Shichahai, with a history almost 900 years, is one of Beijing's most famous travel scenic areas. It consists of three lakes: Rear Lake, Front Lake and West Lake. It forms the center of a larger area of historic interest as many old buildings, traditional Hutongs and courtyards surround the lakes. The greatest points of interest in Shichahai today are the historic residences, the Hutongs and Courtyards. In and around Beijing, Shichahai is one of the best places to view well preserved Hutongs and courtyards. The most famous Hutong is Jin Si Tao, which actually includes 18 Hutongs and has preserved the original layout of the area.
Visiting Shichahai provides a unique and fascinating glance into the lifestyle and character of ancient Beijing. 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. By the way, the lake area supply small boats for tourists in Summer. Here are some guide information for your tour to Shichahai: Admission Fee: free, Openning Hours: Changling Tomb: all day long, Contact Number: 86-10- 66127652.

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Question:There have been several mentions of visiting hutongs in Beijing travel guide books. Which one or more do you recommend if I only have one afternoon and evening? Is Shichahai a good place to go? What experience should not be missed? Thanks. Marlyne

Answer:The best area to travel is probably the hutongs in the Shichahai area. This is also where you can get a rickshaw tour. If they offer the special courtyard tour, it worth to take and see! Good luck. David