Hutongs are a traditional type of narrow alleys formed by lines of Sihuyuan in two sides. It is a typical architecture in northern China and many of them are designated among modern buildings in an attempt to preserve Chinese cultural history.
Hutong and Siheyuan make up the majority of old Beijing. Siheyuan is a type of housing found all throughout Beijing, and in fact, it literally translates to “a courtyard with four surrounding buildings.” However, the lack of private toilets and squalid living conditions make these Siheyuan complexes less and less popular.
Hutongs are the narrow alleys formed between rows of Siheyuan buildings, and people mostly walk or ride bikes down these pathways.
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