To experience real authentic Beijing life, there is no better way than to spend the day in Beijing’s Hutongs, the narrow residential lanes. You’ll visit the hutongs and the Drum and Bell Towers by rickshaw.
What to Expect
You can relax as your rickshaw driver weaves through the ancient narrow lanes, also known as Beijing’s Hutongs. The Hutongs have captured the traditional Beijing essence, and spending time here is a real look into authentic Beijing city life as many of Beijing’s residents still live in them and spend their days around the alleys. In fact, many of the alleys have been around for centuries. They sometimes feel a little bit like a village instead one of the biggest cities in the world.
Within these Hutongs, and lying at the northern end of the imperial axis that passes through the centre of Beijing, the Drum and Bell towers are two of the oldest structures in the city. You’ll visit these after your cooking class. In ancient times they were used to officially mark time, with the bell announcing the start of the day and the drum marking the end of it. Today they are the centrepieces of one of the best-preserved Hutong areas in China. There are traditional Chinese drum performances several times a day and the views of the surrounding Hutong alleyways afforded from the top of either tower are spectacular.
To quench your thirst following the climb up the stairs, you will taste traditional Chinese tea at a teahouse inside the Bell Tower. If you thought tea tasting was easy, just watch the intricate processes involved in boiling Chinese tea, a process that differs for each type of tea. You will visit a local vegetable market, to purchase ingredients for the dumplings you will be taught how to cook afterwards. Your guide will help you in identifying the many vegetables you have probably never seen before.
Following the vegetable market visit, your guide will take you to a 100-year-old courtyard, where you will get taught to make traditional Chinese dumplings. There are many special ways to make them, and there is no better place to learn this than in China. You will then be able to taste what you have cooked for your lunch, so we hope you paid attention to the instructions! After this you'll be taken back to your hotel so you have the rest of the day to yourself to explore.
- Transfer with an English-speaking guide on board
- English-speaking guide at all attractions
- Entrance ticket
- Meal as identified in the itinerary
What's Not Included
- Additional snacks and drinks
- Gratuities (optional)