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Impressive Short Hutong Bike Tour

Last summer I had a two day short tour in Beijing and have already visited the famous attractions like: Badaling Great Wall, Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Summer Palace. Since I am very interested in Beijing Hutong culture and want to personally experience the traditional life of ancient Beijing so I choose Half Day Hutong Bike Tour.

The tour began at 1:30 pm and the first destination is the courtyard around the beautiful Shichahai. My English speaking tour guide explained its history, its layout, its Fengshui, and its traditional Chinese culture involved, thus I have a detailed explanation of the old courtyard (Siheyuan) and the Chinese culture and life. Then we bike through the narrow hutongs with more than 300 years. We arrived at Yandaixiejie - a quaint 800-year-old hutong located directly north of Yinding Bridge between Qianhai and Houhai and the south of the Drum Tower, used to be well-known for sellers of long-stemmed pipes, hence the name.

Drum Tower

While on the way back, we bike through the ancient symbol of Beijing – Drum Tower. The two-story tower is sure to bring you back to the old Beijing by seeing the big drum tower and having bird's eye view of the surrounding communities of hutongs and siheyuan. During the trip, I saw many rickshaws through the zigzag hutongs.

However the place I like best during the half day tour is Shichahai. It is said that Shichahai is the place best preserved with old Beijing style in the capital city where surrounded by many of the palaces and gardens, such as well preserved Christine Prince Residence, Prince Chun Residence, etc., the former residences of Soong Ching Ling and Guo Moruo also situated next to Shichahai. This area is also the original old Beijing's main business activity area. After hundreds of years of development, Shichahai accumulated different level of life culture up to the royal, literati and down to the ordinary people. The alley and courtyards here show the customs and culture of old Beijing, formed the composition of the old Beijing's history.

At present, along the lake shore, many modern bars are set up, which are good sites of entertainment and leisure. This night I will visit one of them to experience Beijing Nightlife. I hope I will enjoy a wonderful time there.