Biking into the Hutong life of Old Beijing

For anyone wanna to gain a sense of Beijing's past, it is advisable to have a biking ride into the city's historical hutongs on just two wheels.

Hutongs are mazes of narrow alleyways formed by lines of Siheyuan - a compound with buildings around a courtyard, which once covered all Beijing. But in recent years, many hutongs have been leveled in the name of modernization. Still, there are thousands of hutongs in the city, most of which were built during the Yuan (1206-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

A bike is the best choice to explore these timeless mazes, and experience the old way of life. Visitors can rent both ordinary and tandem bikes at a premium in the well-known Hutong areas. The name of each hutong tells its story by describing the life it contains.

Top 10 attractive hutongs in Beijing are Nanluoguxiang, Yandaixie Street, Mao'er Hutong, Guozijian Street, Liulichang Street, Jinyu Hutong, Dongjiaominxiang, Xijiaominxiang, Ju'er Hutong,and Bada Hutong.

Below listed are three classic Hutong biking routes in Beijing.
1. Liulichang East Street – Kwan-yin Temple – Dashilan Street – Meihsijie Hutong – Deshoutang Pharmacy – Former Residence of Ji Xiaolan – Hufangqiao – Liulichang
2. Liulichang – Hufangqiao – Changchun Temple – Baoguo Temple – Ox Street (Niujie) - Niujie Mosque - Huguang Guild Hall – Liulichang
3. Liulichang - Huguang Guild Hall – Nanhengjie – Fayuan Temple - Grand View Garden - Liulichang

Further Reading

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