Jan 28, 2015 at 01:17 PM
After visiting the more famous historical monuments like Tiananmen, Temple of Heaven, Lama Temple to Summer Palace, the next celebrated spot in Beijing itinerary is the Lotus market. This is the trip to Shichahai Lake Area. The Three Lakes - Qianhai and Houhai are part of the ancient cities water-supply-route. Originally dug-out during the 14th century and the short-lived Yuan Dynasty, the lakes were expanded later by the Ming Dynasty, to function as harbors for the many barges traveling to- and from- Beijing on the economically vital Grand Canal, constructed and completed under the prosperous Ming Rule. Along its eastern banks an interesting marble balustrade walking path, reminiscent of the Imperial Palace architecture, takes one past one of Beijing's oldest remaining historical bridges. From there it is on to JinDing Qiao, the Silver Ingot Bridge. From there it is just a short walk to a number of interesting locations. Currently Qianhai is noted not only for its cooling waters in Summer but recently also mainly for its "Lotus Lane" (TianHe Fang). After sweeping changes, which among things introduced the western bar phenomenon to the Shichahai Area, Qianhai opened its Lotus Lane in October 2003. The romantic and dreamy sounding Lotus Lane is a short but lively strip of modern and luxury bar-restaurants strung along the West Bank of Qianhai Lane. Famously noted by visitors, the lane begins unspectacularly with a starbucks coffee joint, mostly appreciated by daytime tourists and Westerners. There are many small stores and small streets on the way. The Lake area itself is surrounded by many bars and restaurants. If you want to grab a quick bite, they sell scorpion, star fish and sea horse kebabs. Marshmallows, sugar candies, fruit and ice creams are also other options available here. In the daytime the area is interesting but at night the area is magical as it is all lit up. At trendy eating joints and tourists do not just eat at the restaurant, they are literally sitting on the lake. on Guests can lounge inside covered boats while someone row the boats around the Lake for an hour. Menu are such exotic as mutton hotspot, duck, fish, shrimp, jellyfish and asparagus. The beautiful Lake front is all lit up at night and rather than eating people enjoy the romantic surreal ambience. In the afternoon, you can see people in paddle boats fishing and swimming. Foreigners love admiring the local culture. Qianhai is definitely worth a visit.