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Impressive Half Day Hutong Tour

This is my second time to Beijing and I absolutely have a wonderful trip. Today is my last travel day in Beijing. In the morning I cleared up my luggage and at 1:30 pm began my half day hutong walking tour. Thanks a lot to my knowledgeable English speaking tour guide. I learnt so much about the history of ancient Beijing during this short trip.

The tour began at Shichahai area. With very quiet and comfortable environment, we visited the former residences. Then walk to the 300-year old courtyard nearby for a half an hour visit. This courtyard is a private residence of the Zhu family. It can be dated to the Ming dynasty and it is also one of the most complete existing courtyards in Beijing. As the name implies, these courts are formed by inward—facing houses on four sides, closed in by enclosure walls. The quadrangle uses the brick stone as ink, paper and records of the traditional Chinese concept of family and lifestyle.

Beijing Bell Tower

During the walking tour, I was happy to see a symbol of ancient buildings – Bell and Drum Tower. The Bell Tower bell was very impressive, but I was more impressed with the Tea house at the base of the tower. The Drum Tower was also very impressive, with a great demonstration of the drums and a great view south to the back end of the Forbidden City. The tour guide told me that Bell and Drum Tower is a public pavilion building in ancient China. The bell and drum were originally ancient musical instruments, and later used for timekeeping purposes.

On the way back, I got the chance to walk through Yinding Bridge, a narrow channel joining Qianhai Lake and the Houhai Lake; Tobacco Pipe Lean Street, a quaint 800-year-old hutong located directly north of Yinding Bridge. The name of it also has a legend as well.

About 5:30 pm I got back to my hotel, and then I found my legs have become feeble. I really need to do some exercises. After three days trip, I have to say goodbye to Beijing. I really enjoy my trip here. Thank you very much to beijinglandscapes.