One of the unique features of Beijing is its numerous Beijing Hutong which means small lanes. In these small lanes, you'll find many siheyuan (quadrangles) which are the living quarters of ordinary Beijingees.Beijing Hutong is an ancient city lane typical in Beijing, most of them were built during the Yuan (1206-1341), Ming(1368-1628) and Qing(1644-1908) dynasties. During these dynasties the emperors planned the city and arranged the residential areas according to the etiquette systems of the Zhou Dynasty. The center of the city of Beijing was the imperial palace- the Forbidden City.
Beijing Hutong formed by four houses around a quadrangular courtyard . The quadrangles varied in size according to the social status of the residents. The big quadrangles of high- ranking officials and wealthy merchants were specially built with roof beams and pillars all beautifully carved and painted, each with a front yard and back yard. However, the ordinary people's quadrangles were simply built with small gates and lower houses.
Most of the Beijing Hutong which remain today were built in the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Our hand selected Beijing Hutong tour by rickshaw is one of the best way to sample the ancient Beijing Hutong.
Recommended Tour: Beijing Zoo and Old Hutong Combo