Favorite thing: When living in a hutong, you're exposed to some aspects of the locals' daily lives, such as their pets. In this case, I found these 3 furry charmers in the hutong where Red Lantern House (main and west yard) is located.
Thanks guys for your answers!
About the hutongs, do you recommend any in particular, just to walk around do some sightseeing and catch that real China feel in general?
About the restaurants, I've been reading that one should make a reservation. Do you think that also applies in February?
Thanks again :)
Favorite thing: Hutongs are small one-story buildings of variable quality. Around Tianmen square they are quite posh compared too hutongs further away from the center. Around the hotel I stayed in they were pretty run down. A good deal of them will be torn down in a few years. Some people seem to think that this is a shame, because Beijing will loose some of its charm. I'm a bit ambivalent. Seeing how run down most of them are it seems that renovating them might imply tearing them down and rebuilding them again.
Fondest memory: Visit the hutongs, the original way of urban living before modernisation. You will find peculiar sights, curios people and some sad looking buildings. These days they are endangered for they have been ordered for demolition. Complete districts are being bulldozed to make way for new concrete blocks of flats.
Hutongs are lanes or alleys formed by lines of siheyuan (houses around a courtyard) where old Beijing residents live. There used to be thousands of these hutongs, but they are torn down at high speed, in order to replace them for modern apartment buildings. This is said to beautify the city before the olympics in 2008.
Just walk or ride your bicycle through a hutong and absorb the atmosphere.
"Hutong" is a unique form of community that exists only in China, it means a small street or lane between 2courtyards. A courtyard is like a square, rooms are built along the 4 sides of the square.Usually 1 courtyard is only for 1 family to live in. A family may include 2/3 generation.
Fondest memory: Take a trishaw visit Wu Dong.
The Hutongs( small lanes). Those are the old part of the city. The photo shows a Hutong called Rufuli which was pulled down in 1997. The photo was also taken in 1980s
Now they provide the Hutong Tour package, to sit on rackshow and go around in Hutong area where you can visit the homes of old Beijingers.
'Hu tong' (the small residential streets) is definitely one of the most important parts in beijing culture, it represents the traditional side of the city altho they r mostly in the central area (e.g. behind the forbidden city). if u have time, take a walk in 'hu tong', especially if u r interested in people-watching. it's a pity that with the progress of the re-constructions of the city, some 'hu tong' has been replaced by commercial building or new apartment buildings, but u can still catch some sights ;)
Fondest memory: as i grow up in this city, i have to say beijing has its own unique attraction and i do miss it when im away. although in some tourists' eyes it's bit dirty, but the local people r very friendly and VERY chatty (we got reputation here, hehe...). walking along the river around forbidden city at dusk, the soft golden colour covers the roofs of this old palace.. u feel like u r part of the history as well, of this old city~
Favorite thing: Hutongs and quadrangles in them where I had been living in for years. Quite, beautiful and says so much about Chinese personality. There are still many in Beijing among the modern buildings. Don't just rush through one of hutongs, slower your steps, stroll into any of the quadrangles, try to have a nice chat with ordinary people there, you would touch a real Beijing.
Let Walk the city!. The streets are colorfull and the people is warm.You can discover a hughe world in the Hutongs.
Fondest memory: You will miss the 'Silk Market' like me. The hours passed walking, chatting and buying in this market are the most incredible experience I had since my travel to the ancient Medina in Caasblanca (Maroc). After that, a walk around the Forbidden City.
See the great wall and walk or bike through the old neighbourhoods (Hutons) and markets. Some old Hutons: just east of the forbidden city and in the region of the Bell tower and the Drum tower.
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Fondest memory: The food. Ask for an assortment of chinese food and your whole table is put full of the niceast variety you could imagine.