Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hutong of Beijing

  • Hutong

  • Hutongs are a type of narrow streets or alleys, commonly associated with northern Chinese cities, most prominently Beijing. In Beijing, hutongs are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences. Wikipedia

  • Hutongs were systematically demolished to make way for urban renewal, then suddenly Beijing woke up to the fact that hutongs had historical value and could attract tourists, so they preserved some hutongs as shown in the part coloured blue.

  • we went to this one, opened specially for tourists like us
  • our tour guides Lily and Jackson led us through the narrow roads

  •  nice walk, cold and nippy!
     I wasn't in the least bit cold, I wore my usual Malaysian garb
     lots of locals and local tourists
     posing at some nice alleyways, the entrance to courtyard houses
     lots of things to eat and see too

    and souvenirs to buy:
    at last, Hong got his cap for 10 yuan

    This cap is a hit with us!!!

    Jenn even got the T shirt!

    So, we continued our walk along the hutong

     lots of trishaws, we were to take a ride in one later on

    (Guloudajie Road into one of Beijing's few remaininghutong neighborhoods, with narrow alleys and single story traditional courtyard houses. Hutongs once dominated the city, but in recent years many have been leveled in the name of modernization. Trishaw drivers hang around offering tours)

     some parts of the hutong were scenic with weeping willows
     there were high walls and parked cars

    modern cars are parked very close to the wall, and the passenger has to climb out through the driver's seat!!!
     these walls do not look ancient, they look like replicas for tourists

    (Since the mid-20th century, the number of Beijing hutongs has dropped dramatically as they are demolished to make way for new roads and buildings. More recently, some hutongs have been designated as protected areas in an attempt to preserve this aspect of Chinese cultural history.)

     hutongs look busy, but a lot of the crowd are visitors with some locals

     nice hutong, even if it had been restored and made safe for visitors

  • a rest for tired feet and waiting for stragglers

  • it ended with a canal and bars along the water, for you to 

  • chill out with a pinta

  • Beng did not want to go for dinner, he wanted to have happy

  •  hour at the pub!

  • On the way back, I photobombed his selfie!!!!

  • No comments: