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Hutongs are lanes with courtyard houses and form a skeleton of old Beijing. Building of them was started during Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) as comfortable houses for the mandarins and other residents. But later on the VIPs moved to residences and gardens outside the city, and the courtyards are taken over by poorer people.

Hutongs are lanes with courtyard houses and form a skeleton of old Beijing. Building of them was started during Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) as comfortable houses for the mandarins and other residents. But later on the VIPs moved to residences and gardens outside the city, and the courtyards are taken over by poorer people.

They lived there for hundreds of years in their own court world in big families, but also in good neighborhood together in their quarters, until the government in its modernism mania sent their machines to tear down the houses over their owners’ heads. Few of them are left it seems that they are saved now, because government needs them, to show tourists a special kind of life in old Beijing.

So, if you find the way and take time to walk around the lanes, you can feel this special leisurely life.
To describe, were you can find Hutongs in Beijing is quite difficult, because as I wrote, most of them are destroyed in between. Beijing’s historical centre had a central axis from north to south, and if you have a look at the map, you can see very straight little lanes to the right and the left of this axis. These are all those streets that have once been Huntong Quarters. I found “mine” close to the Bell and Drum Towers, but a good tip is, to look for places with a lot of red bicycle-rikschas, as the lanes are too small, to go around by car, and if you walk on your own, you don’t find the most interesting places. The rikscha drivers will show you for less money the quarters, and stop, where-ever you want.

written by camerao

2 comments

  1. saidseni

    saidseni

    Great lomolocation. Lomo on!

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  2. neja

    neja

    I have been there! amazing place for taking lomo pictures

    over 3 years ago · report as spam

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