Get in touch with the local residents and experience the daily life of people in Beijing's hutongs, gaining insight into the traditional culture and way of life.
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In the days of Imperial China, Beijing residents lived around the Imperial City in low-rise courtyard style houses – often with whole extended families living in one courtyard compound. Known as hutongs, the old lanes that remain have retained some of the traditional culture and way of life and offer visitors a glimpse of old Beijing. Family homes, markets, shops, schools, and all manners of city life can seen here at street level. In the morning, guests will transfer to a central hutong area, stepping back in time and zig-zagging through the narrow lanes to take part in a traditional tea ceremony at tea house near Beijing's Bell Tower. Then, visit a local family to learn how to cook Chinese dumplings and hear their stories of life within the hutongs before feasting on your home-made dumplings and other traditional dishes prepared by the family.