Beijing China History

Local Colour

One of Beijing’s lesser know historical attractions are it’s 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 on to 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 which dominate Beijing’s skyline.

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Unfortunately some Hutongs were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution but luckily many are now designated protected areas. Still, as seems to be the general case in China: out with the old, in with the new…

Originally from the UK, David is designer and wanderer currently based in Tokyo. 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. 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!

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