As mentioned earlier, we are staying at a Courtyard-style residence. This small boutique hotel is over 300 years old and is well preserved and showcases the best of Chinese Architecture. The rooms are decorated with traditional Chinese fretwork and furniture. The public spaces also reflect traditional Chinese art and design.
Private rooms surround the courtyard. It is well used and shared by guests, who can recover there from the stifling heat and frenzied activity in the surrounding neighborhood. Dongcheng, or East Wall, has become the hot new area after a portion of the courtyard style residences has been saved. Despite much controversy in the recent past, this area was renovated and repurposed to retain its history and old-city atmosphere.
It’s been a fun place to explore and peek into existing courtyard homes. Shopkeepers have been very creative (see yesterday’s post). They sell one-of-a-kind handmade and locally produced clothing, accessories, and of course, food. (This is China, after all!!) Services such as spa treatments can also be found in this area. Both foreign and local tourists alike are fascinated by the clash of modern and ancient Chinese culture.