The Hutongs are the old residential neighbourhoods of Chinese cities like Beijing. There are lots of narrow streets in a rough grid formation and off them small gated alleyways from which a number of families would like with a shared courtyard.
They are a lovely place just to wander. Many, if not most have been knocked down in the last 20 years or so to make way for the modern apartment blocks and 6 lane carriage ways that now cover every Chinese city it seems. This is not, however, without controversy. Many former residents feel they did not receive adequate, if any, compensation whilst others have made millions building on the former homes.
One thing to note for the average tourist wandering is that you are never far away from a public loo. Because they are old residential neighbourhoods built before plumbing was a consideration in China there are numerous public toilets. Which also means most restaurants and cafes don't waste precious seating space with something as unprofitable as a bog!
Interestingly, when talking to my students about the Hutongs they all felt it was a real shame that most had now gone, but when further asked if they would swap their luxury, modern apartments for one.. Well, you can guess their answers!
It has been incredibly hot and sticky here of late. So, it shouldn't really be a huge a surprise that it broke with a massive storm. It may not rain often around Tianjin and Beijing but when it does, it does it properly.
These were taken in a little Hutong that has become home to lots of little tourist shops and eateries. We were there for the Dragon Boat holiday so it was especially busy but quite nice and, again, different from what one usually experiences in China. There seem to be a quite a lot of these little areas in Beijing that are trying to be a bit indie and edgey but are, of course, officially sanctioned so it is all very sanitised but I do like them. Also, the food in these areas is always tip-top!
I waited until it was just going dark so the exposure time gave a bit of blur but there was still enough light to hand-hold the camera as there was never going to be enough room for a tripod.
The idea was to get a mix of brollys and colourful reflections on the damp cobbles.
This will be a blog about my latest shots and what I liked or was trying to do with them
I am a teacher of Economics and have worked in various schools in Europe & Asia. One of the things I love doing is getting out and about with my camera.