As the winter approaches maximum chill, ice skating returns as a favorite winter pastime and Beijing has plenty of indoor and outdoor rinks to glide on.
Weather permitting, for a fun physical outing with friends, try one of the city’s many lakes. Be sure to follow directions regarding which areas are frozen solid, usually indicated by poles or flags. Shichahai skating rink is one of Beijing’s more popular outdoor skating areas, located on Houhai Lake. Prices of admission range from RMB 5 on weekdays to RMB 10 on weekends and another RMB 10-15 for skate rental depending on duration of use.
Another favorite outdoor rink is at Beihai Park, which offers the same style of old-school skating but is much less crowded than Houhai Lake. Be careful,though: these outdoor lakes are rigid and bumpy and the rental skates are not the best for those who are more advanced skaters looking to show off their skills. The views of the traditional white pagoda and the park’s fantastic scenery make this outdoor rink ideal for skating with a big group. For those who aren’t keen on skates, ice bikes are a good substitute rental. These three-pronged cycles allow for two or three people and make for improvised sleighs and a good game of ice bike bumper cars.
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This post first appeared in thebeijinger site on January 8, 2014
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