Posted by: danielfee | August 1, 2012

Travel Photo of the Day 08-01-2012

Pedicabs – Beijing, China

Hutongs – Beijing, China

Hutong Entry Door

 

Hutong Courtyard

 

Mr Liu – Beijing, China

 

Mr Liu performing

 

Beijing is known for its wide avenues, vast squares and huge palaces. But there is a much smaller scale and unique portion of the city that is a must visit. Beijing’s hutongs are a mesh of narrow lanes and residences which for centuries  were the standard housing in the city. Hutongs are honeycombed with four-walled communal courtyards that are surrounded on four sides by houses. Often they are clustered or strung together where the whole community lives. Many of the hutongs were torn down for expansion and the need to increase housing density. However, the city has recognized the value of preserving some of these areas. These pockets of hutongs can be found around the city. We visited the area around the Drum Tower. The best way to get around is take one of the pedicabs. You will have no problem finding one. We had a local guide with our group who pointed out the various social status of each residence based on the number of stars above the entry doors. The number of stars ranged from 1 to 5, with 1 being the lower class, 2 and 3 for middle class and 4 and 5 for those in the upper class of society. We had the opportunity to visit with several of the local residents and to visit a typical courtyard area. Mr Liu, who is a kung-fu master, invited us into his house to show us how the typical middle class family lives. They had a 4 room residence, with the living/dining and kitchen being on the ground level and bedrooms on the second level. Mr Liu and his wife raised two sons here, one of whom is now the head coach at the Houston Gymnastics Academy in Houston, Texas. Obviously he was a very proud father and showed us the warm hospitality of the Chinese people. He gave us short kung-fu demonstration and then displayed his musical talent by playing a song on his erhu (Chinese two-stringed fiddle).

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Responses

  1. Nice.

  2. Reblogged this on cristallyzefotografi and commented:
    nice pic


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