What to Do During a Hutong Family Visit

Hutong (Hu Tong) are two Chinese words which are the transliteration of Mongolian, dating from 1267. Therefore, it has a history of more than 700 years. Beijing Alley (Hutong) is a product of long history development. It reflects the history of Beijing with rich content. Beijing Hutongs look the same at the first glance, with grey walls and tiles. To be honest, as long as you are willing to explore several Hutongs and chat with local tenants for a while, you will find every Hutong has its own legendary stories.
Beijing Hutong
TopChinaTravel often recommend our clients to explore Beijing Hutong by rickshaw or on foot when they travel in Beijing. After Hutong tour, we often arrange our clients to have a home-style Chinese lunch at a local family in Beijing Hutong. Besides, we could also arrange cooking class at Hutong family.


What kind of family in Hutong is chosen to arrange lunch and family visit for our clients?

Generally speaking, we arrange our tourists to visit an ordinary Hutong family with comfortable courtyard which are hand-picked by us. In this case, our tourists could know a real local people’s life when they do the visit. Nowadays, more and more local families in Beijing Hutongs open their doors to do family-visit business. It seems a bit commercial as sometimes there are several groups in a family. Therefore, TopChinaTravel try our best to avoid a commercial family visit so that our clients could have a quiet environment for lunch.

Lunch at Hutong Family


What about cooking lesson at Hutong family?

Cooking lesson at Hutong family is often arranged after Hutong tour. It is the same to Chinese lunch at a Hutong family. We will book the cooking lesson or lunch in advance with the family so that they have time to prepare food ingredients.

When the tourists arrive at the family, the host will introduce their courtyard, family and local lifestyle to the tourists with the guide’s translation. After that, tourists could chat with the family members regarding to the questions they would like to know with the assistance from the local guide. The tourists join in the lunch preparation while the host is teaching them to cook local Chinese food.

As the cooking lesson is arranged in a local family, the kitchen is not big enough. Besides, it is not a professional cooking lesson instructed by chief. When the family member teaches how to cook Chinese food, they often choose some simple home style dishes, such as dumpling (Jiaozi), scrambled egg with tomatoes, ect. Actually, it will add more interests into your Beijing tour while you are exploring Chinese culture. The dishes you cooked are parts of your lunch.
Beijing Hutong


Is it possible to buy food ingredients with the host at the local food market before cooking class?

It is possible to arrange tourists to buy food ingredients at the local food market, but it needs at least one more hour. In this case, tourists need to arrive at the Hutong family earlier.


Are there any other activities which can be arranged in Hutong tour?

There are many cultural activities to be arranged during Hutong tour, except family visit, family lunch, cooking lesson, such as learning Chinese calligraphy, paper-cutting, making kites, making Chinese knots, playing diabolo, playing mahjong, ect, from which tourists could experience a colorful Chinese cultural trip and a joyful tour in China.
Clients at Beijing Hutong