"Beijing Hutongs" Hutongs Tip by cpim2004
Hutongs, Beijing: 73 reviews and 164 photos
Street and Hutongs
How many hutongs are there in Beijing? Old local residents have a saying: ?There are 360 large hutongs and as many small hutongs as there are hairs on an ox.? Laid out in a chessboard pattern which was established as early as the Ming Dynasty, these hutongs cross?cut the city into tiny squares. In those days the capital was divided into the eastern, western, northern, southern and central districts, with a total of 33 neighborhoods, divided again into hutongs.
At present, there are about 4,550 hutongs, the broadest over four meters wide and the smallest -- the eastern part of Dongfu? an Hutong, a mere 70 cm across -- just wide enough for a single person to traverse. Although the city has changed a great deal over the last 500 years, the hutongs remain much the same as during Ming and Qing times.
Beijing?s best known hutongs are of three types: centers of government offices, residential areas for nobles and officials, and old markets.
Address: shishahai lake area
Directions: Start from the north entrance to Beihai Park by old-fashioned pedicab to the picturesque Shishahai Lake area.
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