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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Beijing Culture  »  Folklore  »  
Beijing Hutong Culture

Hutong culture (胡同文化) is one representative of Beijing culture. “Hutong” is the transliteration of Mongolian language. Hutong was the production of Yuan Dynasty, so it hitherto was over 700 years old. Beijing Hutong is not only a passageway for traffics, but also the important stage that presented the development of Beijing history and culture. It is just like a folk museum collecting the change of history and the townscape of time and recording the memory of social life.

Beijing Hutong, with a width no more than 9 meters, all goes toward east and west. They link one by one just as a block of Toufu, no crooked no skew. At first glance, Beijing Hutong seems to be alike, however, it is not the case. As long as you spend some time wandering several Hutong and chanting with those old residents, you will find that every Hutong has its own story and contains romantic experiences.

The names of Beijing Hutong are multifarious, named after figures, goods, Beijng dialects, etc., for example, Prime Minister of Wen Hutong, Golden Fish Hutong, Menhulu Hutong, and so on. The longest Hutong are Dongjiaominxiang and Xijiaominxiang with a length of 6.5 km. The shortest is no longer than 10 meters. The narrowest is Qianshi Hutong in Da Zha Lan, Qianmen, only 0.75 meters width.

The development of Beijing Hutong is based on the evolution of Beijing city. About 500,000 years ago, primitive man inhabited in this place in natural cave. From the appearance of clan commune to Song Dynasty, Beijing was established as city for thousands of years, however, Hutong did not appear. In 1276 in Song Dynasty, officer and nobles built up houses and courtyards inside Beijing city, which were linked up in rows. The passways among them were Hutong in today.

Nanluogu Xiang Hutong
Nanluogu Xiang Hutong is the only one that is preserved well and filled with the flavor of ancient Beijing. With a length of 787 meters and a width of 8 meters, Nanluogu Xiang starts from Gulou East St. in the north and end in Pingan St. in the south. It is one of the oldest Hutong in Beijing with a history of more than 740 years. It was once the city center in Yuan Dynasty and in Ming and Qing Dynasties, it was a place of luxury. The palaces and mansions around was beyond count. Today, the alleyway is filled with bars, cafes, restaurants, artsy little shops, souvenir shops and cute boutiques.

Smoke-bag slanting street
Smoke-bag slanting street, 232 meters long, connects Dianmenwai St. in the east and Xiaoshibei Hutong in the West. It is a celebrated cultural stree. Architectures on both sides of the street are decorated in Ming and Qing style.


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