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The rickshaw, the most popular form of transportation in recent years for tourists to take the Hutong tour, provides a unique view of Beijing and becomes more and more popular with tourists. A rickshaw is more expensive than taking a taxi but allows tourists to enjoy the street scene and is more convenient for avoid traffic jams. So by taking a rickshaw and traveling at a leisurely pace, one can gain a more intimate flavor of life in old Beijing. Rickshaws can always be found at the important transportation hubs located at the city center and the tourist areas. The legal rickshaw drivers are easily identified, for they wear a chest plate carrying his name and the supervision telephone number.
There are thousands of varied hutongs in Beijing, and the most famous hutongs concentrate in the areas around Shicha Lake. There were temples, Prince Gong's Mansion, Former Residence of Song Qingling (wife of Sun Yat-sen), Former Residence of Guo Moruo (a famous litterateur, archeologist, poet and revolutionist), Bell Tower, Drum Tower, and some other ancient buildings. Tourists can choose their desired routes by themselves or let the drivers select some of the most popular areas.
Classical Hutong Tour Routes:
1. Qianhai West Street → Liuyin Street → Longtoujing → Qiangan Hutong → Qianhai Xijie.
2. The west of Nanguanfang Hutong → the east of Nanguanfang Hutong
3. The east of Beiguanfang Hutong → the west of Beiguanfang Hutong → Houhai Nanyan
4. Yinding Bridge → Xiaoshibei Hutong → Dashibei Hutong → the north of Yaer Hutong → North bank of Back Lake → Former Residence of Song Qingling
5. Qianhai Xijie → Zhanzi Hutong → Daxiangfeng Hutong
A Recommended Hutong Tour Route:
1. Take a rickshaw from their departure place, about 100 meters west of the north gate of Beihai Park , and travel to the Drum Tower. The Drum Tower, built in 1272 in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), was where time was announced to the residents of old Beijing. Tourists can mount the tower and overlook the hutong sitting along the axis of the Drum Tower.
2. Then travel through this hutong by rickshaw. You can wander around the hutong or talk with the local people who live in the distinctive quadrangle. This is an excellent way to understand the comprehensive culture and long history of Beijing.
3. Finally, go to the Prince Gong's Mansion.
Rickshaws are forbidden:
For the whole day:
2nd Ring Road, Jianguomenwai Street, Fuxingmenwai Street, Fuxing Road, Zhongguancun South Street, Zhongguancun Street, Haidian Road, Haidian Street, Zhongguancun South Road, Kexueyuan South Road, 3rd Ring Road.
From 07:00 to 22:00:
Guanghua Road, Ritan Road, Ritan East Road, Jianhua Road, Xiushui Street, Xiushui North Street, Xiushui South Street, Xiushui East Street, Dongdaqiao Road, Gongren Tiyuchang Donglu, Xindong Road, Sanheli Road, Wanshou Road.
From 07:00 to 21:00:
Zhogguancun North Street, Xinxi Road, Chengfu Road, Qinghua South Road.