Monday, November 29, 2010

Beijing hutongs

Sometimes we just need to get out of our city (a fairly dreary NorthEastern Industrial city of 8 million) and go to Beijing!  We love Beijing with its brightness and variety of people and activities.  By fast train, it is four hours away and the subway line is fantastic.  Our finances were quite tight this trip so we were looking for free and cheap things to do.
We stayed at the Far East Youth Hostel which is right in the middle of an old hutong.  A hutong is an old Beijing or  neighborhood and are endlessly fascinating.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hutong
We walked around the hutongs and took some pictures.


People live and work in these neighborhoods.  There were many narrow alleyways like this one.  Many homes don't have plumbing or running water.  The homes are tiny.


Another alleyway.


Brooms for sale.  Made of plants.


Breakfast!  Delicious boazi!  This cute girl insisted that she was too ugly for a picture.  We thought otherwise.


View from our hotel window.


Brooms on top of trash.


There is almost no service that can't be found in China.


Blind man performing on a traditional Chinese instrument.


T-shirts designed for the tourist market.  This isn't political commentary!


Statue outside of a medicine shop.


Tea pot outside a tea-shop.


It's hard to tell from so far away but he has given her a dumpling to taste and is anxiously awaiting her approval.


Chopstick store.



Part of the hutong has been made into expensive, upper end stores.  See the Starbucks on the left?


1 comment:

chan4031 said...

Great photos!

For more info on hutongs, take a look at the following fascinating blog post written by a laowai who actually rented and lived in an apartment in a hutong.

http://www.transparent.com/chinese/hutong-livin/