day 23_Beijing_contrasts

The most striking feature of Beijing is the juxtapositions, sometimes very extreme, of new and old, huge and small, poor and rich, traditional and modern, past and present. This is a street in a preserved (for now) part of the city, where streets are lined with one-story residences, typically courtyard houses, with people walking or biking around and an occasional moped of sorts gushing by.

This wide boulevard with large retail on each side is not even a couple minute walk from the traditional structure of the city mentioned above. It is bizarre stepping out from one of the hutongs onto these mostly commercial strips that cut through the city. I almost felt like stepping through a time portal.

Dense carpet of hutongs and trees with newer residential towers looming over.

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Walking through a hutong (a narrow street or alley typically associated with Beijing) north-east of the Forbidden City.

Peeking into the open courtyards...

Demolition site; one more hutong area gone...

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I must say, people in Beijing definitely do not lack imagination when it comes to transportation vehicles...