As one of the city’s three reservoirs, the water in Jinhai Lake is guaranteed to be clean (well, as clean as Beijing water gets). Surrounded by beautiful mountains, this spot offers tranquility as well as an adrenaline rush.
The main tourist hub is the reservoir’s massive dam. Those that like to keep their feet firmly on the ground can stroll along the 500-metre path on top of the damn and take in the inspiring views. To forge your own path, and get away from the crowds, rent a pedalo (80RMB an hour) or a two-person kayak (100RMB an hour) and head out to a deserted shore.
But for the more adventurously-inclined, do not miss the freakin’ jet skis. Sure, it’s 25RMB a minute, but that smile on your face will stay there for hours after. Technically, you’re not allowed to swim in the lake, but if you get a boat to one of the secluded shores, no one will see you.
Once you’ve squandered all your money on jet skis and speedboats (20RMB a minute but you can get a few people on board to split the cost), you might want a cheaper way to enjoy the lake. Jump on one of the tour boats (30RMB) for a 30-minute saunter on the water. Don’t bother with the small temple – it’s a pay-to-pray and isn’t worth it.
Getting there Take the 852 bus from Dongzhimen to Pinggu bus station (17 stops). Then take the 45 bus to Jinhai Lake station (12 stops).
Travel time Two-and-a-half hours.