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Hutongs    BEIJING, Beijing Municipality

Hutong comes from the Mongolian word for "passageway," and is a perfect description for the web of narrow lanes that snake their way through the city. While today, many hutongs are being demolished in the name of modernization, it was once said that there were more hutongs in Beijing than hairs on a cow. These areas are where a quarter of Beijing's population lives in a traditional four-walled courtyard. These communities are typically residential but sometimes have markets and commerce on the fancifully named streets. Almost all the lanes run east-west in compliance with fengshui standards except for the few north-south roads that link the rest.



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