Code: BJ-HT09

Hutong Tour around Old City of Beijing

Stop 1: Huangchenggen Ruins Park
It was built upon the ruins of the imperial city walls of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). This strip-like park is 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles) in length and averagely 20 meters (22 yards) in width. You can still find the relics and many sculptures there showing its long history.

How to Get There:
You may take bus 2, 60, 82 to Nanheyan Stop; then walk northwards for 130 meters (140 yards) to find the southern entrance of the park on your right side. 
Stop 2: South Gong and Drum Lane (Nanluogu Xiang)
South Gong and Drum Lane
Most hutongs in Beijing were formed during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 - 1911), but the north-south South Gong and Drum Lane (Nanluogu Xiang) was firstly built during the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368). You can still find courtyards of that period there. It has eight alleys lying in east-west direction on each side of the main road, including the famous Mao'er Hutong and Ju'er Hutong.

How to Get There:
Head to the northern end of the Huangchenggen Ruins Park, you will reach Di'anmen East Street. Then, turn west and walk for 270 meters (280 yards) to find the southern main entrance to Nanluogu Xiang.

It is a little energy-consuming to go from the southern end to the northern end of Huangchenggen Ruins Park on foot for average visitors. If you feel tired in the midway, you may stop and take bus 60 or 82 from Beiheyan Street to the west of the Park to Dong Huangchenggen Beikou, and the Di'anmen East Street is just a few meters ahead of you. 
Stop 3: Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street (Yandai Xiejie)
Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street is another famous hutong in Beijing. In ancient times, the hutong was dotted with shops selling tobacco pouch and pipes, hence the name.
How to Get There:
Stroll to the northern end of the South Gong and Drum Lane, you will reach Gulou East Street. Turn west and walk to the Drum Tower. Then, turn south to go along Di'anmen Outer Street for 100 meters (110 yards) to find the eastern end of Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street. 
Stop 4: Houhai
As a part of Shichahai, this water area and the surroundings are popular destinations for leisure and entertainment among both locals and tourists. You will find many restaurants and bars along the bank to feast your stomach.

How to Get There:

When you reach the western end of Yandai Xiejie, turn south to reach the northern bank of Houhai Lake.
Stop 5: Imperial Academy (Guozijian) & Temple of Confucius
Temple of Confucius
Imperial Academy (Guozijian) was once supreme institution in the ancient educational system, and the Temple of Confucius is where people paid their homage to this great scholar. They are located next to each other on Guozijian Street.

How to Get There:
After having lunch in Houhai, go southeast down the riverbank to Wannian Hutong, turn left to walk along it till the Di'anmen Outer Street. Then, head southwards to find Gulou stop of bus no. 124. Take the bus to Fangjia Hutong. Once alighted, walk northwards for 200 meters (140 yards) to find the western end of Guozijian Street on your right side. 

How to Get the Entry Ticket:
The combo ticket of Imperial Academy & Temple of Confucius can be bought from the ticket office just before entry. It costs CNY30 per adult. 
Stop 6: Yonghe Temple
It is the largest Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Beijing. Spend one or two hours to tour the temple with splendid imperial architecture and learn the mysterious culture of the Tibetan Buddhism. 

How to Get There:
Once you get out from the eastern end of Guozijian Street, go across the road to find the entrance of Yonghe Temple.

How to Get the Entry Ticket:
You can either buy the ticket at the ticket office by its entrance, or reserve one in advance on its official WeChat account. Ticket fare is CNY25 per adult. 

How to Leave:
There are subway stations to the north and west of Yonghe Temple, where you can take subway line 2 or line 5 to your hotel. 

Tip: Instead of walking and taking city bus, riding a bike to tour along the above route may infuse more joy to your stay in Beijing. You can easily find a shared bicycle by roadside, generally at a cost of CNY1.5 per hour. 

 More Beijing Hutong Tours:

Shichahai Tour: walk or rent a rickshaw to explore the alleys and courtyards in Shichahai Area.
Houhai Tour: get around the old lanes and then experience the local nightlife in Houhai Bar Street.
Dashilar and Qianmen: a time-honored shopping block with featured stores and restaurants.

Questions & Answers
Asked by Brian McFarlin | Aug. 24, 2012 09:49Reply
Can you please suggest a few bike rental shops, including addresses; near Houhai?
Also, are you able to provide a map or list of suggested places to visit once we rent our bikes. Starting off at Houhai is a good location, as we generally end the day there for dinner. Thank you.
Answers (1)
Answered by John | Aug. 24, 2012 07:55

Since bicycle travel is very popular in Beijing now, there are many bike rental spots in the city, even at the exit of the subway. Houhai is a very good place to rent bicycle and you may find many rental shops along the lake. It is very easy and convenient.
For the travel route and places, you may refer to the following page for different itineraries for your reference:
Asked by Brian McFarlin | Aug. 23, 2012 13:28Reply
Old Beijing Cycling - How much and where do I reserve this?
We will be in Beijing in November and I would like to understand where I can rent a bike and if i can simply rent the bike and take a self-guided tour on my own for a few hours. If so, where and how much?
Answers (1)
Answered by Lisa | Aug. 23, 2012 06:52

Yes. It is a very good idea and a popular way to travel in Beijing by bike. There are many bike rental spots and you may find them at Houhai which is near to the Drum Tower, the Lama Temple, Beihai Park, etc. The rental fee is around CNY10 per hour and the deposit is about CNY100 to CNY200. Hope this information is helpful.
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