Tag Archives: hutong

AtW #48: Nitai Deitel from The Hutong

Nitai works at The Hutong, a cultural exchange center based in Beijing, China. We discussed the types of trips he runs through the Hutong, ranging from Great Wall excursions to bicycling around Yunnan province.

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Around the World #43: Talking North Korea with Jeremiah Jenne

Tensions have been rising on the Korean peninsula. What are our options?

My guest Jeremiah Jenne is a historian based in Beijing. He has been to North Korea multiple times, including just a few weeks ago (I have been there as well). Jeremiah laid out three potential military strategies for the US to intervene in North Korea; unfortunately, all of these options are various shades of terrible. He also talked about diplomatic strategies, which also are controversial and risky.

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Gubeikou Part 2, The Hutong Edition

Last week, the friendly folks at The Hutong invited me to return to Gubeikou (古北口, or “Ancient North Pass”), a section of the Great Wall of China about two hours northwest of Beijing. Jeremiah and Simon, the trip's leaders, brought a wealth of knowledge of this region's history and natural setting. They did a great job of explaining the circumstances that led to the wall's construction in the 16th century. When I went to Gubeikou without a guide, I simply hiked on the wall. But this time, I could really envision Manchu armies invading from the north, and Chinese troops taking positions to defend their homeland.

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AtW #37: Never Lose Your Passport!

My guest today is Moisés Santiago. We touched on a variety of topics, including being a teacher in China, spaying your cat (not for the faint of heart), staying calm in stressful situations, and the importance of maintaining possession of your passport while traveling abroad. It turns out that both of us have had the pleasure of losing our passport, though his experience had significantly worse consequences than mine.

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Beijing Hutongs, Part III

On a crisp autumn afternoon, I went for another walk around Beijing's hutongs, this time near the Drum and Bell Towers. I really enjoy walking through these neighborhoods because they give a glimpse into traditional daily life in the modern capital city.

Here are some photos I took during my walk:… Read More »

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.

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Beijing Hutongs, Part 1

Hutongs are northern China's traditional back alley neighborhoods. Their houses are small; their bathrooms are shared. They typically have communal central courtyards. Some hutongs date back to the Ming dynasty of the fifteenth century. In recent decades, many hutongs have been demolished to make way for highrise towers and wide avenues. Only a few have been protected from modern development.

One day while walking around central Beijing, I stumbled upon

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