Lao She Museum

Historic Building in Forbidden City & Dongcheng Central

Brimful of uncomplicated charm, this renovated courtyard house off Dengshikou Xijie was the home of Lao She (1899–1966), one of Běijīng’s best-loved 20th-century writers. The life of Lao She – author of Rickshaw Boy and Tea House, and former teacher at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies – is detailed in a modest collection of halls, via newspaper cuttings, first-edition books, photographs and personal effects.

The exhibition falls at the final hurdle, giving perfunctory mention to perhaps the most significant aspect of Lao She’s life: his death by drowning in Taiping Lake on 24 August 1966 after a nasty beating by vituperative Red Guards the day before. Captions are largely in Chinese.