Beijing Hutongs are a trademark of old and traditional Beijing. These narrow alleyways are linked to form what is known as a siheyuan, or courtyard, that house extended families. While the city has developed and many have moved from living within hutongs to high-rise apartments, there are still some residents living within hutongs, particularly the older generation.
Beijing Hutongs are also a trademark of New Beijing. There are many of which, while retaining the gray brick facades, showcase the trendier, hipper side of Beijing. Wudaoying Hutong is one of them.
Last sunday I visited Wudaoying Hutong by the Lama Temple for the first time. As a frequenter of Houhai and Nanluoguxiang Hutongs, I felt quite at home when walking on the narrow lane of Wudaoying. I found here and there small construction sites implying this lane was undergoing big change or gentrification. Will the unreasonable gentrification fall on Wudaoying? Hopefuly this will not occure, and not follow the road that the empty Qianmen Dajie has taken.
There are many of cafés and shops and more are being built in the lane. The local government has assisted in developing Wudaoying Hutong into a second Nanluoguxiang Hutongs, further protecting and developing hutongs.