Hi, I'm Lu!

A PhD Student at University of Chicago who loves discovering the world and trying new eats! Hope you enjoy!

An evening at Hou Hai (后海)

Hou Hai, meaning Queen Sea, (Figure 1) is one of a series of lakes in the center of Beijing.  It is certainly a tourist attraction because of the overpriced restaurants and bars that line the lake.

The best time to go to Hou Hai is during late afternoon when the sun is about to set (if you can see the sun).  We arrived at Gulou (Figure 2) with a couple beers in hand (yes, there are no open container laws in China!).

From Gulou, we took a stroll down an antiquated-looking market street and posed for a photo (Figure 3).

The cutest souvenirs were these chubby little communist pigs just standing in the window (Figure 4).

This street opens up to Hou Hai, but we were a bit more captivated by the cute poodle sitting on the curb (Figure 5) than the amazing views (Figure 6).

We walked around the lake and quickly realized that the restaurants there are overpriced and unappetizing.  So we ducked into one of the winding alleys that lead away from Hou Hai.  After walking around the maze for 10 minutes, we came to a restaurant called Yellow River Tasty where numerous people were eating, both inside and outside.  The ten of us sat down and had perhaps one of the cheapest delicious meals ever.  We had 11 dishes, 20 lamb skewers and about 15 beers for only 30 kuai each!  Of all the dishes, my favorites were the crispy lotus roots (Figure 7) and the lamb skewers (Figure 8).  The lotus roots were crunchy with a flavorful layer of crispiness.  And of course I thoroughly enjoyed the lamb skewers – the unique essence of lamb stood out amongst the other spices added.

A delectable meal to end a splendid day!


  1. Go to Hou Hai during sunset – it looks absolutely beautiful!
  2. Wander around in the alleys around Hou Hai to find a cheap and mouthwatering meal!  It’s not worth it to eat at one of the touristy restaurants right on the lake.


An ATM—for cupcakes.

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