Code: BJ26-01

Shichahai Hutong Tour

Shichahai rickshaw tour
Comprised of Qianhai, Houhai, and Xihai Lakes, Shichahai Area is the most renowned historical and cultural quarter in Beijing. There you could experience the local residents' daily life by tracing the age-old hutongs and courtyards. The ancient imperial mansions, celebrities' former residences, and the trendy boutiques and bars along the narrow alleys will show you both ancient and modern glamour of Beijing.

Shichahai Tour Route: Qianhai Beiyan - Yinding Bridge - Dajinsi Hutong - Nanguanfang Hutong - Prince Gong's Mansion - Yangfang Hutong - Houhai Park - Former Residence of Soong Ching-ling - Prince Chun's Mansion - Longhua Temple - Ya'er Hutong - Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street - Bell and Drum Towers.
To get there, you can take bus 3, 13, 42, 107, 111, 118, 612, or 701 to Beihai Beimen stop. Or you can take subway line 6 to Beihai North Station. Take Exit B and walk east along Di'anmen West Street to Lotus Market. The market is near the entrance of the Qianhai Lake, which is recognized by a big archway. Go inside and you can stroll along the west bank of Qianhai Lake, where you will find a variety of bars in Qianhai Beiyan Street. Keep stroll along the west bank of the lake, you will see Yinding Bridge which separates the Qianhai and Houhai areas. Many hutongs converge at the southern end of Yinding Bridge. These include Dajinsi and Xiaojinsi Hutongs which are examples of well-preserved lanes reflecting the local life-style of the past 200 years. During your independent hutong tour, you can also see typical Beijing courtyards and many remodeled stores. From the bridge, you can go southwest to Dajinsi Alley, and stroll for a couple of minutes along it to Nanguanfang Alley. Continue to head west to reach Qianhai West Street.
Prince Gong's Mansion
On the street, you will meet the grand Prince Gong's Mansion on your right side, at No.17 Qianhai West Street. Prince Gong's Mansion had been changed hands several times during the reign of seven emperors of the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), and witnessed the historical changes of the kingdom from prosperity to decline in over 200 years. The admission fee is CNY 40 per person. Afterwards, at the west side of the mansion, you can walk northward along Liuyin Street for 600 yards to the crossing. Turn left onto the Yangfang Alley, and the famous Lijiacai Restaurant is just about 100 yards forward on your right hand side. In the restaurant, you can taste the authentic imperial dishes of the Qing Dynasty.

After lunch, continue to walk west along Yangfang Alley to Houhai Park, where you can row a boat to the man-made Mallard Island, and relax in the natural tranquility while watching the ducks playing in the water.
Yandai Xiejie, Hutong
From the park, follow the lake bank for about 200 yards westwards and then turn north onto Houhai Xiyan Street, along which there are many bars and cafés. You may stop at one of them for rest and refreshment after a long walk. Continue to stroll along the lake bank as you turn to Houhai Beiyan Street. The Former Residence of Soong Ching-ling, Prince Chun's Mansion and Longhua Temple are all located on this street, which should not be missed in this independent Beijing hutong tour. After getting out from the temple, you should turn north onto the Ya'er Hutong. After a very enjoyable stroll southeast along the alley, you will get to Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street (Yandai Xiejie). It is the most prosperous commercial hutong in Shichahai Area, with many bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops. You can find all kinds of traditional artifacts and other interesting things on this street. Di'anmen Outer Street is at the eastern end of Yandai Xiejie. From here you can walk north straight to visit the Bell and Drum Towers. About 200 yards south from the Drum Tower, you can take subway line 8 from Shichahai station to your next destination.
Tips:
1. Man-powered rickshaws are available in Shichahai Area. The charge is about CNY 100 per hour.
2. During December and January when the lakes get frozen, you can enjoy ice skating there.
3. If you would like to make a night stay in the Shichahai Area, there are many local courtyards providing accommodations to visitors.

Please click here for the Shichahai Hutong Map.

 More Beijing Hutong Tours:

Houhai Tour: a leisure time from Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street to Houhai Bar Street.
Dashilar and Qianmen: shopping area with time-honored brands like Quanjude Roast Duck and Tongrentang Drug Store.
Old Beijing City: visit old alleys near the center of the ancient imperial city.

Questions & Answers
Asked by Mr.Jeff from AUSTRALIA | Mar. 13, 2011 23:39Reply
Hi .

Interested in doing a Huting 1/2 day 'tour' but wondering if it advised / recommeded to do this independantly or with an organised tour ? Im staying at The DOngcheng area but would like to see the Shichahai area as well. I would rather have the ease of transport / rickshaw and some walking as I am not fully mobile due to an accident I had. Any suggestions ?

Thanks - Jeff
Answers (1)
Answered by Mr.Sergo | Mar. 14, 2011 18:12
21Reply


Both are ok. You can visit the Hutong with a travel agency, but im afraid it will be more expensive. It is also very easy to explore this area on your own, as there are many rickshaws in Hutong area and you can find them very easily.
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