In my Beijing Xian tour, I find that most the Beijing’s hutong goes from east to the west. However hutong outside Chaoyang Gate mainly goes from south to the east irregularly. Beijing’s siheyuan are mainly square residences Yard in Shaanxi and shanxi provinces are usually rectangular-wider on the east and west.
The relationship between Siheyuan and hutong is: hutong is the passage bwtween rows of Siheyuan. Before the several large scale resettlement projects launched in Beijing, there had been many hutong that are full of Beijing charm. In such hutong, there left many traces of famous figures in modern history: for example, Ji Xiaolan’s (an upright high-ranking official of Qing Dynasty) reading room north to the Guang’an Avenue; No.35 and 37 of Mao’er Hutong, the birth place of Wan Rong, the concubine of Qing Dynasty’s last emperor Pu Yi; Fuxue Hutong where patriotic hero and poet Wen Tianxiang was once detained; the west compound of Baoguo Temple where Gu Yanwu (great scholar and thinker of early Qing Dynasty) lived; Kang Youwei’s (1858-1927, Chinese philosopher and reform movement leader) old residence in Mishi Hutong; No. 24 in Wenhua Hutong, New Culture Street, Li Dazhao’s (1889-1927, Chinese intellectual and one of the founders of the Chinese Communist Parry) old residence; No. 51 of Shijia Hutong, Zhang Shizhao’s (famous politician and scholar of modern time) old residence; No.13 of Kuache Hutong, famous painter Qi Baishi’s old residence; No.13 of Houyuanensi Hutong, famous writer Mao Dun’s old residence; No.71 of Dongsi Batiao, famous writer and educator Ye Shengtao’s old residence; No. 19 of Fenfu Hutong, Dengshi Xikou, famous writer Lao She’s old residence; NO.9 of Huguosi Street, Peking Opera Master Mei Yanfang’s old residence; No.9 of Xiguan Hutong, famous playwright and poet Tian Han’s old residence… The residence of the famous wealthy businessmen like the rice trader Zhu, salt trader Cha and Chinese Medicine trader Le, are all typical large Siheyuan.