China 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.

During 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.

Canal by the Hutong, Beijing
An adjacent canal
Residents waving in the Hutong, Beijing
Local citizens wave as we go by

Anne and I in a rickshaw, Beijing
Giving instructions to the friendly
rickshaw driver on how to take
Anne's and my picture.

Beijing Royal Bilingual Kindergarten
Beijing Royal Bilingual

Our group in the rickshaws, Beijing
The procession of rickshaws on a tree-lined street

In 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 ...

Children entertaining us at the Kindergarten
Children entertaining us at the Kindergarten
Little girl at the Kindergarten
Coloring time at the Kindergarten

Coloring time at the Kindergarten

They sure are tall, Beijing

Coloring time at the Kindergarten
Straight shot potty, Beijing
The children, as you can see from the pictures, were wonderful. After their short song and dance we toured the school passing through the bathroom (left). Straight shots (as I call them) are common throughout the world but not in the United States.
Continue to the next page for pictures of the bell tower and our visit with a local family living in the hutong ...
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Welcome to our China 2001 Photo Album
Planning and Getting there: Grand Circle Tours and Northwest Airlines
Beijing : Arriving in Beijing | Tiananmen Square | The Imperial (Forbidden) Palace (1) | The Imperial Palace (2) | The Nine Sons of the Dragon
The Imperial Palace Garden | The Summer Palace | Summer Palace (2) | Summer Palace (3) | Summer Palace (4) | Local Beijing Market
Local Beijing Market (2) | Hutong | Bell Tower | Hutong Family, Dinner and the Opera | Cloisonné Factory | Ming Tombs | Ming Tombs (2)
Great Wall of China at Ba Da Ling | Temple of Heaven
Shanghai : Arriving Shanghai | Yuyuan Garden | Yuyuan Garden (2) | The Temple of the Jade Buddha | The Bund | Day Excursion to Suzhou
Silk Process | The Administrator's Garden of Suzhou | Shanghai Museum of Art
Cruising the Yangtze River : Yangtze Cruise, Day 1 | Yangtze Cruise, Day 2 | The Xiling and Wu Gorge | The Lesser Three Gorges
The Lesser Three Gorges (2) | The Qutang Gorge | Wanxian | The Last Day of Cruising | Regal China Cruise Lines
Chongqing : Chongqing
Xi'an : Xi'an and Emperor Qin's Terracotta Warriors | Emperor's Qin's Terracotta Warriors (2) | Great Wild Goose Pagoda and Xi'an City Wall
Quilin : The Limestone Peaks of the Li River | The Limestone Peaks of the Li River (2) | Guilin and the Childrens Park | Children's Park (2) and Reed Flute Cave
The Hotels: Hotels, rail and air travel in China
Hong Kong : Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay and Aberdeen Fishing Village | Hong Kong at Sunset | Hong Kong Bird & Flower Market
| New Territories Fishing Village | Hong Kong Farewell Dinner
Bangkok : Jim Thompson House and Golden Buddha | The Flower Market | The Food Vendors | Grand Palace | Mystical Figures | Brightly Painted Masks on Mystical Figures
Golden Mystical Figures | Buildings of the Grand Palace | Lunching at the Shangri La Hotel | Loy Nava Rice Barge Cruise | Ayutthaya, Ancient Capital of Siam
Wat Yai Chai Mongkol and the Reclining Buddha | Bang Pa In, The Summer Palace |

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