One of Beijing's old hutong areas is located next to the Houhai lake. This is where you'll find the picturesque side street Yandai Xiejie. Yandai is the name of a Chinese pipe that was traditionally sold on this street. The street is not very long, and not the right choice of destination if you are on the hunt for the latest fashion clothes. On the other hand, you will find small quantities of strange stuff like art, Mao kitsch, traditional Chinese clothing, jewellery, silk items, tea and teapots and a small selection of funkier designer clothes. One of the city's really good chocolate shops are also situated on this street but don't expect their prices to be Chinesely low.
Salespeople and atmosphere
Some of the salespeople speak English a bit, and in a few of the shops you can, and should, bargain. The street is a chance to experience Chinese hutongs as well as a shopping street, and while you are there you should take the opportunity to visit Houhai Lake.