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5 Best Places to Explore Beijing's Folk Culture

During the ancient time, Beijing is the home of the imperial royal families of Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) Dynasties. It was the home of millions of "Beijingers" - the local Beijing civilian. The royal families lived in palaces, while the civilians lived in Hutongs and nearby villages (Si He yuan), seperated by the city wall of Forbidden City. Visiting Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven is to discover the imperial culture of Beijing. Then you may wonder where to explore the folk culture of Beijing? Below are 5 Best Places to Go!

798 Art Zone

798 Art District – New Landmark of Beijing Urban Culture

A bunch of once-abandoned factories has now become synonymous with art and originality. 798 Art District, also called 798 Art Zone or Dashanzi Art District (DAD) is one of the most avant-garde places in Beijing. No matter you are an art enthusiast or not, 798 Art District will show you a different Beijing.

Type: Art Galleries, Outdoor Activities, Photography
Opening Hours: All day (most galleries open after 10:00am)
Tickets: Free (some galleries may charge an entrance fee)
Address: Free (some galleries may charge an entrance fee)

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Gubei Water Town in Summer bright days

Gubei Water Town – Right at the Foot of Simatai Great Wall

Gubei WaterTown is located in Simatai Village, Miyun District, Beijing, at the foot of Simatai Great Wall. This is a theme resort of ancient northern architecture, built by a lake. It is becoming a landmark for night trips in Beijing and attracts more and more people to come for vacation.

Type: Nature & Parks, Bodies of Water, Ancient Ruins, Hiking Trails, Outdoor Activities
Opening Hours: 09:00-21:00
Tickets: CNY 140
Address: Gubei Water Town, Miyun District, Beijing 北京市密云区古北水镇

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Lama Temple

Lama Temple (Yonghe Temple) - Highest-Standard Buddhist Temple in Beijing

Lama Temple, also called Yonghe Temple or Yonghe Lamasery, is a national key Buddhist temple in the Han nationality area. The buildings are a combination of Han and Tibetan styles. Here you can learn more about Tibetan Buddhism while appreciating the excellent architectures, impressive Buddha statues, and scriptures in 4 languages.

Type: Temple, History Museum, Religion, Culture
Opening Hours: 9:00 - 16:30 (Apr. - Oct.); 9:00 - 16:00 (Nov. - Mar.)
Tickets: CNY 25
Address: #12 Yonghegong Street, Dongcheng District (北京市东城区雍和宫大街12号)

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Yandaixie Street

Yandaixie Street – Oldest Commercial Street & Traditional Hutong in Beijing

Yandaixie Street, also called Yandaixiejie or Yandai Byway, is a Hutong located in Beijing downtown. It is also the oldest business street in Beijing with a history of about 800 years. The 232m Yandaixie Street today is lined with all kinds of shops, bars, cafes, and restaurants where you can buy local souvenirs, witness traditional Chinese handcrafts, and grab a drink with your friends.

Type: Sights & Landmarks, Shopping, Beijing Hutong
Opening Hours: All day
Tickets: Free
Address: Di'anmenwai Main Street, Xicheng District, Beijing (北京市西城区地安门外大街)

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Beijing Hutong Rickshaw

Nanluoguxiang - Most Complete Hutong Complex in Beijing

Nanluoguxiang is the most popular and one of the oldest Hutongs in Beijing with a history of more than 740 years. It looks like a fish bone with a 787m main street (Nanluoguxiang) in the middle and 8 smaller Hutongs on both sides. Here is not only a paradise for foodies and people with curiosity, but also a good place to appreciate Beijing traditional quadrangle courtyard.

Type: Sights & Landmarks, Shopping, Beijing Hutong
Opening Hours: All day
Tickets: Free
Address: Di'anmen East Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing (北京东城区地安门东大街)

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