To Di'anmenwai Avenue in the East, Xinjiekou North Avenue in the West, North Second Ring Road in the North, Ping'an Avenue in the South
: Northwest of Tiananmen
: 5.8 km away from the city center Tiananmen
Bus No.13, 42, 107, 111, 118, 609, 623, 612, 701, 90Waihuan at Beihai North Gate Station
Shichahai consists of Xi Hai, Hou Hai and Qian Hai. It is a narrow water extended from the northwest to southeast. Day time of Hou Hai is quiet. Around Hou Hai there is Song Qingling Former Residence, Gong Wang Fu and other scenic spots. In the night, it is noisy, especially in the Bar Street. All sceneries there are good but full of commercial feeling.
Why got its this name
Shi means number 10 in Chinese while Cha means temple and Hai means sea. It is said that there were once ten temples around the sea.
Function or value in the past
Since Qing Dynasty, Shichahai was the place for spending the summer and entertaining.
Early in the 13th century, Mongolia eradicated Jin dynasty. The Palace of Beijing city (northwest of nowadays' Beijing city, which was also called the central capital of Jin dynasty) was destroyed. The first emperor Kublai Kahn decided to build another new capital. Shicha Hai was one of the basis for the central axis of the whole city was chosen to be by Jishuitan (part of Shichahai). To some degree, there was Shichahai first and Beijing city later.
The street constructure of Shichahai was first formed in Yuan Dynasty. Many of the constructions in Shichahai area have long stories and are full of traditional Beijing features. Shichahai Area has been taken as one of the 25 key protected historical blocks in Beijing. Citizens in this area have been living there for decades or generations. They have formed the simple and passionate neighbour hood.
Numbers of typical Hutong and Siheyuan Courtyards are scattered in Shichahai area, which spawn lots of featured folk activities like floating lotus lamps, boating to tour the lake, drinking and enjoying the lotus and etc. Till now, there are still a lot of activities exist, like fishing, swimming, boating, rowing, playing chess, concert and dancing balls. Hutong Tours are just living in such a unique natural and human environment.
Attractions in Shichahai area
Gong Wang Fu (Prince Gong's Mansion)
Former Residence of Guo Moruo
Chun Qinwang Fu (Prince Chun's Mansion)
Former Residence of Song Qingling
Former Residence of Mei Lanfang
Qing Wang Fu (Prince Qing's Mansion)
Tao Baylor House
Gun Bei Zi House
Bell and Drum Tower
Yandai Xiejie (Oblique Tobacco Pouch Street)
Legend and Story
Story about the Live Fortuna:
Shen Wansan was well known in ancient Beijing. He was called the Live Fortuna. You may believe that Live Fortuna should have much money. But he had none. He was so poor that he had even no clothes to wear. Then, why was he called Live Fortuna? That's because he knew where buried the gold and where buried the silver. And on ordinary occasions, he could not tell where was the gold or where was the silver. If someone beat him, and he pointed somewhere at random, there must be silver and even gold. More badly he was beat, more gold and silver would be digged out. Thus he was called Live Fortuna.
But who would beat him with no reason? His family did not have the heart to beat. His neighbors had no reason to beat him. Thus, Shen Wansan and people who would not beat him became poorer and poorer. One day, the emperor decided to renovate Beijing city and he would not take his own money out. He discussed with his ministers to draw on local resources. The ministers told him that they could not get so much money in the city. But later, someone told the emperor about the Live Fortuna Shen Wansan. The emperor was so happy that he called Shen Wansan to see him.
When the officers and men went Shen Wansan's home, they laughed. It was a shabby house with a little door. They could not believe that the Live Fortuna lived in such a miserable house. They knocked and a scrubby old man with tattered clothes got out. They brought Shen Wansan to the royal palace. When the emperor saw Shen Wansan, he doubted too. He also cannot believe that this little old man was the one he was looking for. The emperor asked Shen Wansan where the gold and silver were. Shen said he had no idea. The emperor was angry. "You are the Live Fortuna! Why do you have no idea?" "That's what others call me! I am not the Live Fortuna!" The emperor was mad. He asked the warrior to beat Shen. At first, Shen begged. Later, when he was beat to bleed. He shouted, "I know where the silver is!" The emperor said, "Take him there. If there is no silver, continue beating him!" Shen brought the men to an empty ground and said, "Here, you can dig!" And sure enough, the men digged out ten cellars of silver, 4,800,000 together. Beijing city was built up. The empty ground where the silver were buried became a huge pit. Later, water flew into the pit and the pit was called Shi Jiao Hai (Ten Cellar Sea).
In the beautiful Shichahai area, you can rend a bicycle or tricycle to visit the old Hutongs and you can also enjoy the sceneries of the three seas.
Those years, the bar street has been one of the most lively place in the night of Beijing. Classic and modern, tradition and fashion, nature and human... In Shichahai, you can always find the original Beijing style.
Opening Hours: All 24 hours
Views from Travelers
Xi Hai is quiet. Sometimes, there are lots of vehicles. Sitting by the river is comfortable.
The sceneries in Xi Hai are fabulous. It is not noisy like Hou Hai. It owns its own quietness and harmony. Sitting on the bench while reading or listening to the music is such a comfortable thing to do in Xi Hai area.
Qianhai in winter is a perfect skating place and a boat dock and swimming pool in summer. There are lots of lotus in summer. It is very beautiful!
Lots of people go fishing there. Some also went for cycling.
I went there in the evening. The scenery there is excellent. Many tour boats are on the lake. Bars are along the lake. The resident singers are cool!
Hou Hai is a famous must-go place in Beijing. It is very beautiful in the evening. I went there with friends in the night. We chat and listen to the music. You can rend a bike to go around the lake. There are bicycles and tricycles, which is very interesting.
Every spring I will go to Hou Hai. It is much beautiful. It is also an comfortable place for me to take a rest.
Shichahai Sandalwood Boutique Hotel (0.90 km)
Qilu Hotel (0.99 km)
Ron Yard Hotel (0.96 km)
Beijing Shichahai Shadow Art Performance Hotel (0.42 km)
China Lounge Courtyard Boutique Hotel (0.34 km)
Bamboo Garden Hotel (0.78 km)