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Beijing, China: Hutong Homecooking & Hospitality

Despite this next segment being part of a tour, it was still really neat to explore the Old Beijing town. We took a rickshaw to go through the town.

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I remember it being a smaller town consisting of mostly local residents living in smaller, and more compact homes. Along the way, we stopped at a few home entrances where our tour guide explained its significance.

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The amount of beams above the door frame of the home indicates the class of people who live there:

  • 4 beams = high official home
  • 2 beams = low official home
  • 0 beams = common home

The 2 different colors of the door indicates where the family is important (red) or common people (black). If there are sculptures on either side of the door, that also signifies what class status the family is.

In summary of this information, a person had to marry someone of the same class, which apparently seems rather simple if you just look at the family’s front door. Hmm, that would change the dating scene – hah!

We had a typical Chinese lunch at someone’s home, which – shocker – was nothing like the Chinese food I’ve had back at home when you order takeout. It was very savory, but not super salty. And despite the language barrier, the homeowners were very cordial from what we had the guide translate for us to have a conversation with them.

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After the delicious lunch, we took the rickshaw through the town again passing by the locals going about their everyday life.

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And on to the next adventure we go – happy travels friends!

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