Hutong Tours

Hutong refers to the typical narrow streets or alleys formed by lines of siheyuan, traditional courtyard residences. It is the winding Beijing hutongs other than the high-rise buildings and skyscrapers that are more attractive to those who travel here to fathom the real old Beijing and the local life. Hutongs first became common hundreds of years ago and has become the symbol of ancient Beijing. The word "Hutong" comes originally from Mongolian language, but has been adapted into the Chinese language. Hutong means "water wells" originally in Mongolian. Formed by lines of joint Siheyuan one to another, the traditional courtyard, hutong aslo refers to such neighbourhoods sometimes. There used to be thousands of hutongs, lanes, alleys and courtyards in Beijing, forming the residential areas for local people. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, emperors planned the Beijing city and arranged the living areas according to the social status; therefore in the past the Forbidden City was surrouned by numerous quatrangles, Siheyuan, and the traditional courtyards and hutongs.
The number of Beijing hutongs has dropped dramatically because they were demolished to give way for new roads and building due to the urban development and planning. But they still account for one third of the city space and house roughly half of the population. The government now has realized the importance of Beijing hutong in the local culture and its charm and has designated lots of funds to help the locals to renovated and reenforced their courtyards. Nowadays there're 25 Beijing hutong preserving areas, which help to preserve the Beijing hutong and preventthe hutong culture vanishing in the history. You can stroll along the wide or narrow hutongs, or take a rickshaw hutong tour, and what's better is that you can visit the local families. The Forbidden City and the Summer Palace can show you the place where the Emperors and their families lived, but only the Hutong can let you know the life of the common people in Beijing. For this reason, the Hutong tours, by rickshaw, have become a popular site for the tourists. Here's some guide information of Beijing hutongs: Tickets: free for visiting  Opening hours: every day   Contact number: +86 10 85968802

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Question:How many hutongs are there still exsiting in Beijing right now? Where is the most famous hutong area for visit in Beijing? How do tourists usually take the hutong tour?

Answer:1/ There are roughly 2000 hutongs left in Beijing now. 2/ The most famous hutong area in Beijing is called “Houhai” (Back Lakes) or “Shichahai” in Chinese. 3/ The best way for tourists to visit hutong is to take a rickshaw Hutong Tour and visit local families-Beijing traditonal courtyard.