The view down a hutong in Beijing

Through a Beijing Hutong

Posted on Posted in China Travel

Beijing is famous for its Hutongs, which are old neighborhoods with narrow streets and winding alleyways. They stand in stark contrast to Beijing’s mile-wide streets and squares that characterize Beijing government areas.


A few weeks ago I wandered through a Hutong near Dongzhimen – here are the pictures of places and people I met along the way.

This guy was my favorite – I asked if I could take a picture of him, and his reaction was, “of course!”

Since he seemed surprised at the question, I explained that as a blond girl in China, many people take pictures of me and very few bother to ask my permission beforehand. Since he was sitting outside half naked, drinking some baijiu and eating watermelon, I figured I would extend the curtesy.

An old man drinking in a hutong


I was enthralled by the doorways – they remind you of the history that these Hutongs hold. You can also wander down pretty  much anywhere you want. If you aren’t careful you might end up in an old Beijinger’s living room.

A hutong doorway


The mom didn’t notice me take the picture, but the toddler on her back certainly did!



The Beijing Hutongs are certainly gorgeous to talk through, but sometimes you just need to take a nap instead.


If you find yourself looking for something awesome to eat, look no further than Palms L.A., a Mexican-Korean fusion place in  Hutong near Gulou. I got the kimchi quesedilla, and it was fantastic!

14 Zhangwang Hutong, Xicheng District; 西城区 张旺胡同14


Leave a comment with other cool things you have done or seen in Beijing China.
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