Welcome to Drum Tower & Dōngchéng North
Some alleys, such as Wudaoying Hutong and Beiluogu Xiang, are also home to an ever-increasing number of hip bars, cafes and restaurants, although a government-wide initiative in 2017 to reduce the inner-city population has forced many small businesses on other hútòng to close. Shops, bars and restaurants deemed to have illegally installed doors and windows have had their facades bricked up and licenses revoked, leading to the unfortunate closure of several excellent, and in some cases, longstanding Běijīng venues.
The move was widely reported in the international press, particularly as it has been accused of unfairly targeting migrant workers from other parts of China. Despite the turmoil, these hútòng remain the most visitor-friendly neighbourhoods in Běijīng for the time being, and, with a number of excellent courtyard hotels, make a great base from which to explore the city.