The Hutongs are the old part of Beijing, quickly disappearing, where you can slip into the past. We took a taxi there, traveling through streets lined with shops and looking quite contemporary, not fancy, but not rundown, lots of restaurants and clothing shops. Then we arrived at the area called the Hutongs.
As old as everything is, there’s a Starbucks near the entrance!
We were wandering along, wide-eyed, wondering how to find a rickshaw driver to take us around, when a very industrious man found us. He had a laminated piece of paper that showed his rickshaw and all the stops on his tour. So we went with him.
He was wonderful. His rickshaw had a little motor, so we didn’t have to feel badly about him peddling large Americans around on his tour. He didn’t speak much English, but what he did speak, he put to good use. “Nice to meet you!” He would say, with a big grin. And “Rickshaw photo!” Then he’d pull over and take our picture with our cameras. We really loved our tour.