This quarter’s Beijing Free Tour contest has just finished. The lucky winner, out of over one thousand candidates, can choose his company, and visit 798 ArtZone, Hutong, and DrumTower, along with the HouhaiLake. All expenses are borne by Chinatraveldepot. By convention, this tour shall berecorded by a professional photographer, appointed by China Travel Depot. We would like to help them preserve this uncommon experience, and share it with others. On Nov. 31st, the contest was brought to a closure and we had our lucky guy, Fida Rehman. Mr. Rehman and his friend would benefit from this wonderful Beijing tour.

On the morning of January 12th, 2013, Rehman and his friend started the tour by visiting our first stop, 798ArtZone. 798ArtZone, located in the northeast of centralBeijing, is always compared with Greenwich Village and SOHO inNew York. History and reality, industry and the arts perfectly fit here. Also known as 798ArtDistrict, it is a new rising, avant-garde and trendy space that hosts high-level cultural, artistic and commercial activities. Rehman and his friend had a good time appreciating mottled red-brick wall, scattered orderly industrial plants, crisscross pipelines, slogans of different ages on the wall.

At noon they came to a hutong around Houhai. They were highly impressed by the traditional Chinese architecture and the pace of life in hutongs. People here are much more leisure than those onBeijing’s broad modern avenues, and the neighbourhood here is quiet and relaxing. The narrowness of the alleyways and of many courtyard homes discourages heavy traffic but encourages residents to live their lives on the street, fostering a strong sense of community. It is common to see the residents playing cards, Chinese chess, Mahjong, or simply chatting with each other. The hutongs are like village within the megalopolis. As wandering among, they were surprised as though stepped into the past. There they had their lunch, and were not disappointed by the Chinese cuisine.

Visitors who have interest may experience Rickshaw Drive through the zigzag Hutongs near Houhai Lake. Once in ancient China, people took rickshaws like taxis.  Sitting on it you could have a rest, but still having a pleasant view of the beautiful scenery.

Before we called it a day, they also dropped by theDrumTower. It was built in 1420, on a 4-meter high base and is over 46-meter high. Not far from it, there standsBellTower. The twin towers together worked to tell people the time in the past days. Rehman said he was devastated by the size of the drum. No one could imagine how ancient people can make such a huge drum, and installed it. About 600 years passed, the drum is still safe and sound, telling time every single day.

In the end of the day, Rehman and his friend expressed their sincere gratitude to us. They had a wonderful day, getting a better understanding with Beijing local culture. We also hope more and more people can have a chance to join us on your China tours.Beijingwelcomes you!

Sandy Li

3 Responses to “Free Tour Award of Chinatraveldepot – Beijing Hutongs and 798 Art Zone Tour”

  1. John Tarus says:

    The tour was great, informative and entertaining and I will live to remember that tour. I (in blue and black jacket in photo), as a friend of the winner of the Beijing Free Tour contest Fida Rehman, I can describe the tour as an exciting experience of a lifetime. The Art zone, Chinese architecture, DrumTower etc were very exciting. The tour guide was really experienced in taking us around. Am greatly impressed by the quality of service by China Travel Depot. Keep it up, highly recommended to anyone seeking a memorable tour of Beijing and beyond.

  2. Fida Rehman says:

    Thanks to China Travel Depot, the travel was very amazing and interesting.
    That was great tour we enjoyed that day very much.789 Art Zone , Drum tower and hutongs village, chinese food, hen hao chi.
    i am very grateful to the china travel depot team,the travel guide Mr. Yang,photographer and especially to the impressed personality Miss Sandy Li.

  3. Ahmad waqar says:

    O great
    Really very beautiful and unforgettable moments specially cycle riding

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