Pritam Rohila Travels

Reports of my travels along with some pictures

Nov 2, 2010


May 26 Continued

Next, we went to the Lake of Ten Temples, for a rickshaw tour of a Hutong, a traditional Chinese neighborhood in the Old Town, Beijing.

The lake was named for ten different temples, which at one time surrounded it. Now some of the temples have disappeared, and only a few are still frequented by tourists.

The lake is a system of interconnected water reservoirs, which are used for various recreational purposes. Paddle-boats are available for hire.

Young couples use benches around it for a quiet rendezvous.

The area, once, had residences for aristocrats. It is surprising that in the days when demolition is so common to make way for multistory buildings, the area is still being preserved, although now it is overcrowded and poorly maintained. But even now a number of old courtyard homes are located here.

On our way, we passed by Drum Tower, which at one time was used to announced time to the area’s residents.

By a bridge, our group posed for a photograph.

At the rickshaw stand, Ann, our local guide, hired rickshaws for us, which are more expensive than taxis.

The rickshaws took us through narrow streets

lined with restaurants, bars

music places,

shops, and

vendors, and thronged by people.

Our guide arranged for us to visit the home, in a narrow alley, of an artist, Yanzhen Zhang. He was waiting for us at his door.

He makes a living by selling his watercolors at galleries, and his home.

The home has a small living room, studio, kitchen, and


His wife came in as we were leaving their place.

Tonight we had dinner at a small, friendly restaurant. All of us enjoyed our food, attentive waitresses.



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