Thursday, June 09, 2011

China Report, Part 3: Visit to a Hutong

I never, ever thought I would ride in a bicycle trishaw.  Having some poor man peddle my hefty carcass around town seems to be just too much to ask of any human.  I mean, my legs work fine!  I know it is the man's job, and all those arguments, but it just feels wrong to me.  Since this outing was part of our package tour, and since it was obvious that these gentlemen do really earn their living by carting people through the narrow streets of this old neighborhood of Beijing, I want along.  I'm glad I did, too, as it was great fun.

The driver was surprising speedy.

The start of our tour was along this lake, part of a park.  Where, you ask, is this park located and where is this neighborhood you visited?  I haven't a clue.  It was very pretty and not too terribly far from our hotel, but where exactly?  Don't know.  Don't know the name of the hutong, don't know the name of the park, don't know much!

Oh, I do know what a hutong's a narrow street or alley in the old parts of Chinese towns, the way things used to be.  Too narrow, mostly, for cars.  And that explains the bicycle trishaw businesses.

This is a Mongolian Hot Pot restaurant.  The enormous copper hot pot out front was a dead giveaway!

The Chinese government is helping people refurbish their old style houses in about 40 separate neighborhoods in Beijing, as part of program to preserve some of the old style homes.  This house is in the midst of the process.

A bicycle remains the easiest way to get around the narrow alleys of the hutong.

Many of the houses were still sporting good luck decorations from the Chinese New Year and looked very festive.

Love the mail in the door!

Oh, wait!  I DO know something!  Here's the name of the hutong we visited!

Don't you just love the "smile" on this gate pull?

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