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Q: Have you been in the hutongs at night?

I was reading another thread and a poster said something to the effect that he / she never leaves secure complexes and 'safe areas', and I thought that this person was missing the 'real' China.

So have you been out at night into the hutongs or other low end areas? Did you enjoy it?

 

I regularly go out with my wife and her friends and we go into areas that the working class Chinese live, eat, and party for a barbecue and beers. In all the times there I've never seen any trouble, the food is always good and the beer genuine, there is no animosity (and very few stares at me), and everyone, even strangers, are incredibly honest and friendly. Also at the end of the night it's a LOT cheaper than any expat bar / area I've heard of. One of my favourite pastimes while there is people watching, considering these are supposedly poor areas some of the women are remarkably well dressed in all the latest fashions, (of course they could be copies but....).

7 years 34 weeks ago in  Lifestyle - Other cities

 
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  The seedy guts of a city are inevitably the most fun and the first place I used to b-line for when I was out on the piss. This has changed in the last couple of years since becoming a daddy, but for the first six years here in Liuzhou, Guilin, Beihai, Shenzhen and Nanning, I would happily roam the streets anywhere at all, often alone, and always drunk, and I never had a whisper of trouble.

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7 years 34 weeks ago
 
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I used to, but the quality of the products left a lot to be desired in Hunan. Got sick of bargaining a price down, only needing to buy the same product again a few days later. The reason they're so cheap is because they're either hand-made by artisans, or leftover-crap from stores that got rejected... or stolen.

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7 years 34 weeks ago
 
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I don't believe I have ever been to an expat bar/area....... but then seldom alone; my family keeps me pretty well protected from the outside world.............. often though we go out for dinner and or shopping in what is the real parts of the city............ and like you say, always treated with respect and welcomed wherever I go, it seems.

Was alone the other day when I had to get my bike charged, cost me 2 yuan, and the locals hardly noticed me sitting there waiting for my bike for an hour.

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7 years 34 weeks ago
 
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I did all the time every summer.

It's relaxing, it's nice, and it has that certain atmosphere that you'll never be able to find anywhere else.

 

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7 years 34 weeks ago
 
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  Actually, what exactly is a Hutong? I thought it was just the name for a type of living area in Beijing. In fact I had the impression it was kind of a protected area now, not a run-down slum full of whore-houses and bars.

  Ahhhhh, whore-houses and bars. Oh, to be young again.

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7 years 34 weeks ago
 
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Yup. You're right too. My Buddy lived in one and we used to get lawn chairs and sit in the alley with some beers. People passing by would say hello, or even stop to chat and just start launching at us in Chinese without the typical assumption that we couldn't speak any. Good times. 

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7 years 34 weeks ago
 
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I liked the old areas. At night I would go for food there. During the day i went site seeing. I found my favourite restaurant and fruit market on some of the little streets. I did find a dumpling I liked there but was afraid to ask what was in it. The dumpling dough was mostly egg.

 I went to see Daxu, old town Guilin. The road through the village was very picturesque and old looking. The rear of many of the buildings have new cement block additions, some three stories. I thought they should preserve these places, not build on them.

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7 years 34 weeks ago
 
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