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The Hutongs

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The Hutongs Beijing  China
The 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, at the founding of the People's Republic of China, there were more than 3,000 hutongs; in the years since, many have been razed and there are now fewer than 1,000. The hutongs are where locals chat with their neighbors, often while wearing their pajamas, sit outside on hot summer nights, buy fruit, and tend to their gardens, all without leaving their own alleyway. These slices of old school Beijing life are delightful. disappearing all too quickly, and are a contrast to the many shops, restaurants, cafés, and bars that now line the hutongs, filling the traditional courtyard homes.
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