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Beixinqiao Hutongs

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Hutongs Beijing  China
Hutongs Beijing  China
Exploring Beijing's Hidden Hutongs Beijing  China
Hutongs Beijing  China
Beijing's Hutongs Beijing  China
Hutongs Beijing  China
Hutongs Beijing  China
Exploring Beijing's Hidden Hutongs Beijing  China
Hutongs Beijing  China
Beijing's Hutongs Beijing  China
Hutongs
When Beijing’s hutongs—narrow alleyways that connect to form mazelike neighborhoods—were originally built, they were lined with stone houses that had central courtyards. In 1949, with the founding of the People's Republic of China, there were more than 3,000 hutongs; so many have been razed since that time that there are now fewer than 1,000. The remaining hutongs are where locals chat with their neighbors, sit outside on hot summer nights, buy fruit, and tend to their gardens, all without leaving their own alleyway. Seeing this side of traditional Beijing life is delightful and serves as a marked contrast to the many shops, restaurants, cafés, and bars that now occupy the courtyard homes lining the alleyways.

Hutongs
Doncheng District in Beijing used to be full of hutong neighborhoods, unfotunately many have disappeared and many more are threatened. The Government has recently realized that these neighborhoods are a vital link to the tangible history of old Beijing, and trying to preserve many of the remaining ones.
The area north of The Forbidden City, on the edge of the dongcheng district, running parallel to th north side of the line 2 subway route is full of great hutongs. the eastern end near Gulou is full of renovated hutongs that house shops, galleries, bars, restaurants and even hotels. The West end, over by Yonghegong Temple and Beixinqiao are less renovated residential hutongs, which a re great for a quiet stroll and glimpse of traditional life.

Exploring Beijing's Hidden Hutongs
I loved wandering through Beijing's hutongs and exchanging smiles with the locals.

Hutongs
Pre-Olympics, Beijing was spotted with hutongs - old style neighborhoods that typically housed migrant workers or just some very old residents. Hutongs maintain the integrity of ancient architecture and feng shui practices. The narrow alleys, short arches (watch your head if you're taller than 5'5") and a true feeling of community with common kitchen and bathroom spaces. This particular one was around the corner from the Drum & Bell towers in the center of the city. Duck in and take a walk through history. Perhaps a friendly resident will invite you in for some tea and snacks. Let the sunflower seed scraps fall on the floor, and point the spout of the teapot away from anyone's face.

Beijing's Hutongs

Beijing’s hutongs are narrow alleyways that connect to form mazelike neighborhoods. When the hutongs were originally built, they were lined with stone houses with central courtyards. In 1949, there were more than 3,000 hutongs, but many were razed to make way for high-rises, and now there are fewer than 1,000 left. Fortunately, shops, restaurants, cafés and bars have filled some of the hutongs, saving them from the wrecking ball.


Dongzhimen, Dongcheng, Beijing, China