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Variety of Hutong in Beijing
Introduction of Variety of Hutong in Beijing
How many kinds of Hutong in Beijing? When the Hutong was fist built, you can find streets and Hutongs. At that time, there was a clear definition for a street or a lane. A 36-metre-wide road was called a big street. An 18-meter-wide one was called a small street. And a 9-metre-wide lane was called a Hutong. Later, hutong can be normally divided into two kinds.
One kind of hutongs, usually referred to as the regular hutong, was near the palace to the east and west and orderly arranged along the streets. Most of the residents of these hutongs were imperial relatives and aristocrats.
Another kind, the simple and crude one, was mostly located far to the north and south of the palace. The residents were merchants and other ordinary people.
There are at present some 6000 Hutong in Beijing. In the wider ones two buses can pass. The narrowest spot is the southern end of Gaoxiao Hutong, through which only one person can walk at a time. The longest, Rongxian (Embroidery Floss) Hutong, is two kilometers long. The shortest is Yichi Dajie (One-foot street), which is actually twenty meters long. The gray-tiled houses and deep alleys crossing with each other in identical appearance like a maze, you will find it much fun to walk through but be care not to lost yourself.
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