Beijing hutong life is great ,everyday is lived on the streets here , shops are open from 6 am to sleeping time , families squash into tiny spaces and sleep on overlapping mattresses and eat their dinner on makeshift seating on the street . Shirtless men play mehong while "chewing the fat" as it is known as and drinking beer .The locals already know us to see and the "ni hao" and the "hao pui lui " that greats us most days is a conforting feeling on our visit to this huge , huge city that surrounds us . Staying in the hutongs are the best way to see the city . Ok there are no mod cons such as swimming pools and gyms and the small 20 room ocupancy allows you little anomity but sometimes that is just perfect . We have wifi hot/ cold shower albeit a tiny ensuite , twin beds pushed together with all four of us in it and its a steel 27 quid a night .