The Gutting of Gulou

Cranes, viewed from the 13th century Gulou, or Drum Tower, build the new Beijing The view from Beijing’s Gulou, or Drum Tower, is dominated by the labyrinth of threadlike lanes — the city’s famous hutongs — spreading in all directions, filling in the superblocks formed by the city’s broad, rectilinear avenues. Gulou, built in the […]

Chilly Day Around Houhai

Houhai is one of three lakes (the others are Qianhai and Xihai) in central Beijing. It dates back to the twelfth century, after which it became the northernmost part of the Grand Canal, linking the northern capital with Hangzhou in the south. Houhai today is surrounded by one of Beijing’s largest remaining collections of ancient […]

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The Many Chinese Words for “Lane”

Suoyi Hutong, Beijing There’s several different names in English for small, secondary streets that run between blocks or behind major roads. Alley and lane are the words most often used in North America, but there’s significant variation in the UK, where regional words like vennel, chare, wynd, twitten and jigger are common. It’s a similar […]

Beijing Bicycles

Evening rush hour near Xuanwu Gate metro station

Migrant Worker Seeks Love

[youtube]SVABgEtL4HE[/youtube] I’ve always had a thing for Sexy Beijing, Danwei‘s offbeat, good-natured sendup of the HBO television series Sex and the City. Its host, Anna Sophie Loewenberg, explores some of Beijing’s social and culture issues through the guise of a funnier, more awkward and self-effacing Carrie Bradshaw. Its treatment is decidedly lightweight but, like a […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Society and Culture, Video by Christopher DeWolf 1 Comment ,

Have a Laugh

Deep in the Hutongs. Beijing, China

Posted in: Asia Pacific by Andrew Rochfort 1 Comment , , ,

Destroying Beijing’s Hutongs

[youtube]EqRt6oK2k2s[/youtube] Last year, Danwei TV, an internet television station that produces short videos about China, produced a series of episodes on Beijing’s famous hutongs, old neighbourhoods built around narrow laneways and courtyards. Over the past couple of decades, the number of hutongs in Beijing has dropped dramatically as they have been bulldozed for new residential […]