Hou Hai Lake is a beautiful and romantic place to visit in West-Central Beijing. You'll find everything you could want in the area, from bars and restaurants to activities and tourist sights. For any complete picture of what Beijing is and was and will become, you'll need to at least enjoy a simple stroll around Hou Hai Lake, and if you have time check out the activities and things to do near Hou Hai Lake as well.
You can rent a boat and take your time soaking in the culture and romance of the lake with the River Romance Boat Rental. For a guided tour to meet new people and learn about the lake and the people who currently occupy it, take the Hutong and Lakeside Walking Tour of Hutong Tour. The homes (hutong community of homes) near the lake are some of the most expensive real-estate in the city and are amazingly beautiful. If you aren't into tours or boating, rent a bicycle and start peddling your way around the lake giving yourself a solo tour of the cultural and historical hot spots.
To the south you'll find Bei Hai Park, which encompasses another impressive lake, several resting and relaxation pagodas and community boat rentals. You can climb the hill to the Monument on the summit or else just enjoy the quit bit of nature.
To the north, the Drum and Bell Towers offer the capstone to Beijing's linear organization of its ancient layout. The city was set up with feng shui in mind, and the drum and bell towers are the northern-most structure in a line of historical buildings, including the Temple of Heaven and Forbidden City, among others. The area around the towers offer rickshaw rides, restaurants, pubs and cafes.
Finally, nearby Nanluoguxiang offers the chance to stroll through a hutong community and shop, dine or drink in style. Directly to the east, this beautiful alleyway is a must-see in summer and compliments a stroll around Hou Hai Lake beautifully.
Yan Dai Xie Jie
A beautiful and romantic lake circled in classy bars and restaurants... read more
152号 Drum Tower E St
Scenic walking tour of Hutongs and Hou Hai-- hidden alleys and views emerge!... read more
Across frm the North Gate of Beihai Park
77 Di'anmen Waidajie
1000 Year Old Temple to the Fire God... read more
Behing Di'anmen Department Store
Wenjin Jie 1
Xi Cheng Qu (south entrance is just west of the north gate of the Forbidden City; east entrance is opposite the west entrance of Jing Shan Park)
Beautiful Park with Historic Buildings... read more
Runs north to south between Jiugulou Dajie and Dianmen Dajie, respectively
Southern entrance a few blocks east of Houhai
Hutong chic, for shopping, cafes and adorable bars... read more