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An Evening Tour of Shichahai, Beijing

Popularity 2Viewed 4016 times 2016-6-21 00:55 |Personal category:travel|System category:Life| shichahai, Beijing

You might have heard that Shichahai is one of the best places to visit as night falls, but have you ever been there before? Probably not. I was like you before one of my best friends having a business trip in Beijing asked me to suggest one evening touring site for him. Yes, the first site that flashed across my mind was Shichahai, where I visited a few times but never experienced the evening view of it. It was like a stupid suggestion, but our evening stroll finally turned the stupid suggestion into a nice tour.

First impression

After wasting one hour or so in the taxi because of traffic jams, I finally arrived at the entrance to Shichahai, from where I could directly see the Drum Tower. This part of the three lakes of Shichahai is named Qianhai or Front Sea. My friend and I had an appointment to meet on the popular Silver Ingot Bridge (Chinese: 银锭桥), and so I had to take a walk a few minutes to that bright where people came and went rubbing shoulders. Before I was ready to have a pleasant chat with my friend, I had already been impressed by the first impression of Shichahai: quiet boats, green trees, illuminating stores and a cloudy but golden sky.

Silver Ingot Bridge

Although the bridge is called Silver Ingot Bridge, you will never find anything here like silver, for the bridge is made of stone and white marble. The naming of the bridge has already disappeared into the dust of history, but its reputation spreads to many parts of the ancient capital of China or even the world, so that numerous tourists (most of them are Chinese) come to visit the bridge and hope to have a sip of the beautiful juice made by history. It is not that wide or long but very narrow and short. That’s one reason why we even didn’t find one another in the crowd on this small bridge.

Back Sea Tour

The most renowned sea among the three seas is the Back Sea or Houhai. I don’t know how our predecessors solely preferred the lake to the other two, but I realized that it was an amazing trip walking around the lake. Our trip began from the Silver Ingot Bridge and we took the path in the north, and along the street stand different styles of night bars which had already become alive as we passed by them. Singers of all kinds started singing and beauties sat on the stages seemed to be doing nothing but to draw the eyeballs of the passersby. However, we two were amazed time and often by the lake in color lights and the red edge of the sky in the west. On our trip around the lake, we encountered those doing evening exercise, singing and dancing just beside the lake railings, jumping into the water to swim and chatting with their heart and soul waiting for fish to bite their baits. On the trip we repetitively highly spoke of the evening walk.

Tobacco Pouch Skewed Street

What is the Tobacco Pouch Skewed Street? In Chinese it is called Yan Dai Xie Jie (烟袋斜街), which is located near the Silver Ingot Bridge. When returning to the bridge, we decided to walk to the north. After taking a few paces, we naturally turned to a narrow vintage street, which I first guessed and said to my friend: “This might be the famous Tobacco Pouch Skewed Street.” Although I had been there before, it was a story three years ago or something. This street slithers to the south and north and finally worms out into the main street which is named Drum Tower Street (Chinese: 鼓楼大街). This street is not long but the boutique and time-honored stores are many, and some are even glamorous. Walking the street in the evening is fun. At least, your eyes will become dazzled from time to time.

Never did I think about the evening beauty of Shichahai until that moment. I said to my friend that was an interesting walk, and he nodded yes. Until that moment, I had already forgotten the annoyance of traffic jams I went through when I was riding a taxi to this site.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Comment Comment (4 comments)

Reply Report Chengking 2016-6-21 10:13
I used to go to East Shore, a live jazz bar by Houhai. It's owned by Liu Yuan, the saxophonist in Cui Jian's old band. Wonder if they are still in business. It's the best live jazz scene in Beijing.
Reply Report voice_cd 2016-6-21 15:52
Thanks for sharing your story here, we have highlighted it.
Reply Report ampraxu123 2016-6-22 00:25
Chengking: I used to go to East Shore, a live jazz bar by Houhai. It's owned by Liu Yuan, the saxophonist in Cui Jian's old band. Wonder if they are still in bus ...
I think so.
Reply Report ampraxu123 2016-6-22 00:25
voice_cd: Thanks for sharing your story here, we have highlighted it.
Thank you.

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