Rickshaw Ride in Beijing

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Rickshaw Ride in Beijing

The children were appalled when we explained what a rickshaw was. The fact that a man had to pull you along was alien to them. Thankfully the rickshaws we hired in Beijing were pulled by cycles rather the the very old fashioned pull along variety. As a result the children were amused rather than outraged!

We booked the rickshaws as part of an arranged visit to a local Hutong. As we approached, three drivers, each with a traditional bamboo hat on greeted us warmly. Smiling and encouraging us to sit down. Once we were aboard (two to each rickshaw) they set off at a pretty rapid pace.

We passed down narrow roads with high brick walls, mainly grey in colour which periodically broke to reveal a door or an alley way into the building. There was little to see however down these passages as after about 3-4 metres they turn sharply into an unseen courtyard or room beyond.

We passed cafes, restaurants, a hotel, a community centre and several small shops or stalls on our way. I had expected the area to be poor and from the outside this looked like the case in many instances but the rows of cars parked outside the buildings suggested otherwise. There was a good mixture of small economy cars buy also middle and upper range vehicles and our guide explained that there is a wide range of people living here although many you people prefer to live in city apartments.

After our lunch at the Hutong, our drivers returned us to our car with equal vigour, as if the heat of the noon sun hardly touched them. We dismounted and thanks them, providing a tip of 10 Yuan to each driver (5 for each passenger) and 50 Yuan for our guide.