A look into Hutongs
Hutong area of Beijing
A little on Hutongs
Read here for more details about Hutongs - click this. When you visit the back streets of old Beijing you will see so many communities that are based in little alley ways off the main streets.
Many Hutong areas have been lost as Beijing modernised but there are hundreds more, and many are in a state of ruin/repair. In some there are hotels (small hotels with wonderful courtyards in the alleyways, and in others life goes on as it has for many hundreds and thousands of years.
In some hutongs you can see the little street stalls - mostly food stalls as the locals do what they have always done to make money in a very competitive world/
These hutongs were around the area of the Forbidden City so will have been there for thousands of years.
Buying meat from the back of a bicycle or from a street stall open to the street traffic would be most foreign for westerners who are more familiar with more sterile conditions and meat in refrigerators. But this is China.
If one walks around this area you can peek into life that hasn;t changed for hundreds of years, though most folk would have television and many would have more mod cons including computers and internet.
Many seem to live and work in a very small area, and it is common to use the local bathbouse and WC. (toilet)