It’s been said that the traditional culture of Beijing is embodied in the lanes of the Hutongs. A Hutong is a narrow lane or alley formed between single-story courtyards, known as Siheyuan. The streets and alleys crisscross and intersect in strange and interesting ways—perfect for exploring. While they once dominated the city of Beijing, many Hutongs have been demolished due to modernization. In an attempt to preserve traditional Chinese culture, those that remain are often designated as protected.
After a rickshaw tour of the Hutongs, students on EF tours of China will have the opportunity to enjoy a traditional meal with Hutong families. EF traveler Hannah says that this was an experience like none other because she was not only educated on what each dish was but also the significance and process of making it.
Authentic Chinese food is known both for its variety and flavor. From fried insects and preserved eggs to Peking duck and dumplings, there are many opportunities for travelers to try something new. Nothing beats a home-cooked meal, and little is better than sharing family traditions with others.
Dinner is typically served between 6–8pm in the household and is the most important meal of the day as it is shared with the entire family—both immediate and extended. The experience gives travelers a chance to practice their chopstick skills, since the odds are slim that a fork and knife will be provided. And feel free to slurp the soup and noodles
(it’s seen as a compliment to the chef)!
Want to experience an authentic Chinese meal like this one? Browse our tours of China.