Spring in the air
End of Chinese New Year, beginning of spring: the latter takes its time to come this year but armchairs are already out in the hutongs! Always at the exact right place for a little nap in the sun… The rays of which are getting slowly stronger.
I decided to make the most of it by taking a walk in the hutongs, the old historical neighbourhoods of Beijing. In these small alleys of the city centre, it feels like time has stopped: the capital city’s frenzy seems several lightyears away!
Not long after the end of the Chinese New Year, which takes place every year at the end of winter (according to the Chinese Lunar calendar), the big celebrations’ decorations are still in place. Let chance be your guide through this maze of alleys, doors and courtyards, whose red colour theme you can’t miss.
And what’s best than a delicious hot beverage and cookie after this refreshing walk? Beijing hutongs still offer a handful of magical hidden coffeeshops.
Beijing municipality launched an important renovation and standardization policy in the hutongs in 2017, and many restaurants, coffees and bars had to close down as they either didn’t hold a business licence, or weren’t allowed to keep their large door on the façade of the building, not even a billboard announcing the name of the place. Without a sign outside, it gets difficult to attract people passing by and new customers. However, some of them still exist…
If you’re a new visitor to Beijing, why not ask for our recommendations?
By the way, if you’d like to discover Beijing’s hutongs, we offer multiple ways to explore them:
– Sidecar guided tours
– Electric bicycle guided tours
– On foot with a tour guide, including some sites visits
– On a culinary tour leading you to small local restaurants, in order to try the city’s traditional breakfasts, snacks and dinners!
What are you waiting for? Contact us at [email protected]