The Prince, the Widow, and the Scholar: A Walk and Discussion around the Lakes of Beijing
This walk takes us around Beijing’s scenic lakes including Qianhai and Houhai. We will first visit the gorgeous former home of Guo Moruo, an author, artist, and poet who was one of the most influential Chinese scholars of the 20th century.
We will then visit the palace of Aisin-Gioro Yixin, better known as Prince Gong. The younger brother of the Xianfeng Emperor, Yixin helped defend Beijing from the Anglo-French Expeditionary Force in 1860 after his brother had fled the city. Later Yixin would become a diplomat, a reformer, and an official who suffered through a long career serving under the Empress Dowager Cixi. His palace, a Beijing landmark, is famous for its lavishly restored pavilions and gardens.
Finally, we will travel around the lakeside to the former home of Soong Ch’ing-ling, the widow of revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen. One of the famous “Soong Sisters” (her brothers-in-law include Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang’s finance minister H.H. Kung), she established her own legacy after her husband’s death in 1925.
Along the way, we will travel the shorelines and back alleys of Beijing's lake district, getting a glimpse of life in the old Beijing hutongs (alleyways) while exploring one of Beijing's liveliest neighborhoods.
Duration: Three to four hours
Upcoming Public Walks around Beijing's Lakes/Houhai Area
300 RMB per person (260 RMB for members of The Hutong)
Price includes all guide fees and tickets
Consider a Private Tour!
Looking for a walk that fits your schedule? Interested in a personal experience for you or your group?
Private walks around Beijing's Lakes and historic sites are available for individuals, families, school and company groups.
Private walks are 1900 RMB for up to five people and 160 RMB for each additional person. Price includes all guide fees and admission tickets.
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Your Walk Leader
Jeremiah Jenne is a writer and history teacher based in Beijing since 2002. He has taught Late Imperial and Modern Chinese History for over 11 years and has written extensively on China for a number of publications including The Economist, The Atlantic Monthly, Journal of Asian Studies, Asia Society/China File, Los Angeles Review of Books, Radii China, The Beijinger, and the World of Chinese. His work can be found in the anthologies China in 2008: A Year of Great Significance, The Insider’s Guide to Beijing, and the 2015 collection While We’re Here: China Stories from a Writer’s Colony. He is frequently asked to speak or lead workshops on Chinese history, culture, and cultural adaptation to schools, organizations, and company groups from around the world and is the proprietor of Beijing by Foot, which organizes educational programs and historic walking tours of Beijing’s most famous sites and hidden by-ways. You can follow him on Twitter @jeremiahjenne or online at jeremiahjenne.com.