|Dashilar's eastern gate coaxes travelers off of Qianmen Street. [photo: CRIENGLISH.com/William Wang]|
Just off of the tourist fair at Qianmen Street is the somewhat smaller scale destination of Dashilar Hutong. Just south of Tiananmen Square, this is the capital's one hutong (traditional Beijing alley) that seduces pedestrians with its dramatic progression into the past.
Branching off west from Qianmen, the hutong is a major thoroughfare, lined with large shops selling Chinese knickknacks and foods. Megaphones bark out prerecorded sales announcements, determined to be heard over the bustling crowd squeezing past. A woman selling mechanized birds tosses them into the air, oblivious to the angry eyes of ducking passers by.
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