The real culture of Beijing is the culture of the Hutong.They attract more tourists from home and abroad than the high-rise buildings and large mansions of Beijing. We like both so we made sure to see the old and the new.
Hutong is a Mongolian word meaning water well. At about 30 feet wide, it is the name given to a lane or small street that originated during the Yuan Dynasty. Now they have become representatives of Beijing’s culture, and people who like to learn about the local history and culture make sure they visit the hutongs. In the Yuan Dynasty, Mongolians attached great importance to water, so almost every community in the city was designed around a well, which provided the daily water for the locals. We had dinner last night in a Hutong restaurant.
Houhai refers to a lake and its surrounding neighbourhood. Since the early 2000s, the hutong neighborhood around Houhai has become known for its nightlife as many residences along the lake shore have been converted into restaurants, bars, and cafes. The area is especially popular with foreign tourists and is also often visited by the younger generations of locals. It is a really beautiful area at night and we enjoyed an awesome brick wood oven pizza along the water.
There is another AMAZING view that James wanted this time. The hilltop view of the Forbidden City. On a clear day you can see the whole layout.