Houhai Exercise Area

Health & Fitness in Beihai Park & Xicheng North

Chairman Mao exhorted the people to engage in sports to strengthen their physiques. Judging by the athletic vigour on show at this municipal exercise area, the people duly obeyed. Under the lakeside willows you might see septuagenarians twirling on gymnastics bars, Beijing aunties with a wicked ping-pong game, and a cabal of macho old boys who swim in the lake year-round. Essential people-watching.