Hutong, the original Beijing scene.
Whenever I have the fortune to stay in Beijing, I always make it a priority to go explore one of Beijing’s many hutongs. This was also the case when I went to visit China in September 2017.
My understanding of hutongs is limited. In general, hutongs are the traditional Beijing style residences with all apartments sharing one garden. Once plentiful, many were destroyed in the past few decades to make way for bigger and better apartment buildings. People then realized the significance of hutongs and started protecting them. Then over the past decade, the creative folks ended up turning these hutongs into their creative space and into boutique stores. Now there are several “gentrified” hutongs around Beijing that are huge tourist attractions. After the success of the first few gentrified hutongs, many other hutongs were renovated.
I love how hutongs marry the old Chinese traditional architecture with modern aspects. The gardens of the hutongs that were turned into businesses have this wonderful charm about them. Seeing how the hutongs develop in Beijing is also an indication of how the creative field in China is developing and what consumers are currently looking for.
This time my friend took me to one of the less well known hutongs called Wudaoying (五道营). It’s mainly made of a single lane and it’s close to the Confucius Temple. Wudaoying was definitely way less crowded than the other hutongs I’ve visited before but it’s no less charming.
Pictures to convince you to go check out Wudaoying Hutong
Look at all these wonderful delights I managed to catch:
I can’t wait to go back to Beijing in the near future to explore more hutongs! Have you ever visited a hutong in Beijing before? Which one is your favourite?