Saturday 28th saw us at 10am head off on a 3 hour bike tour with Bike Beijing. The tour took us around Hutongs, back streets and lanes and the Houhai Lake. I highly recommend this tour as it showed us some great parts of Beijing and gave us a very different and much more positive impression of Beijing than if we had just seen Beijing through the tour.
Donghuangchenggen South Street Dongcheng, Beijing, China, 100006
We biked down South Luogo Lane. The Lane was built under the architectural concept of “residential blocks” – with the lane serving as the central line dividing 8 parallel Hutongs on each side, hence forming the outlook of a fish bone, or a “Wugong”.
South Luogo Lane
Sweet Potato with Cheese – Yummy Snack
The bike tour took us around many Hutongs and back streets.
Around Beijing by Bike
After the Bike Tour we took a taxi back to the lake for lunch. There are many restaurants and cafes around the lake. We were so glad we did the bike tour as we were able to discover the lake area and this beautiful part of Beijing.
Beijing Houhai Lake Area
After a late lunch we walked around the lake and on to the Bell and Drum Tower. Centuries ago these were used to keep time and inform workers to start and stop work by ringing the bell and beating the drums atop huge towers.
The steps to the top of the Bell Tower were daunting. The Bell Tower is 47.9 meters high and the bell within (the largest in China) is 7.02 meters in overall height and weight of 63 tons – it is called the King of Ancient Bells.
Another set of daunting steps arose in the Drum Tower. In the Drum Tower there used to be 25 watchman’s drums; 1 main drum and 24 mass drums. Now only 1 main drum remains with a diameter 1.4 meters and an overall height of 2.22 meters. The drums in picture are all modern drums within the Drum Tower.
The evening saw us meet up with our Tour Guide – Tomic – and another family who will be on tour with us. They are Canadian, Alan and Trica and their 10 year old Sophia. We all did the meet and greet and then headed out to dinner together. Lots of local dishes plus Peking Duck.
Local Dishes for Dinner
Everyone retired after dinner except Emily and I who went on to the Chaoyang Theatre Acrobatics Show. This was great and highly recommended. Lots of different and highly skilled acts with the finale being motocross bikes whizzing around a large steel sphere. I won’t ruin the act by stating how many bikes ended up in the sphere but will say Emily was panicking as they kept loading it up.
Beijing Acrobatics Show