About Beijing Hutong Tour
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Mar 4, 2011 6:30 PM Last Post By: Solnishko
Feb 27, 2011 11:30 PM
About Beijing Hutong TourHi,
I am doing my Beijing tour. Besides the ordinary attractions such as the great wall, forbidden city, the temple of heaven etc, I have found that some tour operators highly recommend Hutong tours in Beijing. I would like to know whether it is a good activity or not? And what kind of sceneries can be included in this cultural tour?
Thanks for your all!
Feb 28, 2011 1:39 AM
Feb 28, 2011 6:57 AM
2I've just seen these guys listed on The Beijinger and City Weekend:
Does anyone know about them? Are they the same as Intrepid Travel? If so, they must be the first foreign travel company like that to run day tours right? I'm really curious, especially as they have guaranteed departures with just one booking and as far as I can tell it's not the huge tour bus type day trip you see in Beijing, but more real and down to earth.
Anyone know or have tried them?
Feb 28, 2011 6:58 AM
3Forgot to add, they have a cool looking Beijing Bike tour in the Hutongs with lunch, market and mahjong...
Feb 28, 2011 7:13 AM
Feb 28, 2011 6:16 PM
5Walk or bike around hutongs on your own. Besides being much cheaper, you can wander or stop and linger where you like, for as long as you like. The hutong experience is one best done with all senses in a spirit of personal discovery, without a guide yammering in your ear. Some simple google research for an hour can tell you about the general history and concepts, which is all the average person needs to give them context. Serious students of urban planning, architecture, and/or history can find and print out resources on the internet that point out specific places of interest within the hutong areas. Travellers wanting some structure can purchase a pack cards with self-guided walks and a reasonable but not overwhelming context: "Beijing by Foot" by Immersion Guides which is available and bookstores and sometimes other shops in Beijing.
Looking at the Beijing Urban Adventures site for the "Beijing by Bike" tour which seems to focus on the hutongs, it seems a little pricey at nearly USD 70. When you break down the components, I'm not sure where the value added is: rental bike, your own physical labor to transport yourself, visit a market, lunch, tea, learning mahjong (expendable activity IMO). Basically, a costly bike rental and the "comfort" of an English-speaking guide, who will no doubt want a tip regardless of what the website says. By my calculation you could accomplish the same thing on your own, in half the time (leaving the other half of day for another activity), for around US $10-20 depending on how fancy you like your lunch and your tea.
Mar 4, 2011 6:30 PM
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