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This lake and its surrounding neighborhood in Xicheng District, has been Beijing's back garden for centuries. Once a private playground for royalty, many of the traditional residences in the Hutong neighborhood have been converted into restaurants, bars, and cafes. Houhai is the largest of the three lakes and provides a perfect outlet for daytime or evening activities. In the warmer months, grab a few friends, some snacks, portable speakers, and a couple 6-packs of beer and hop on one of the boats and just cruise - you will love it. Come back in the winter and you'll see locals ice-skating or pushing each other on the lake in silly chairs - it's a playground for all ages.