakes (Hou Hai), Beijing

4.2
#2 of 58 in Nature in Beijing
Water Body · Hidden Gem · Neighborhood
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Catch a glimpse of a fading past at Back Lakes (Hou Hai), one of the capital's few remaining bastions of traditional residential architecture and a local favorite for enjoying the outdoors. Head for this historic neighborhood and enjoy a leisurely stroll around the lakes. You can get in some solid people watching as you explore, as the area generally fills with old folks, students, and fishermen indulging in the fresh lake air. The surrounding streets boast an array of cafes and nightlife establishments, so you can refresh with a drink on a patio followed by raucous karaoke. Rickshaws make for one of the more convenient methods of sightseeing--flag down a driver and go for a ride around the neighborhood streets. Keep your eyes peeled for "hutongs," residences that epitomize local architecture with their courtyards and grand entry gates. Add Back Lakes (Hou Hai) and other attractions to your Beijing trip itinerary using our Beijing route builder tool.
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Back Lakes (Hou Hai) reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,456 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • The bar street of Beijing! Super gorgeous photo place, where the locals are. Rich cultural location where I love going! 
    The bar street of Beijing! Super gorgeous photo place, where the locals are. Rich cultural location where I love going!  more »
  • This is a different experience than Beihai Park (Qianhai Lake) to the south, as this lake is surrounded by a relatively narrow strip of parkland, with traditional residential areas and some... 
    This is a different experience than Beihai Park (Qianhai Lake) to the south, as this lake is surrounded by a relatively narrow strip of parkland, with traditional residential areas and some...  more »
  • The two long sides of the lake are very different from each other and depending on what you want from the experience you will have to choose prior to visiting or expect a long 90 minute walk around... 
    The two long sides of the lake are very different from each other and depending on what you want from the experience you will have to choose prior to visiting or expect a long 90 minute walk around...  more »
Google
  • Houhai (后海) is a great place to take a casual stroll by a body of water in the middle of Beijing. Start from any end of it and loop around for a complete view. Its proximity to various other tourist attractions, such as Prince Gong’s Mansion (恭王府) and the former residence of Soong Ching Ling (wife of Dr Sun Yat Sen) makes it a good in between stop for a change of scenery. Houhai is also known for its bar street where there are dozens of bars offering live music and cozy seats. Many of these bars also double as cafes in the afternoons as business is slow these days - they serve overpriced drinks and finger food but are nice for having a place to sit down and warm up, especially on a snowy day.
  • This is one of the best areas for tourists to come get a drink. There are many bars for you to choose from and there is a wide variety of music, so you may select the one with the most suitable genre to you. The bar is next to the lake which can be nice to take a stroll around especially in the evening as the sun is slowly setting. There are also some food streets that are located in the area, but you will find better food streets else where.
  • This is simply a lake in the middle of Beijing, although the day I went is very hot, there's a lot of people crowded on the street, however, the view is still stunning. In my opinion, the best season to be here is not Summer, is Spring, not as hot as summer, but the trees are still green, so the view is the same as in the summer time.
  • Nice atmosphere in autumn night. Except, there are some people act as agent try to drag me in to somewhere nearby bars. And they are annoying. Police nearby can do nothings.
  • Though it now has too many bars it is still a beautiful lake in the middle of the city.

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