Exploring the Hutongs – NanLuoGuXiang and Beyond

Outside rooms in Courtyard 7

Day 2  February 15th    2017

Our first day in Beijing we anticipated would be recovering, sleeping and acclimatising. Thanks to our beautiful Air Asia Flat bed – while a bit tired we had got reasonable sleep on the flight and were anxious to get out and about. We decided on half – half: a lazy morning, a long lunch (and large feast) at the Courtyard 7 restaurant and then off to explore the surrounding NanLuoGuXiang.

Struck by the number of fast food outlets and the variety of ways to serve sugar and fat including Rockburn Cheese – a supposed New Zealand delicacy – well we had to try it – hard to describe really – white pappy bread soaked in a creamy sugary topping.

What a perfect part of town to be in. Surrounded by Hutongs and close to streets teaming with shops and restaurants.

Noticed amongst the newer more flashy shops, an older tea shop. After a game of charades to find out the rules we sat out the front surrounded by tea and tea paraphenalia and had a cup of tea. The tea was produced with slow and gentle ceremony. So enjoyable we each bought a beautiful small container of tea for our travels. Him – a very scented Jasmine. Her – a lovely green Oolong.

Walked up to the Bell and Drum towers and a short wander through the Hutongs surrounding the towers.  Sightseeing and people-watching hard to say which was more fascinating. It is all so different yet people are people wherever we are.


A long walk to find the bit marked on the map “Cuisine Alley” only to walk up and back without choosing a restaurant and ending up back close to the hotel. On the way we passed a very large restaurant with many groups of people sitting and standing outside in the freezing conditions being offered tea while they waited for a table. While tempting to see what the fuss was about -the cold and a bit of tiredness kept us moving. Settling on a bustling laminex table café where pointing at photos brought us Duck pancakes, and crisp Broccoli in garlic.

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