Beijing Hutong Day Tour with Folk Arts Learning
- Tour Code: BD15
- Activities: Nanluoguxiang Hutong, Rickshaw Tour, Family Visit, Folk
- Arts Learning, Home Cooked Lunch, Drum Tower,
- Papercutting and Inside Painted Snuff Bottles Learning, Yandai Byway,
- Yinding Bridge and Qianhai Lake
- Tour Type: A private tour
- Duration: Approx.8 hours
- Pick-up point and time: Your Hotel around 9:00am
- Finishing point and time: Your Hotel around 5:00pm
- Service: Entrance fees + lunch + private tour guide & driver + private car / van
Pick from your downtown hotel around 9:00am and drive to the south entrance to Nanluoguxiang Hutong. A trip to Nanluogixiang Hutong brings you back to the Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368) when the earliest hutongs and courtyard houses along Nanluoguxiang started to be built. The 800-meter long south-north Nanluoguxiang Hutong is lined with numerous trendy bars, yummy restaurants, unique hostels, lively themed stores and itinerant vendors. Its vernacular courtyard houses, grey-colored, accompanied by old trees, showcase the solid books of Beijing's traditional architecture.
Then get on a rickshaw to get through the zigzag and narrow alleys or hutongs. Two people share one rickshaw. You are not supposed to tip the pedicab driver since the tour cost includes the tip. Arrive at the old courtyard and begin your family visit. With the help of your English speaking your tour guide, you will have a detailed explanation of the old courtyard ( Siheyuan ) - its history, its layout, its Fengshui, and its traditional Chinese culture involved.
Learning the basics of papercutting and inside painted snuff bottles. Papercutting is one of the most popular handicrafts in Beijing. It in an art of paper, scissors and hands. They depicted ancient Chinese generals and beautiful women, Peking opera characters and facial masks, Chinese zodiac animals, and so on. There is a wider variety of papercutting patterns available than you can imagine. Snuff bottles were made out of many different materials including glass, jade, ivory, wood, metal, ceramic and porcelain, though probably the most commonly used material was glass. Chinese snuff bottles were typically decorated with paintings or carvings,a kind of folk arts desirable for today's collectors.
You are arranged to learn how to make Jiaozi (Chinese dumplings) in a local family. Chinese dumpling is one of the most important foods in Chinese New Year. Since the shape of Chinese dumplings is similar to ancient Chinese gold or silver ingots, they symbolize wealth. In northern China, the people eat the dumpling and noodles everyday. Today you will learn how to make Chinese dumplings from beginning to end with the guidance your hostess. After finishing your Chinese dumpling learning course, you will taste the dumplings made by your hostess and enjoy other delicious Chinese dishes as well as your lunch.
After lunch, Move on to Drum Tower. Ascending the 67-meter high and two-story Drum Tower dating from 1420 is sure to bring you back to the old Beijing by seeing the big drum tower and having bird's eye view of the surrounding communities of hutongs and siheyuan - existing traditional courtyards in Beijing.
Continue to feel Beijing long history by walking along Yandai Byway. Walk along Yandai Byway ( Tobacco Pipe Lean Street ), a quaint 800-year-old hutong located between Yinding Bridge and the south of the Drum Tower, used to be well-known for sellers of long-stemmed pipes in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), hence the name.
Passing through Yinding Bridge (Silver Ingot Bridge) , a narrow channel joining Qianhai Lake and the Houhai Lake, the hub of Shichahai area with surrounding quiet hutongs. Seeing the west mountain here is known as one of the eight old Beijing wonders.
Continue to walk along Qianhai Lake. It used to be part of the old Grand Canal of the Yuan Dynasty 600 years ago. And now it is circled by the former palaces of ministers, temples, well-kept Siheyuans (quadrangle) as well as residences of celebrities in the past.
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