Imperial China, The Yangtze River & Tibet
May, 2007 an OAT Tour

Imperial China Today - The Hutong,
a Neighborhood Enclave

Looking down on the cramped housing of a Hutong

Beijing is quickly becoming a modern city at the expense of the old neighborhood enclaves known as Hutongs. Originally the Hutong may have been a walled single family home surrounded by a courtyard. As space became scares and more family members moved in the courtyard became smaller and smaller. The walls provided privacy and "kept out spirits" because they are unable to "turn corners." After the Communist Revolution all land, but not necessarily the homes on it, became the property of the state. Thus the government frequently moved nonfamily members into the homes when a family member died. The Hutongs are an integral part of Beijing life and create a tangled town of narrow streets and alleys. unfortunately hundreds of these neighborhoods are being destroyed to build the 2008 Olympic and other modern living facilities. Our group visited the home of an aritist in a Hutong neighborhood.

Location of the neighborhood Hutong is clearly marked.      Narrow streets lead to a Hutong

An outdoor kitchen.      Hire your own rickshaw driver.

Groups of tourists ride through streets too narrow for automobiles      Our hosts show us their home in the Hutong.  It used to be occupied only by members of the family but the governement moved strangers in.

Small living room of our host.      We are invited to tea and dumplings. Fran tries her hand at making a dumpling

All that is left of a large courtyard      Fake imitation Rolex watches, two for $5, sold everywhere.

Street repairs done the old fashion way.      A small river runs through the neighbood shopping district

Carrying your sofa home on a bicycle.      A resident of the neighborhood

Rickshaw rides along the river.      Board games are a popular pass time.

Fresh food is available from the street vendors      An artist paints caulk pictures on the sidewalk with an ancient writing brush.

Index to all China 2007 Adventures:

The following pages are still under construction
so be patient and come back to watch its growth.

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This page was created by Bob "Belli" Frazee

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