VIII – Exploring the Hutongs and its tiny houses…

Some door knockers were amazing!

The next item on my list was exploring the Hutongs – “narrow streets or alleys” in the North East neighbourhood of Beijing. In fact, these small alleys are formed by lines of traditional, tiny houses with courtyards. There’s really not a lot of space! It’s one of the must-see in Beijing according to Lonely Planet.

A street in the famous Hutong area.

Entrance to the courtyard of a residence.

Vampire in Beijing ?!?

Strangest place I've seen so far...

Sadly, many of the old Hutongs have been demolished, and replaced by boulevards and appartement buildings with modern amenities. It’s really a shame! But apparently, the government is taking some actions to preserve the Chinese culture & history of Hutongs. And thus, some areas are now designated as protected, and can’t be demolished anymore.

It’s actually the case for the several hundred years old Hutongs in the vicinity of the Bell and Drum Tower and Shichahai Lake.

A Hutong in Beijing...

Art shops in the Hutong.

Entrance to a residence in a Hutong.

Tiny houses, tiny cars!

Of course, with my good luck...it's closed!!

The bell and drum were originally used as musical instruments in China.

The Drum tower close-up.

Afterward, however, they were used for telling time. The bell is made of copper, and I can assure you can hear it from far away, a round, loud and clear sound!

This area is really crowded, it’s really popular with Chinese tourists!

The Drum Tower close-up.

The Bell Tower, a 33-meter-high edifice with gray walls and a green glazed roof.

Tourists usually take a pedicab to do a tour of the Hutongs.

Zhōnglóu, the bell tower of Beijing, stands closely behind the drum tower.Of course, with my good luck...it's closed!!The Drum Tower is a two-story building made of wood with a height of 47 meters. In ancient times the upper story of the building housed 24 drums, of which only one survives.

A good walk around the lake!

You can actually do a tour of the Shichahai Lake in pedicabs. I chose to do it by foot…a bit of exercise won’t hurt after all I’ve eaten lately!

It was a (cold), blue sky day and I had a great playlist music, so I was all set up for a good long walk around the Hutongs! Just a perfect day!

It was a (cold), blue sky day.

Another small bridge

Sunny day!

Very small benches

You can see the roofs of the Drum & Bell Towers.

Silver Ingot Bridge, separating Houhai and Qianhai lakes. There are many hutongs in the area.Close-up view of the bridge.

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