North of Beihai Park, this once serene and quiet area has two lakes, the Houhai and Qianhai, separated by a famous arched stone bridge dating back to the Yuan Dynasty. Once a quiet residential neighborhood most representative of what the capital once was, the banks of the lakes have almost overnight been turned into a new nightlife area with over 50 establishments Lo be found. Houhai area is definitely worth a visit or two-great selling, and whole range of different bars, from the trendy to the very relaxed, with plenty of places to sit outside. Take your time to wander and choose too.
Houhai Bar is very popular in Beijing Nighlife. Walking south from the Drum Tower on Di’anmen Avenue, about 30 meters north of the McDonald’s (the only one on the street), turn west into YandiXiejie, where you’ll find a number of small bars as well as a string of small shops selling Chinese arts and crafts. The Hai Bar has excellent views of The Drum and Bell Towers, and their third floor overlooks the lake. Continue on from here until you reach the lake where you’ll find dozens of small bars, coffee shops and restaurants, many with lakeside seating in the warmer months. The Drum and Bell has inexpensive drinks and great views of the lake.
For those in search of a little liquid inspiration, there’s Buddha Bar. It closely resembles other places in the area: quiet, laid-back, jazz or low volume techno on the stereo, and outdoor seating in warmer weather. The bar is also near the famous Kao Rou Ji restaurant on the north end of Houhai.
Another place in this area worth a visit is the new Lotus Lane, just north of Di’anmen Xi Dajie, where you will find about a dozen more up market restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Many of These venues have outside seating along the lake, as well as roof-top tables with lovely views overlooking the lake.