The rickshaw, the most popular form of transportation in recent years for tourists to take the Hutong tour, provides a unique view of Beijing and becomes more and more popular with tourists. A rickshaw is more expensive than taking a taxi but allows tourists to enjoy the street scene and is more convenient for avoid traffic jams. So by taking a rickshaw and traveling at a leisurely pace, one can gain a more intimate flavor of life in old Beijing. Rickshaws can always be found at the important transportation hubs located at the city center and the tourist areas. The legal rickshaw drivers are easily identified, for they wear a chest plate carrying his name and the supervision telephone number.
There are thousands of varied hutongs in Beijing, and the most famous hutongs concentrate in the areas around Shicha Lake. There were temples, Prince Gong's Mansion, Former Residence of Song Qingling (wife of Sun Yat-sen), Former Residence of Guo Moruo (a famous litterateur, archeologist, poet and revolutionist), Bell Tower, Drum Tower, and some other ancient buildings. Tourists can choose their desired routes by themselves or let the drivers select some of the most popular areas.
Classical Hutong Tour Routes:
1. Qianhai Xijie (前海西街) → Liuyin Jie (柳荫街) → Longtoujing (龙头井) → Qiangan Hutong (千竿胡同) → Qianhai Xijie.
2. The west of Nanguanfang Hutong (南官房胡同) → the east of Nanguanfang Hutong
3. The east of Beiguanfang Hutong (北官房胡同) → the west of Beiguanfang Hutong → Houhai Nanyan (后海南沿)
4. Yinding Bridge (银锭桥) → Xiaoshibei Hutong (小石碑胡同) → Dashibei Hutong (大石碑胡同) → the north of Yaer Hutong (鸦儿胡同) → North bank of Back Lake (后海北沿) → Former Residence of Song Qingling (宋庆龄故居)
5. Qianhai Xijie (前海西街) → Zhanzi Hutong (毡子胡同) → Daxiangfeng Hutong (大翔凤胡同)
A Recommended Hutong Tour Route:
1. Take a rickshaw from their departure place, about 100 meters west of the north gate of Beihai Park
, and travel to the Drum Tower. The Drum Tower, built in 1272 in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), was where time was announced to the residents of old Beijing. Tourists can mount the tower and overlook the hutong sitting along the axis of the Drum Tower.
2. Then travel through this hutong by rickshaw. You can wander around the hutong or talk with the local people who live in the distinctive quadrangle. This is an excellent way to understand the comprehensive culture and long history of Beijing.
3. Finally, go to the Prince Gong's Mansion.
Rickshaws are forbidden:
For the whole day:
Erhuan Lu (二环路), Jianguomenwai Dajie (建国门外大街), Fuxingmenwai Dajie (复兴门外大街), Fuxing Lu (复兴路), Zhongguancun Nandajie (中关村南大街), Zhongguancun Dajie (中关村大街), Haidian Lu (海淀路), Haidian Dajie (海淀大街), Zhongguancun Nanlu (中关村南路), Kexueyuan Nanlu (科学院南路), Sanhuan Lu (三环路).
From 07:00 to 22:00:
Guanghua Lu (光华路), Ritan Lu (日坛路), Ritan Donglu (日坛东路), Jianhua Lu (建华路), Xiushui Jie (秀水街), Xiushui Beijie (秀水北街), Xiushui Nanjie (秀水南街), Xiushui Dongjie (秀水东街), Dongdaqiao Lu (东大桥路), Gongren Tiyuchang Donglu (工人体育场东路), Xindong Lu (新东路), Sanheli Lu (三河里路), Wanshou Lu (万寿路).
From 07:00 to 21:00:
Zhogguancun Beidajie (中关村北大街), Xinxi Lu (信息路), Chengfu Lu (成府路), Qinghua Nanlu (清华南路).
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