Missionaries, Ministers, and Musicians: A Walk and Discussion in the Historic Hutongs of Beijing

One of Beijing’s most distinctive urban features, the hutongs have long been at the heart of the capital’s unique local culture. This walk explores the past, present, and future of the hutongs, Beijing’s network of historic alleyways while also visiting essential landmarks along the edge of the old city.  Our walk will take us through the neighborhoods around Dengshikou and Dongsi which during the late-19th and early-20th centuries was where many of Old Peking's elite lived and worked.

We'll discuss the lives of missionaries, scientists, diplomats, ministers, and Hua Guofeng, the unfortunate successor to Chairman Mao. We'll also look at daily life in the hutong neighborhoods of Beijing and talk about the evolution of these spaces and what the future development of Beijing means for the preservation of historic spaces in the capital.

We'll also visit the Zhihua Temple and watch a performance of Ming Dynasty court music performed on traditional instruments and spend some time exploring the Shijia Hutong Museum, one of the best museums in the city.

Duration: About three hours

Upcoming Public Missionaries, Ministers, and Musicians Walks and Discussions

300 RMB per person (260 RMB for members of The Hutong)

Price includes all admission tickets, guide fees, and tips.


Consider a Private Tour!

Looking for a walk that fits your schedule? Interested in a personal experience for you or your group?

Missionaries, Ministers, and Musicians is available as a private walk for individuals, families, school and company groups.

Private walks are 1600 RMB for up to five people and 160 RMB for each additional person. Price includes all guide fees and admission tickets.

Photo by NI QIN/iStock / Getty Images

What others have said...

We did a walking tour of the hutong, with the incredible Jeremiah as our guide, on our first morning in Beijing. Despite our late arrival (avoid taking taxis!), he graciously waited for us to begin. His knowledge of the history (ancient and modern) of the neighborhoods is expansive, his sense of humor is wonderful, and his love for the city is readily apparent. This is a great way to get to explore the hutong!

Your Walk Leader


Jeremiah Jenne is a writer and history teacher based in Beijing since 2002. He has taught Late Imperial and Modern Chinese History for over 12 years and has written extensively on China for a number of publications including The Economist, The Atlantic Monthly, Journal of Asian Studies, Asia Society/China File, Los Angeles Review of BooksRadii China, The Beijinger, and the World of Chinese. His work can be found in the anthologies China in 2008: A Year of Great Significance, The Insider’s Guide to Beijing, and the 2015 collection While We’re Here: China Stories from a Writer’s Colony. He is frequently asked to speak or lead workshops on Chinese history, culture, and cultural adaptation to schools, organizations, and company groups from around the world and is the proprietor of Beijing by Foot, which organizes educational programs and historic walking tours of Beijing’s most famous sites and hidden by-ways. You can follow him on Twitter @jeremiahjenne or online at jeremiahjenne.com.