Shichahai is located in the northwest part of Beijing, and covers a large area of 146.7 hectares (about 363 areas). It is a famous scenic area that includes three lakes: Qianhai (Front Sea); Houhai (Back Sea); Xihai (Western Sea), surrounding places of historic interest and scenic beauty, and remnants of old-style Beijing residences, Hutong and Courtyard.
Shichahai is always a good place for locals’ recreational life, and in the last 200 years, many governmental officers, celebrities, monks and nuns chose to build mansions, temples and nunneries in Shichahai. Thus, Shichahai's attraction lies not only in its natural beauty, but also in the historical value of its architecture. The most famous ones among these historical buildings are Gong Wang Fu (Prince Gong's Mansion), Chun Wang Fu (Price Chun's Mansion), the Former Residence of Song Qing Ling, the Former Residence of Mei Lan Fang (the well-known Peking Opera master) and Guang Hua Temple.
The greatest point of interest in Shichahai today is its residences, Hutong and Courtyard. In and around Beijing City, Shichahai is one of the best places to view well-preserved Hutongs and courtyards. Visiting Hutongs by pedicab has become a popular activity for visitors from China and abroad. As Shichahai is close to Drum Tower and the north gate of Beihai Park, visitors can take buses reaching either of them and then visit Shichahai.