Hutong, called as Mongolianese, is a small city lane featuring the unique Beijing customs and old Beijing living way. As the there was strike rule for the city building in ancient times, so the Hutong sets in the straight style in complicated distribution with more than 7,000 lanes named not only with person’s name such as prime minister Hutong, but with market or shop’s name such as goldfish Hutong, and with something certain Beijing dialect such as stuffy pot Hutong etc. Among which the west-eastern Jiaomin lane is the longest one with a total length 6.5 kilometers; the shortest Hutong just 1 inch wide and 10 meters more long, and the narrowest one is undoubtedly the Money Market Hutong in the front of the fence area with the width only 0.7 meter, where person of certain fat can go through there only with the breath controlled. There are hundreds of thousandths Hutong lanes in Beijing surrounded around the Forbidden City, and most of them were built in the Yuan dynasty, Ming dynasty and Qing dynasty in China’s history. There are the unique cultural building of the Beijing in China or even in the world.
Hutong is not only the pulse of the Beijing city, but also the living sites of the Beijing common people. The Beijing citizens have special emotion to the Hutong as there are not the passage for the common people go out and in home, but one and one customers museums which leaves lots of the vestige of the society and life in Beijing. Therefore, it means a lot of to the Beijing citizens. The Hutong is normally near the downtown, where it is convenient for people living there to go shopping. There are not so much crowed in Hutong when compared with the city centers, but you can sense the kind and close neighbour relationship. You will truly experience the Beijing old life in these friendly and well-preserved Hutong during your Beijing tour.
Hutong, ancient but unique in Beijing, has been the bridge of the Beijing culture showing and transferring its unique culture to the other area of Beijing and other countries in the world. The living phenomenon of the old Beijing is set and showed in the corner of these Hutong, within every brick and tile of these Siheyuan and the neighbour relationship among the Beijing citizens there. People who have never gone there cannot really experience the special meaning and feelings there. Just have a visit there in person during your Beijing tour by hiring the rickshaw, and you’ll have a true taste of Beijing!