Beijing, China 2013 – Day 4 – Hutong, Temple of Heaven & Acrobatic Show

On our fourth day in Beijing, we visited the hutongs. I was expecting some really commercialized place but I was wrong. It was an authentic hutong. There were no actors or actresses pretending to be villagers. It was a real hutong with villagers squeezed in small houses and roads. Some of the roads are so narrow – just enough for a car to go through.

That probably explains why there are so many types of small cars in Beijing.

The gaps between the houses are also narrow. In some houses, there are a few sections where many families live.

We took a stroll along the hutongs and explored some of the houses. We also took pictures of the local residents.

I am told that houses in hutongs are generally very small but if you see a large one in a hutong, that means that the house was formerly owned by some Chinese royalty.

Pizza anyone?

If you walk through this door, you will see the following:-

A narrow passage to family homes. Each home would have their own door

Place milk here

I saw a person delivery coal to houses. Looks like these houses still uses coal.

Extremely photogenic traditional smelly taufu seller. We got to experience the well known melodious “jiao mai” (hawking cries) by the taufu seller. The seller was singing out his wares while walking around the hutong.

Our next trip, Temple of Heaven. It was quite boring as there were not many things to see. However, the attraction was the fellow Beijingers hanging outside the Temple.

Many elderly Beijingers were playing chess and card games. Some also were playing jiànzi (毽子) – a game which players aim to keep a heavily weighted shuttlecock in the air by using their bodies except their hands.

I had a go at it. It wasn’t easy!

Elderly Beijingers singing outside the temple. Strange to see some folks gathering at a random place just to sing.

At night we watched the acrobatic show. I don’t remember the name of the place but the hall was extremely cold. We had to wear our jackets in the hall.

I was quite impressed with the 1 hour performance. The ladies’ bodies could contort into all sorts of styles whereas the guys were extremely powerful. It’s an enjoyable performance but I wish they could have worked on their music a bit.