The Hu Tong Neighborhood
Tour Day Five: Wednesday, April 25, 2001
A River in the Hu Tong Neighborhood
This was one of only 3 afternoons while in China that we would have to free to do something on our own. Four couples of our group reserved space on a special tour. Still shaken from the fall at the Temple of Heaven before lunch, Pat wasn't too sure that she wanted to go on the planned pedi-cab tour of the Hu Tong Neighborhood. But we'd already paid the hotel concierge for the tour, and we would never have another opportunity to make a tour like this. So, we went.
This tour was in the streets of a very old neighborhood in Beijing. The pedi-cab was rickety with probable wheel bearing problems. The cabbies peddling, along the rough streets made candid snapshots while in motion thing of pure luck. The little Canon PowerShot S-20 is an amazing point-and-shoot digital camera. We did get several pictures to share with you.
Chinese restaurants are plentiful in China.
This is one of many privately-owned restaurants that we saw everywhere we went. When the Chinese people came to the United States, among the first things they did was to open restaurants and laundries. At first, these were not intended for the white trade, but for their own people. After having visited a home in this neighborhood, it is easy to understand why. (More on this later.)
Pedi-cabs in front of Drum Tower
These towers guided travel in and out of the ancient walled cities.
In ancient China (an most other places) the cities had protective walls around them. In China, the bell was the way they let the people know that the city gates were opening in the morning. The drum in the tower let the people know that it was time to close the city gates for the night or in a time of danger.
Our tour stopped at the Drum Tower, above left, and some of the group climbed to the top to see the view of Beijing. Those of us who didn't want to make the climb waited in front of the tower on the brick paved area in front, above right foreground, or the white chairs below the brick platform. The picture below was taken from beside the wall at the right side of the tower.
Some Rooftops in the Hu Tong Neighborhood
When we get into Owen's video, we'll likely be able to capture some frames for these web pages that will be fantastic.
It's tough peddling the well-padded frames of western tourists for these much smaller Chinese cabbies. But, did these young men rest while the group stopped at the tower? No they didn't. Nor did they rest during any of our other stops along the way. They picked up another tour group. So, they where peddling two tour groups all afternoon, one getting transportation while the other stopped for sightseeing!
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