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Hutong Tour

* The best window to see and experience the daily life of Beijing.  
History: More 900 years old
Distance from downtown: 0 km
Entrance fee: 0
Open Hours: All possible time
* Address:  Many 
* Best visiting time: All year around

Hutong Tour
Hutong Tour
Hutong Tour
Hutong Tour
Hutong Tour
Hutong Tour
Hutong Tour
Hutong Tour
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 Hutongs  (lanes and alleys)  are the old traditional alleyways and courtyard homes which once covered all Beijing. Many still survive today and are pleasant to walk or bike through. Not much has changed and you can see how people lived in the past. 

 
In the past, princes', generals' and ministers' housed with courtyards were scattered around the outside of the Forbidden City. Linking up those courtyard houses were lanes and alleys called hutongs. The word "hutong" probably came into use during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), as it is a Mongolian word, meaning "well". These residential areas were so called because where there is a well, there are people living nearby. As a result,the original famous quadrangle in Beijing the hutong has become a part of Beijing life and now is an informal symbol of the city. Inside Prince Gong's Mansion there is an ancient well, and exhibits allowing visitors to understand more about hutongs.
 
As the symbol of the city, a hutong has its own layout and structure, which makes it a wonder in the world. When taking a bird's eye view of the city, you will find the combination of hutongs and courtyards just like an orderly chessboard with delicate gardens, fine rockeries, and ancient ruins. They have witnessed the development of the city. Where there is such a small lane, there is a story.
 
Among the numerous ones in Beijing, Beixinqiao Hutong has the most turns. There are more than 20 in which you can easily get lost. The narrowest is Qian Shi (Money Market) Hutong, measuring about 30 to 40 meters (32 to 44 yards), located in Zhubao Shi Street outside the Front Gate. The narrowest part is merely 40 centimeters (16 inches) wide, so when two people meet, they must turn sideways to pass each other. The longest one is Dong Jiaomin Hutong, with a total length of 6.5 kilometers (4 miles), lying between Chang'an Avenue and East Street and West Street of the Front Gate. The shortest one is Guantong Hutong measuring only about 30 meters (33 yards).
 
 
When visiting a traditional family courtyard home. The family will greet you, serve tea and show you through their home. Your guide will explain the cultural and historic significance of various aspects.
 

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