"Stroll the Hutongs on a Summer Evening!" Hutongs Tip by claudia1975
Hutongs, Beijing: 73 reviews and 164 photos
At the southern end of Tian an men Square there is a big Mc Donalds you cannot miss. If you stand in fron to this Mc Donalds just south of it starts a big Beijing Hutong area. Enter the dark and not too promising looking small street to the right of the Mc Donalds entrance and start to explore the Hutongs. Not only the main shopping venes, with fake gore tex jackets and business people trying to sell DVDs, watches or jewelery. Explore the more quiet streets, where people sit in front of their houses BBQing some pork and beef kebabs on tiny coal grills, where old guys play Go and are surrounded by watermelon-leftovers and where children play on warm mild summer nights. Taste some fresh baked bread or some meat and maybe sit down somewhere on a tiny chair in front of a tiny table to drink a beer, crackle some sunflower seeds and talk with a good friend.
This is not the only Hutong area in Beijing, but one of the most well known. Many Hutongs shall be torn down before 2008 (Olympic games coming to town). Many houses in the Hutong do not have running water or sanitary facilities, which is why you can find many public bathrooms, which you can identify from the outside with closed eyes ..;-). However, even many inhabitants might be happy to be resettled in a more modern appartment in the future, the architecture and lifestyle you find there is part of China's culture. The interwined small houses and yards, round doors and typical roof shapes reflect the atmosphere of former day Beijing and represent the living conditions commonly found in the smaller countryside towns.
Typical stores you can find:
- small bakeries
- small hair cutter businesses
- vegetable selling
- tiny supermarkets with everyday products
- liquor and cigarette stores
- coal sellers
- bike repair shops
- public telephone kiosks
- clothes stores
- tourist shops
most important: the people who live there.
Some very interesting information on the history of Beijings Hutongs can be found at the URL below.
Address: Hutongs south of Tian-an-men-Square
Directions: At the southern end of Tian an men Square there is a big Mc Donalds. If you stand in fron to this Mc Donald just south of it starts a big Beijing Hutong area. Enter the dark and not too promising looking small street to the right of the Mc Donalds.
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