Beijing Hutongs, Part II

Are you planning a trip to Beijing? If so, then make sure you include a visit to a hutong in your itinerary. These shared-housing neighborhoods offer a fantastic real-life glimpse at traditional Chinese culture. Unfortunately, many of Beijing's hutongs have been leveled in favor of apartment towers, but a few have received historical status, protecting them from demolition. Here are some pictures I took during a recent visit to the hutongs of Beijing's Lake District.

Picture of crowded street.

The Lake District is a traditional neighborhood in central Beijing.

Picture of Bell Tower.

In ancient times the Bell and Drum Towers were musical instruments and timekeeping devices. Today, they are historical landmarks.

Picture of men.

The locals regularly take strolls through their beloved hutongs.

Picture of mahjong.

Small fortunes are won and lost in games of Mahjong, often played in public parks.

Picture of courtyard.

Doorways leading to central courtyards are sometimes left open.

Picture of door.

Other doors are locked with chains and padlocks.

Picture of workers.

Sanitation workers ride through the hutongs on bicycles...

Picture of trash.

And emerge carrying full loads of trash and recyclables.

Picture of street vendor.

Street food is abundant in the hutongs...

Picture of rickshaw.

As are bicycle rickshaws...

Picture of smoking man.

And smokers...

Picture of performers.

And street performers.

Picture of rubble.

Unfortunately, some of the houses are crumbling...

Picture of construction.

And others are being demolished.

More photos from the Lake District

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