Beijing China History

Local Colour

One of Beijing’s lesser-known historical attractions are its Hutongs surrounding the Forbidden City which I visited (when lost) on my way to Beihai Park. These fascinating ancient residential areas are made up of narrow alleyways with traditional buildings arranged in closely packed quadrangles. As if looking through a window onto a lost world you get the feeling of stepping back in time here (even the locals look authentically old!), but still within sight of the icons of modernity that dominate Beijing’s skyline.

DSC_3126
DSC_3131
DSC_3138
DSC_3146
DSC_3149
DSC_3151
DSC_3856
DSC_3887
DSC_3888
DSC_3890
DSC_3893
DSC_3895
DSC_4164
DSC_4166
DSC_4168
DSC_4169
DSC_4171
DSC_4180
DSC_4182
DSC_4186
DSC_4189
DSC_4190
DSC_4191
DSC_4192
DSC_4193
DSC_4198
DSC_4200
DSC_4201
DSC_4344
DSC_4345
DSC_4346
DSC_4347
DSC_4348

Unfortunately, many Hutongs are being systematically destroyed but luckily some are now designated protected areas. Still, as seems to be the general case in China: Out with the old, in with the new…

Author

Originally from the UK, David is designer and wanderer currently based in Kamakura. Prior to this, he lived in China and still returns frequently to continue exploring this vast and varied land. He started Randomwire in 2003 to chronicle his travels and occasional musings. Feel free to drop him a line.

4 Comments Add New Comment

  1. David says:

    Oh wow, those photos are a lot better that mine – they look like they came from a different area to the one I visited. Definitely worth another visit I think!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.