Houhai refers to the area surrounding the largest of three lakes in central Beijing that are collectively known as Shichahai. In recent years, the old hutong neighborhood around Houhai Lake has developed into one of Beijing's top entertainment and nightlife districts. Numerous restaurants line its shores, while brightly lit bars host live music or karaoke, accommodating to the young, fun clientele that flock there.
Houhai might come alive at night, but it’s a hive of activity throughout the day too. A range of shops, stalls, and food outlets make it a fun and bustling place to browse for souvenirs and to enjoy some lunch, while the breeze from the lake offers a respite from the heat. Boating activities are also available on the lake itself.