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Back Lakes (Hou Hai), Beijing

#2 of 58 in Nature in Beijing
Water Body · Hidden Gem · Neighborhood
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
  • 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...  more »
  • We went there in the morning and visited the hutong 胡同, means alley. Our tour guide brought us to visit one of the houses which called 四合院. We experienced how ancient people who lived there and how....  more »
  • Walk around :)
  • 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.
  • Amazing spot during the day or at night. Great places to eat restaurant or street food. Good bars for a beer
  • Though it now has too many bars it is still a beautiful lake in the middle of the city.
  • I prefer it at night Why, because it is when things are going on, and, well you can't get bored in Hou Hai ! Shops of all kind, souvenirs, clothes, antiques (I have at last succeeded there in finding an authentic copy of the little red book of Mao)... But especially pubs, coffee shops, restaurants and eateries of all style and cuisine: the western chains of course like the inevitable Starbucks, but also and as always traditional Chinese restaurants, fusion and many more. We were lucky and the weather was fine so it was altogether a nice place to be and enjoy the evening ... One negative side however ... some parts were kind of bottlenecks and really overcrowded but besides that it was ok. I hope the pictures I have attached will succeed in giving you the feeling of the place... I did really prefer it rather than Sanlitun for the diversity of the attractions this place offers and therefore warmly recommend it...

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