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Home >> China City Guide >> Beijing >> Shichahai - Beijing travel information and tours
 
 

Shichahai

 

Shichahai, Beijing China
Shichahai

Shichahai is a famous scenic area that includes three lakes (Qian Hai, meaning Front Sea; Hou Hai, meaning Back Sea and Xi Hai, meaning Western Sea), surrounding places of historic interest and scenic beauty, and remnants of old-style Beijing residences, Hutong and Courtyard. It is located in the northwest part of Beijing, and covers a large area of 146.7 hectares (about 363 acres).

The history of Shichahai can be traced to Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234). During the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368), it was the terminal point of the Great Canal, which was a main reason for its prosperity. In the period of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), when the channels ceased to be as smooth as they used to be, Shichahai changed from a bustling hub to a place of leisure where people could stroll around to admire the vast scenery or enjoy the cool shade under willow trees.

Shichahai is always a good place for local Beijingers' recreational life, and in the last 200 years, many governmental officers, celebrities, monks and nuns chose to build mansions, temples and nunneries in Shichahai. Thus, Shichahai's attraction lies not only in its natural beauty, but also in the historical value of its architecture. The most famous ones among these historical buildings are Gong Wang Fu (Prince Gong's Mansion, Chun Wang Fu (Price Chun's Mansion), the Former Residence of Song Qing Ling, the Former Residence of Mei Lan Fang (the well-known Peking Opera master) and Guang Hua Temple.

The greatest point of interest in Shichahai today is its residences, Hutong and Courtyard. In and around Beijing City, Shichahai is one of the best places to view well-preserved Hutongs and courtyards. Visiting Hutongs by pedicab has become a popular activity for visitors from China and abroad. The most famous Hutong is Jin Si Tao, which actually includes 18 hutongs and keeps the original layout of Hutong Area. Another one is Yan Dai Xie Jie, meaning an oblique street which looks like a long-stemmed pipe. This street used to be a famous street selling long-stemmed pipes.

People can also find two Old Brands in Shichahai. One is Kao Rou Ji, a restaurant selling roast meat, which has a history of over 150 years. The other is Bao Du Zhang, which has sold cooked tripe of sheep for four generations.

By visiting Shichahai, visitors will get an authentic taste of the style and features of Old Beijing. As Shichahai is close to Drum Tower and the north gate of Beihai Park, visitors can take buses reaching either of them and then visit Shichahai.

Beijing Travel Attractions
Beijing
Badaling Great Wall
Forbidden City
Tian'anmen Square
Summer Palace
Temple of Heaven
Ming Tombs
Mutianyu Great wall
Beijing Hutong
Beijing Roasted Duck
Yonghegong Temple
Beihai Park
Beijing Zoo
Beijing Opera
Confucian Temple
Jinshanling Greatwall
Simatai Great Wall
Fragrant Hills
Shichahai & Hutong
Tanzhe Temple
White Cloud Temple
 
 
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