By far the most rewarding area to explore on foot, north of the Forbidden City stretches an almost contiguous run of lakes, either set in parkland or surrounded by swathes of charming historic hutongs. It’s an area rich in temple architecture and dotted with grand old courtyard residences. Its appeal to visitors has resulted in restaurants, bars, and shops flooding in to take advantage of the picturesque settings, but thankfully much of the growth has so far been sympathetic.
Born in Shandong Province, south of Beijing, during an age of uninterrupted war, Confucius (551–479 BC) was prompted by the suffering around him to develop a practical philosophy built on the principle of virtue. Finding no audience ...