If you are in Beijing definitely spare some time to just wonder around some of the Hutongs. Narrow streets of old traditional style courtyard houses, the hutongs are good places to enjoy a wander, shop and get something to eat. We went to Nanluogu Xiang, where the original single story brick homes have been converted into shops, snack stalls, cafes and bars. Its an interesting blend of the modern and ancient. Plus it’s full of young Chinese hipsters, recognisable by the moustache themed jewellery, bowler hats with antlers and hipster glasses. The whole area was quite trendy – with all the arty boutique shops – and to me it resembled a Chinese version of the Lanes in Brighton. However, wherever you go, it seems you can’t escape the big names of global capitalism….
On our last evening in Beijing we went to a Chinese acrobatics show. This was great fun. I spent most of the show fearful of the audiences applause distracting the performers right in the middle of some death defying feat. We got our hostel to call and book our tickets for us, which I’d definitely recommend unless you are particularly good at Mandarin. Shows are fairly short (about an hour – showing around 8 different acts) which is good if, like us, you are short of time in Beijing.
They had EIGHT motorcyclists at one point driving around in the metal sphere pictured above!!!!