Hutongs 胡同

On Tuesday, 7th June, I went around the hutongs with one of the Chinese English teacher from school. I met her about 9 am. Hutongs 胡同 are narrow streets or alleys in Beijing and other northern Chinese cities.

It was a very pleasant and interesting day. We started at a Confucius temple, where some dancers came out and a story was told (with English subtitles) and the dancers performed. Next to the temple is the Imperial College, which was once the main school of learning in Beijing. The campus of the former university included a dragon statute which, if you rubbed its head, was supposed to give you good luck.

We then walked through the hutong and took the subway to other hutong areas in the city – there are a few. We stopped and got some lunch. After lunch, we went to the Drum Tower – a tower with very steep steps inside. At the top is the drums, which were once used before clocks in the city, to tell the time. Opposite the Drum Tower is the Bell Tower, but we didn’t go up there. We saw (and heard) some of the drummers and then descended and walked through another hutong to Houhai park which has a big lake around it. We walked around the lake and then, about 6pm, said our goodbyes and took the subway back to our homes.

It was a nice day, not too smoggy, and the sun was shining and very warm.

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