for centuries lived in a culture where walls were very important
for protection of its citizens. The Great Wall of China was built
to keep invading armies out of China, and in Beijing the citizens
also built walls around their dwellings for protection. Today a
modern Beijing is fast overtaking the ancient past. New modern high-rise
buildings and apartments are fast replacing the traditional dwellings
within the walled hutongs, but a few remain and can be visited by
tourists. Within these walled hutongs you'll find individual residences
and courtyards where thousands of Beijingers still live, many without
modern conveniences. Many have opted to move into the more modern
apartment buildings, but many still prefer the community style living
of the hutong. On our tour we rode in a modern-day rickshaw ...
powered by a human on a bicycle.
our tour of the hutong we would ride trough the back streets and
alleyways viewing what life is like for the residents, visit an
American sponsored kindergarten, a bell tower, and, finally, have
tea with a local family.
the midst of our ride through the hutong, we stopped to visit an
American sponsored kindergarten ... the Beijing Royal Bilingual
Kindergarten. Arriving and entering the courtyard to the school
we were immediately met by a group of children who greeted us and
then began to perform a song and dance welcoming us to the school.
Again, we found ourselves in the company of children and the photo
opportunities were numerous. Enjoy the pictures ...