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Listening to Heartbeat of Old Beijing

Nowadays, it is kind of hard to find some traces of old Beijing as numerous old remains are giving way to high-rises and office buildings. So it is really worthwhile to capture the remaining glory of some old neighborhood in Beijing. Gulou Dajie is highly recommended.

Long-last History of Gulou Dajie
Gulou Dajie

Hailed as the heart of the old Beijing, Goulou Dajie still beats vigorously in the bustle and hustle of the metropolis in its own way. The neighborhood stands right next to the bustling Houhai and Drum Tower and Bell Tower, surrounded by traditional courtyards centering around the Drum Tower. Once the old street of Yuan Dynasty, Gulou Dajie boasts as the oldest Hutong neighborhood in Beijing, which has witnessed a series of street widening project. The street is lined with several very stylish bars and restaurants. Around the centuries-old Drum and Bell towers, there are a large number of hidden courtyard homes, fruit shops, kebab stands and trendy cafes and bars. The old street has long been hailed as a window into the glorious past of old Beijing. With a long-last history and wide-spread reputation in Beijing, Gulou Dajie is well worth a visit! With a leisurely wander down the street, you will get a sense of the old Beijing.

Features of the old Gulou Dajie
Gulou Dajie

Wandering along the street, you will see many old locals in red armbands volunteering to monitor the neighborhood; a couple of men having lunch while drinking Baijiu (white liquor) and a woman touting for selling souvenirs. This narrow alleyways filled Gulou stretches a wide 12.94 hectares in the middle of the metropolis of China, hailed as one of the oldest neighborhoods, offering a glimpse into the glorious past of old Beijing. Though poorly facilitated, as many of the courtyard homes are not adequately plumbed and heated, Gulou Dajie struggles with the threat of the urgent demands of the modern development. With the historical value of this neighborhood, Gulou Dajie has been regarded as Beijing Time Cultural City. As the heart of Old Beijing, Gulou Dajie survives in the process of rapid development of the city. But for how long? Over the recent years, many Hutongs have been torn down by the wrecking ball for renovation. There goes a famous saying - Beijing can be transformed into New York in five decades, but it would take New York 5,000 years to become a city like Beijing.

Anyway, you really should put Gulou on your bucket list while traveling the world!