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/ Life/ TravelAn unusual way to enjoy winter in HouhaiUpdated: 2011-01-21 10:27( CRIENGLISH.com)Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  SmallBeijing hasnt been as blistery cold this winter as usual, which may inspire residents and tourists alike to try some outdoor activities.Houhai offers an unorthodox answer to the outdoor ice skating rinks often set up in large cities. [Photo/Agencies]Houhai offers an unorthodox answer to the outdoor ice skating rinks often set up in large cities. With the lake frozen over, a bridge was constructed from the nearby walkway to the middle of the lake, where visitors can try out several kinds of ice vehicles. While the variety of equipment is new to most foreigners, Beijing natives have been raised on this entertainment. “Weve played with these since we were young,” says Ma Xinwei, who came to Houhai with two of her friends.
First, visitors must purchase a card by depositing money, and then choose from a list of ice vehicles, ranging from the traditional ice skates to unusual chairs that glide across the ice with improvised ski poles. Unused money is returned upon leaving the lake.Houhai offers an unorthodox answer to the outdoor ice skating rinks often set up in large cities. [Photo/Agencies]A variety of ways to enjoy the ice means that those playing on the lake must watch out for wayward vehicles. There is no orderly clockwise or counter-clockwise circle for everyone to follow here, nor is there a zamboni. Ice skaters share the ice with everyone else, so be careful not to get run over.
Vehicles available include ice skates; ice chairs which look like school chairs on gliders that riders propel along the ice using improvised ski poles; ice bicycles, using some combination of gliders, a wheel, and pedals to move riders along the ice; and ice bumper cars, which are electrically-powered pods that whiz across the ice, looking for an opportunity to hit something.
An afternoon here allows visitors the opportunity to try ice machines that arent found in Western countries; however the service at this attraction call not be called foreign- friendly since the price list and other signs are only in Chinese. The attraction closes just after sunset, so arrive at Houhai early in the afternoon if you plan on enjoying all that the lake has to offer.Houhai offers an unorthodox answer to the outdoor ice skating rinks often set up in large cities. [Photo/Agencies]Ice Chairs cost 20 yuan, with a 30 yuan deposit
Ice Skates cost 20 yuan, with a 100 yuan deposit
Ice Bicycles cost 30 yuan per hour, with a 100 yuan deposit
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