Beixingqiao is a cool area in Beijing where there are loads of hostels for travellers, it’s both modern and ancient with brand new shiny restaurants sitting alongside the old hutong (alleyways) of Mongol Beijing. They were originally built by Genghis Khan when he conquered the city and subsequently flattened it to make way for his new street plan.
There are some real gems hidden in this area like the Korean style barbecues of Beixingqiao santiao hutong (Beixingqiao third alleyway), cooked over hot coals on your table.
To the Ming courthouse hostel which is beautiful and spacious. The absolutely stunning Yonghegong Lama temple which is just up the road. Just a little bit further still up the road from the temple is a Cantonese restaurant that we ate lunch in one day. It was so popular that there was a ticketing system with around 100 people waiting outside with tickets. Pete had to test his Chinese skills with them calling out the numbers on the tickets. The food was amazing, we had a little dim sum.
We also had a really great hotpot where you pick the ingredients from a salad bar type area and they take it and make a soup, there was so much MSG in it our mouths were tinkling a lot!
It’s really cool to be amongst the people in the hutongs, time doesn’t seem to matter as much for them and they sit around and chat lazily in the heat, play cards, or eat dinner. It’s even better because the Beijing government have had a lot of them knocked down to make way for ‘development’.
Beixingqiao is also conveniently on line 5 of the Beijing metro.