Beijing - Houhai
There are lots of places to visit in Beijing, but the Houhai area is definitely one you shouldnâ€™t miss. It is the newly developed old town of Beijing and named after the Houhai Lake which it encircles. The area is popular with both tourists and local Chinese and a welcome addition to the Beijing nightlife. The area around the lake includes many places to eat and bars to relax in, as well as some more lively nightclubs. However, due to its location and popularity prices are higher in comparison to other parts of Beijing.
Since the end of the 13th century the Houhai Lake together with the adjoining Xihai Lake and Qianhai Lake have been the central point for transportation along the canals across the country. As the years passed by, the area surrounding the Lakes was more and more embellished with imperial residences, gardens and temples and traditional courtyards, connected to each other by Hutongs.
Houhai is an exciting collision of old East and modern West. After dinner if the loud bars and clubs are not for you take a boat out on the lake (until 12am). Some are peddle powered, others have motors that you can drive yourself or hire a driver. It is even possible to hire a musician to go with you!
There are plenty of places to choose from to have dinner or drinks. Those who want to experience the beat and buzz of the night should go to the central part of the Houhai area and visit the huge variety of funky and colourful bars and restaurants offering all kinds of food. Many of the bars offer very chilled out environments in a romantic setting where you can relax with a drink or share a Shisha pipe with friends. Many also offer cool roof terraces looking out onto the old Bell Tower, lake or down to the hustle and bustle of the streets below.