Beijing is the capital city of People Republic of China. It is also the center of politics, economic and culture. On the back of the developing of surface of the modern city built with full of high-rise buildings, there are deep inside culture supporting the modern looking city. Hiding in the fast developing city, the Forbidden City, the Temple of heaven, the Great Wall, especially the Hutong consist of the impressive old Beijing culture and become the soul of the city.
The Beijing Hutong was almost formed in the 13 century of Yuan Dynasty. Till now, it has been developed and evolved for hundreds years. The Beijing Hutong always built in the direction of east and west and has a width of 9 meters. Looking in a whole picture, it is like a tofu and just like a square. Arranging the big and small quadrangle courtyard, the passageway between them is the Hutong.
The existence of the Hutong gives Beijing an uncomparable soul. Hutong is not only the pulse of the city, but the place for living of the local people. Local people in Beijing have special feeling to Hutong. Hutong is the passageway people must go through when go out but the museum of the folk custom, branding many marks of social life. Hutong is closed to the downtown area, but it is always away from the bustle of heavy traffic on the street.
Beijing is a city of old and new boasts beautiful scenery, modern looking road and the buildings owing a history of thousand years. Instead of visiting the modern Beijing, old Beijing culture is more attractive and follow is a five days Beijing Hutong culture tour for visitors to know about the old culture in Beijing.
Day by Day Tour Itinerary
Day 1 Beijing Arrival
The first day arrive in Beijing Capital International Airport. The airport was established in 1958 and is nearly on the same pace of the development of the establishing of China. Especially since the reform and opening-up policy, with the fast speed of the economics of China, and profiting from the advantage of particularly favourable natural conditions of politics, economics, culture and geographic position, the annual passenger throughput is raise up to 837 million from 1978 to 2013.
The transportation in the airport is very convenient. Visitors can take the shuttle bus between the station floors and there are metro line going from airport to Dongzhimen. Also, there is airport bus service running to the hot stops. After settle down in the local hotel, it is a good choice to have a walking around the living place and get familiar to the surroundings.
Day 2 Visiting to the Old Buildings
The destinations of the 2nd day are the Tian’anmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Lama Temple and a pearl store nearby. It is needless to say the Tian'anmen Square is the first gateway to get closed to the local people’s life. Morning is the best time to visit the Tian’anmen square. Tian’anmen is the gate of the Forbidden City and is the symbolization of People Republic of China. It is located in the center of the China’s capital city, Beijing. In 1st October, 1949, the founding ceremony of the People's Republic of China was held here and became the symbolization of China.
Pass through the Tian’anmen Square, there visitors can see the Forbidden City, the imperial palace of Ming and Qing Dynasty, covering an area of 720 thousand square meters. It is the world's largest and most complete wooden structure of the palace buildings in stock. The Forbidden City had been the special place for 24 emperors to handle their affairs and live their lives. It is the essence of the Han palace architecture and the incomparable ancient architecture masterpiece.
The Forbidden City consists of the Imperial Palace, the Imperial Garden, the Taihe Gate, the Taihe Hall, the Zhonghe Hall, the Baohe Hall and the Cining Hall. The outer place buildings of the Forbidden City are serious, majestic, magnificent and majestic, symbolizing the supreme position of the emperor. The inner place riches in the atmosphere of life and vitality. Architecture is mostly yard and there are gardens, especially the imperial garden.
In the afternoon, you will visit a finest detailed and functioning temple: Lama Temple. The Lama Temple is also called Yonghe Hall. The lama temple is the specifications of the highest in the Buddhist temples in mid and late Qing dynasty. In the temple, there are many treasures of the palace on display. The wood carving of the Three Wonders, the copper Sumeru Mountain, the Vertical III Buddha, the picture of the six great divisions in the wheel of karma, the lama temple Buddha warehouse are the must see highlights in the Lama temple.
In addition, there are some Buddhism activities held in the Lama Temple. The Prayer will, New Year's solution and the exorcism dance visitors can see in the temple. What is more, the Kung Fu Show is also a highlight to the foreign visitors. Visitors can have a cinematic visual experience in the Red Theatre located in No.44 Xingfu Street, Dongcheng District. The extra time, visitors can take time to have a solo visit to the Hutong.
Day 3 Climb the Great Wall
The 3rd day we will go to the Temple of Heaven, the Great Wall at Mutianyu Section and a cloisonné factory. When getting up in the early morning, it is also a start of a day to experience the culture of old Beijing. In the Hutong, there visitors can see many venders sell their breakfast making by their hands.
Tofu Pudding and Fried Dough Sticks are must taste in the Hutong. It is the taste of the history of Hutong and the daily life of the Hutong people. You can only take few Yuan to have some Chinese style baked roll or some steamed stuffed bun to make your stomach full. After enjoying the Hutong breakfast in the sunshine of Beijing. The next stop is the Temple of Heaven.
The Temple of Heaven is located in the south of Beijing, the east of the Yongding Gate, covering an area of 27 thousand square meters. The Temple of Heaven used to be the place to sacrifice to the heaven and pray the grain harvest for the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasty. Visitors can appreciate the exhibitions on special subject like the etiquette of the sacrifice to heaven and the dance of the fete.
After the Temple of Heaven, the next stop is the Great Wall of Mutianyu Section. This section is less crowded than the other sections of the Great Wall. The Great Wall of Mutianyu Section is located in the Huairou section of Beijing, 73 kilometers from Beijing City. The Mutianyu Section enjoys the fame that it has the most beautiful scenery among all the sections of the Great Wall.
It is also the longest section of the Great Wall and is one of the sixteen scenic spots in Beijing. In the Mutianyu Section, there sets the domestic first-class city cable car and develops the tour plan of the Dream Stone City and the Shibide Slide. It forms the dynamic integration of the culture of the Great Wall, the culture of the stone and sports fitness entertainment.
After lunch, pay a brief visit at a cloisonné factory to see how the clay turns into a bowl. The Cloisonné is one of the most famous special arts and crafts of China. The skill can be dating back to the Spring and Autumn period. The main material of the Cloisonné is the enamel glaze. The enamel glaze is mainly in blue, so it got its name Jingtailan (lan means blue in Chinese) in Chinese.
In addition to the old culture of China, visitor also can have a visit to the China’s postmodern art 798 Art Zone. It is located in the Jiuxian Bridge at Chaoyang section, also called Dashanzi Art District. It is famous for the modern art and the lifestyle of the 798. In the 798 Art Zone, a new concept of culture and the living and working style of the LOFT is brought out, becoming a new landmark of Beijing urban culture.
Similar to the 798 Art Zone, the Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art (UCCA) is another place for visitors to enjoy the art of modern. It is located in the Bauhaus workshop of Dashanzi Art Zone covering an area of 5000 square meters. Except for the display space, places of public activities of the contemporary art library, reading room, archives, lecture hall, VIP facilities, café and bookstore is also set in the art zone.
Day 4 Hutong Tour
The 4th day is the last day for visiting Beijing and the last day of Beijing Hutong Culture Tour. The destinations of this day are Hutong visit and Confusion Temple. During the Hutong visit, a learning to paint the Peking Opera Mask activity is prepared for the foreign visitors.
One will not real know the spirit of the Beijing without paying a visit to Hutongs. In Hutong, a rickshaw ride is a specialty. Visitors will take a rickshaw into the Hutong. Hutong is an ancient city street unique in Beijing. “Hutong” comes from the Mongol, means small alley. Because of the strict planning of the ancient Beijing city, the Hutong is almost straight. There are more than 7000 Hutongs scattered all over like stars in the sky or men on a chessboard.
The names of the Hutong are different from each other and have its own feature. Some named after a man, some named after a market or goods, some named after a local dialect. In Beijing, there are thousands of Hutongs embracing around the Forbidden City. Most of them are formed in Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasty in the history of China.
In the Hutong, visitors will visit a local family to learn to paint Peking Opera Mask. The Peking Opera Mask is a kind of special cosmetic method with the characteristic of the Han nationality culture. As each historical figure or a certain type of person has an approximate cosmetic method, so it is called facial makeup. About the source of the facial makeup, the general statement is from the mask. Visitors can make a Peking Opera Mask on your own to experience the Hutong culture by hands.
After lunch, visitors will pay a visit to the Beijing Confucian Temple and learn some Chinese culture. The Confucian Temple is located in the Guozijian Street of Dongcheng district. It was the place to worship Confucian in Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasty. Main building of Beijing temple of Confucius is covered with yellow glazed tiles, is the highest level building in the feudal society regulation.
The Confucian Temple consists of Xianshi Gate, Ancient Stone Tablets of Jinshi (a successful candidate in the highest imperial examinations), Reward Stele made by the emperor order, cypress, Yanshui Lake and Dacheng Hall. Visitors will also visit the Guozijian by the side of the Confucian Temple. Guozijian is the imperial college in ancient China. what is interesting that Guozijian Hutong is also an Hutong with cafes.
Day 5 Departure
Before embarking on the plane, it is free time to visit Beijing. Visitors can make your own plan to the scenic spots.
If visitors visit Beijing in hot summer, visitors can bring some band-aids and medicines. In order to protect you from the sun burning, you can bring the sun scream and the sun glasses. In winter, warm clothes are necessary because it will be very cold. Visitors had better bring some body lotion in case of the dry weather.
Beijing Related Tour
To have a impressive tour in Beijing Hutong, there is a tour plan elaborated made highly recommend to you. The Beijing Hutong Culture Tour is very suitable for the foreign visitors and the activities like making Peking Opera Mask, learn some Chinese culture, appreciate the Kung Fu show and hiking on the Great Wall is included in the tour itinerary.