HouHai is a lake and an area of districts in Beijing, China. It is one part of the three lakes that make up the Shichahai, a scenic destination located to the North-West of the Forbidden City. The area has become an extremely popular tourist destination because of it’s history, beauty and it’s thriving night-life.
Around the Beijing lakes district there are many culturally significant places to see. The area is home to more than ten major Taoist and Buddhist temples and a few old royal mansions, two of which reside along HouHai. The lakes themselves are man made and are bordered by rows of large trees.
In 1992 the Shichahai area was declared an “Historical and Scenic District”. In the past it was a thriving commercial area and the residence of royalty. Alongside the river itself is the former Residence of Soong Ching-ling, the wife of Sun Yat-sen, a former president. Additionally, a Chinese emperor, Puyi, was born in a mansion near the river. These mansions have now been converted into museums that showcase the area’s history. It is possible to hire a traditional rickshaw to taxi you around to each of these locations.
The HouHai lake and surrounding districts are well-known for their extreme beauty. The lakes district is full of parks, modern and historical architecture, pristine waters and stunning temples. The restaurants are decorated traditionally but still have a modern feeling to them. The whole area captures the style and culture of Beijing in every corner.
The perfect way to see the beauty this area has to offer is to hire a paddle boat and explore the river. Otherwise strolling through parks and alongside the river is a great way to take in some of the best sights that Beijing has to offer. After exploring the lakes visitors can stop at the famous local cafes for lunch and coffee. These are the perfect ways to spend the day before night when the area truly comes to life.
HouHai is becoming famous world-wide for it’s thriving night-life. The area is home to some of the countries best and most distinguished dining and bars. For this reason the districts are hugely popular with tourists, expatriates and locals alike.
HouHai is an excellent destination winter or summer. In the summer the warm lakes are home to paddle boats and ferries, while in the winter the lakes freeze over and make for excellent ice-skating. Then, at night, a cool local beer or a hot Chinese meal await.