June 4, 2010

Day 4: The Lu Song Yuan and Hutong Culture

NanLuoGuXiang –“Nan-Loo-Go-Shoe-On” is how I say the words all together really fast. I love the sound of Beijing’s oldest hutong area. Today, a fashionable shopping street lined with bars, restaurants and shops. I see the Yuan Dynasty’s hutong, (Mongolian for water well) layout of 16 narrow lanes leading off from this central lane a bit confusing. I am looking for the 3rd hutong, No.22 Banchang Lane, which is where I am to find the Lu Song Yuan Courtyard Hotel.

 Finally leaving the western style Hi-Rise of the Wangfujing Grand and New York behind me, I will be living street level in my new room in the once private residence of Grand General Zeng Ge Ling Qin. He was a defense minister in the Qing Dynasty and his home is in the traditional quadrangle courtyard style. This is typical of the elegant residences of the officials, and aristocrats who live within close proximity to the Forbidden Palace. Today sadly the hutongs are being torn down to be replaced by the dazzlingly new structures that have excited the world.

 Window View Court  Lu Song Yuan Hotel, Beijing

Chinese Lamp in Window, Lu Song Yuan Hotel, Beijing

View From My Room, Lu Song Yuan Hotel, Beijing

 I never tire of the ubiquitous red lanterns all over the Beijing, now they are hanging right outside the doorway to my private courtyard.

Tomorrow is Day 5 and I feel in my element, excited to begin exploring the area, then later in the afternoon its to the Great Wall. I’ll leave the Summer Palace for my last day in Beijing.

Mt. Ararat

Marla Mossman

My photo
One woman traveling alone, in search of her religious and cultural heritage.