Explore Beijing's hutongs

A trip to Beijing is not complete without exploring one of the fascinating hutong districts. Hutongs are the narrow networks of lanes created by closely built quadrangular homes in the centre of Beijing. Mostly built during the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, the hutongs once covered most of the city but are now a fast disappearing sight as Beijing's city developers move in to modernise these areas. You can explore the hutongs on a pedicab, or on foot. Some key hutong areas are around Wangfujing, and near Houhai Lake. Houhai is the largest of the three lakes, along with Qianhai & Xihai, that comprise Shichahai, the collective name for the three northern-most lakes in central Beijing which in recent years have become a recreational area. Spend some time exploring the winding alleyways around the lakes, and visit the nearby Drum and Bell Towers.

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