Hutongs 1

In Beijing, hutongs are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences.  The number of Beijing hutongs has dropped dramatically since the 1950’s as they were demolished to make way for new roads and taller buildings. More recently, some hutongs have been designated as protected areas in an attempt to preserve this aspect of Chinese cultural history. (Wikipedia)

Where we entered this set of hutongs. There were cars parked here but only scooters, bicycles and motorcycles in the narrow lanes.

Where we entered this set of hutongs. There were cars parked here but only scooters, bicycles and motorcycles in the narrow lanes.

One attraction of the hutongs is also that they are at a human scale, whereas the 22 storey condo or apartment buildings throughout the rest of China are not.  Hence, a visit to a hutong is a must for a Chinese tour and a visit to a brand new apartment tower is not.

Small industry among the houses.

Small industry among the houses.

Bicycle portrait #1

Bicycle portrait #1

Bicycle portrait #2.  Nice that the bike colour matches the pipes on the wall.

Bicycle portrait #2. Nice that the bike colour matches the pipes on the wall.

Some homes are now bed and breakfasts.  We had a tour of one (not this one) and got to ask the owner questions, but I did not take photos inside.

Some homes are now bed and breakfasts. We had a tour of one (not this one) and got to ask the owner questions, but I did not take photos inside.

In the commercial area at the edge of a canal, a cotton candy vendor. Another colour/B&W comparison shot.

In the commercial area at the edge of a canal, a cotton candy vendor. Another colour/B&W comparison shot.

Hutong 1-2478-2

 

Next post: Shopping and glamour in the Hutongs

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s