Before you lose yourself in Beijing’s wonderfully maze-like hutongs, pay a visit to the Shijia Hutong Museum. Shijia Hutong is lovely and quiet, shaded by trees and still lined in traditional courtyard houses. House number 24, the former home of Ling Shuhua (a painter, writer, and daughter of a former mayor of Beijing), has been beautifully transformed into this small museum. The courtyard is full of trees and birds, a tiny but welcome spot of tranquillity. Inside the house is a delightful scale model of Shijia Hutong, exhibits on hutong residences, and a model of a typical 1950s–’60s home filled with objects of daily life.