Getting Around

Boats and Cruise Ships

Hundreds of years ago, Beijing used many rivers, man-made canals and lakes for transportation and pleasure. Several of them have now been restored and opened to the public for sightseeing tours and cruises.

The Changhe River flows 9 km through several of the most popular tourist destinations, passing through beautiful scenery and offering a different perspective on the city than you can see by foot or on wheels. The boat tour starts at the Beijing Exhibition Center wharf and winds through the Beijing Zoo, the Beijing Purple Bamboo Park and ends at the stunning imperial garden, the Summer Palace.

The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal is the longest man-made canal in the world extending 1,794 km, connecting with the Yangtze, Yellow, Huaihe, Haihe, and Qiantang rivers, and passing through three provinces. In Beijing you can take a fascinating one-and-a-half hour boat trip on a small section of this ancient canal system: the Tongzhou Grand Canal.

Shichahai Lake, which means “lake surrounded by 10 temples”, is located in downtown Beijing. Originally the starting point of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, Shichahai Lake is actually made up of three lakes: Xihai, Qianhai and Houhai. Set in the center of a historic area of hutongs, a boat trip on Shichahai Lake is wonderful way to get a taste of ancient China.