4.5 35 Reviews

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  • Address: Houhai, Xicheng

Beijing ATTRACTIONS See all

Back Lakes (Hou Hai)

Beijing has modernized so rapidly that it’s hard to imagine what it must have been like in decades past. One neighborhood in Beijing has managed to hold on to its old-style hutong architecture, the Back Lakes (Hou Hai). Named after the three lakes in the area, the Back Lakes neighborhood is one of the last remaining places in Beijing where you can see traditional courtyard-style houses.

While wandering the hutongs lets you see Beijing as it once was, the streets surrounding the lakes, particularly Hou Hai -- the largest of the three -- shows you a modern, hip and international side of Beijing. The banks are lined with cafes, restaurants, bars and hookah dens catering to tourists, locals and the city’s sizable expatriate population alike.

The best way to enjoy the Back Lakes area is to take a pedicab tour of the old hutong neighborhoods in the afternoon. Afterward, take a leisurely walk around the lake before settling in to a table at a restaurant or bar balcony for dinner and drinks as you watch the world go by.

Tours & Tickets

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Small-Group Beijing Night Walking Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 26 Reviews

Watch as Beijing’s winding ‘hutongs’ (alleys), glimmering waterways and recreational parks come alive at night on this 3-hour walking tour. Follow your ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $70.00

Small-Group Beijing Street Food Night Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 9 Reviews

Eating while walking or walking while eating – a perfect walking tour to fill your stomach with delicious local food without feeling guilty. Join this tasty ...  Read more

Location: Beijing, China
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $33.00

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