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Enjoy Serene Experience in Beijing

With the weather nice and pleasant, there is truly no better way to explore Beijing than on foot or by bike. And one of the most popular tourist destinations for a serene experience or retreat in Beijing is no doubt the Shichahai Area.

Shichahai Area

The Shichahai is composed of three scenic lakes, inclduing Qian Hai (Front Lake), Hou Hai (Back Lake) and Xi Hai (West Lake). Essence of the area - the Back Lake neighborhood, located next to the Forbidden City, is home to a large number of alleys and streets surrounding the lakes. Moreover, Houhai is also filled with some of the last remaining traditional hutong houses across the city. During the Yuan Dynasty, the Great Canal extended right here, making it one of the most bustling neighborhoods in the capital city at the time. Worth a look is a classic example of Chinese courtyard - Prince Gongs Mansion, one of the best preserved Qing Dynasty mansions in the city. With a visit to the mansion you may get an insight into what life was like back in those days when those royals led their lives every day.

Beijing Hutong

Today, one of the best way to enjoy the retreat to this area is get on board a little boat cruising on the now calm waters of the lakes, or ride bikes or walk on foot while scaling through the scenic area. Pretty much every visitor to this area would stop by one of the many cafes, restaurants, bars and shops that are now housed in many of the old courtyards. One of the best-preserved courtyards is Mei Lanfang Guju, the former residence of a world renowned Peking Opera master during the 1930s. If you want to do some shopping for some souvenirs or simply window shop, Yandai Xiejie (Tobacco Alley) is really not to be missed, where you can find just about anything from kitschy tourist shops to dozens of quality finds, like No. 63, a popular artsy boutique.

While exploring the neighborhood, the twice-hourly performances at the Drum and Bell Towers are also well worth a look. The performance is amazing and free, and then, you can ascend the top of either tower for a sweeping view of the sprawling city below. To sum it up, you can easily find lots of fun stuff to do in the area!

Scale through Cityscapes of Beijing

There are two sides to everything and of course, the city of Beijing is no exception at all. Beijing has a rich history and diverse culture and in the mean time, it also runs on a fast track as economy of China is blooming. So with a visit to Beijing, you will get a chance to see both the ancient and modern sides of it! Here are two destinations highly recommended:

Lovely and Confusing Beijing Hutong

Hutongs in Beijing have thousands years of history, mainly formed in the Yuan Dynasty, inherited by the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. Most of Hutong go from east to west, nine meters wide in general and the buildings on both sides of Beijing Hutong are mostly courtyard. The courtyard is uniformly designed with four houses, symmetrically enclosed together in one courtyard. With the courtyards next to each other all over the city, the passages between them form the famous Beijing Hutong. These alleyways may look similar, but its inherent characteristics are different. Hutong now is not only hailed as the pulse of the city, but also the very home of the ordinary people. The people of Beijing have a special attachment to the alley, they usually liken Beijing Hutong as a folk custom museum, featuring a lively social life. The alleys in general distance are very near, so it is not plagued by the noise of the heavy traffic. Hutong played an effective role in the neighborhood harmony.

Cutting-edge 798 Art Zone
798 Art Zone

At the mention of the most trendy destination in Beijing, the 798 Art Zone is a must-visit! Used to be a concentration area of military factories, after artists and cultural institutions moved in, this area was turned into a polymerization of Gallery, Art Center, artist studios, design companies, restaurants and bars and other various art space. 798 Art Zone now has been hailed as the SOHO Art Village featuring LOFT lifestyle, attracting considerable attention from all over the world. Through contemporary art, architecture, cultural and historical context and environment of organic combination, 798 has evolved into a cultural concept, with a strong appeal to all kinds of people. The 798 features a unique building style, very concise and simple. Cast-in-place framework huge and bright skylight is rare among other areas.

Overall, Beijing has plenty more to explore!

Walking into Ancient Beijing Village – Cuandixia Village

Housing truly amazing ancient buildings and modern plazas, tour Beijing could bring you unexpected happiness. What you want to do, this capital city will satisfy your desire of seeking happiness. Today, I will lead you to walk into one old village to unveil its typical appearance and life style – Cuandixia Village.

Delicate Appearance of Cuandixia Village
Cuandixia Village

After visiting this village, every tourist would send out signs about the old arrangements and ancient tastes. Located in the suburb area – Mentougou District, this village has housed a long history about 400 years old. It is just like an old man telling all the past stories happened here. Containing about 70 courtyards with about 500 rooms, this village was built during Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. Covering an area about 10,000 square meters, it is the best preserved village in China. It is a mountain village gaining the high fame as a Potala Palace in Beijing area. First entering into this village, you would arouse the feeling back to Chinese ancient times, grey bricks, ruined soil walls, etc. It is surrounded by elegant mountains, so the traffic here is not so convenient. Standing on the north gentle slope of the hills, it is built in the harmony with the terrain of the mountains. From the far distance or having a bird view, it is just like an old castle decorating the mountains. A winding and rugged lane built from many oddly-shaped stones, winds its way from east to west and divides the village into two groups.

Perfect Arrangement in Cuandixia Village
Cuandixia Village

Wandering in this village, typical tranquility and cozy will pour into your mind and body. Only lived by the Han Family, this village presented more unique and harmonious! Relating the name of this village, Cuan has the meaning of stove. All the corners and the decorations are showed perfect same as the ancient times, corns hanging outside, ancient cooking range and adobe kang, etc. If you are very interested in the life style, you could stay here for a night getting closer to feel the tastes. For the well-arrangements, some famous films often conducted here, just because of the advanced background. The farmers of Cuandixia Village keep in step with the times and they exploit the idea of folk-custom tourism to welcome tourists from all over the world.

Inspiring your Beijing tour, Cuandixia Village will hold your exciting feeling!

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