People say that the real culture of Beijing is “the culture of hutong” and “the culture of courtyard”. As the symbol of Beijing City, a hutong has its own layout and structure, which makes it a wonder in the world.
People in Beijing used to live in small and narrow streets called “Hutong”. In one Hutong there were manySiheyuans 四合院. In old times, one Siheyuan was a home of a whole family.
Because of their location within the city, many Hutongs were unfortunately reconstructed into wide,busy streets. However, you will still be able to find some old Hutongs around Qianhai 前海 or also called Shishahai 什刹海and Houhai 后海. (Which is north of Beihai 北海.)
If you would like to have a glimpse into Beijing’s Yesterday, you are highly recommended to have a short adventure trip to the Hutongs (old alleyways or siheyuan, the traditional courtyard residences).