Each of us has his own understanding and feeling to the Hutong area of Beijing Whether you are a Beijinger or a stranger here. What tour for this traditional narrow lane is your favorite way? Maybe latter this city trip will give an answer to you. Mostly the Hutong of Beijing, the layout is from west to east or from south to north which is straight toward the direction. The city founders constituted the narrow lanes all by the very strict rules. The formation and development of hutongs in Beijing can be traced back of history about 800 years, which reflect the different humanistic amorous feelings in Yuan Dynasty.
Hutong is a Mongolian word which means water well. In the Yuan Dynasty, water for people’s daily life is the most important thing. So when locals in Beijing lived all around the water well. Until now, one can still find dry wells in Hutongs and they have become representatives of Beijing’s culture and history.
Today’s tour of Beijing is the cycling around the old and traditional lane, which name is Yandaixie Street, also named as Tobacco Pipe Lane, is one of the oldest streets in Beijing. Riding on the bicycle, I wandered from one shop to the other one. All of them are with different styles: famous calligraphy and painting before; some snacks; unique souvenirs full of ethnic flavor. In a crowded and narrow street, travelers from different part of China even the world are so exciting for the new things or some very special and tiny decorations. Yandaixie Street has become a channel which connects the ancient Beijing and present Beijing. When you have a short trip here, you would like stay longer to have small and special things in the ethnic shops. Along with the development, this street now takes a new look after reconstruction. Various bars and cafes are opened here which attract lots of tourists from in China and abroad. Tour for Hutong area, maybe let you think about the rickshaws. But here you would like more free time yourself for your own small tour.
In the past, lanes in Beijing have their own layout and structure but today I really like this narrow and small street. It is a epitome of old Beijing city and it is a story teller to give you a vivid folktale to all the tourist during they enjoy their tour in Beijing.
In the twisted lanes one can experience the life of the ancient Beijing people. The bathrooms and public toilets can be found in these lanes. Shops sell all kinds of goods that satisfy the local people’s daily needs. It is just like a community. Gossiping in these lanes is a common scene as it is the main way for people to strengthen their relationship. These lanes have witnessed the development of Beijing. Where there is such a lane, there is a story.
In addition, Yandaixie Street is a unique and well decorated Hutong in Beijing and their shops hidden in these lanes, especially for some special ethnic ones which can give customers a feeling of traveling back in time.