Traditional Woodwork Workshop in the Hutongs

Traditional Woodwork
Workshop in the Hutongs

In a hands-on workshop learn the traditional craft of tenon and mortise,
an age-old building technique used in the construction of the
hutongs, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven.


The hutongs are a labyrinth of narrow lanes in the old quarter of Beijing that date back over 300 years. They are draped in history and the unique architecture offers an insight into past times in the capital, before glass and steel replaced brick and mortar. These thoroughfares were built during the three dynasties of Yuan, Ming and Qing.

As the modern districts of the capital advance at an astonishing pace, with futuristic, cutting-edge buildings erected using purpose-built panels and steel supporting structures, the architecture of the hutongs reveals the skills that were needed to erect homes without nails and metal. 


Traditional Woodwork Workshop in the Hutongs

09:30 - 12:00
14:30 - 17:00

The guide will meet you at the hotel and take you to an old courtyard in the hutongs. The age-old building techniques used in the construction of the hutongs is revealed in a fascinating workshop conducted by a master craftsman. Specifically, you will learn how to create a mortise and tenon joint, a wooden connection that consists of two parts. The tenon portion of the joint works as a peg and the mortise is the hole or slot into which the tenon is inserted. This piece of craftsmanship has been used in binding buildings together in the hutongs for centuries.

This is a perfect hands-on and fun activity that involves using tools to create your own example of a tenon and mortise joint. The endeavour involves some instruction into the theory behind this component, followed by the practical session. The aim is to make a perfect connection that slides into place effortlessly. You will leave this excursion with a new-found respect for the craftsmen of old and with a greater awareness of ancient building construction methods.

At the end of the workshop we leisurely walk through the narrow hutongs before the driver will take you back to the hotel.




  • A 2-hour class with a professional English-speaking assistance.
  • Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle with professional driver.
  • All entrance fees for visits as mentioned in the description.
  • All applicable taxes and service charges


  • Personal expenses such as meals, drinks, tips and gratuities, shopping, portage fees and optional tours, unless otherwise stated
  • Hotel accommodation in the destination of commencement.
  • Compulsory Christmas, country-specific festival and/or New Year dinner at included hotels
  • Single supplement charges for single travelers, where applicable
  • Any airline tickets, visa fees, additional transportation cost from and to the general meeting point
  • Supplements for transfers for customers arriving or departing from any airport or resorts located outside the general pick-up and drop-off locations
  • Hotel expenses of a personal nature, should an overnight be included: this includes mini-bar consumption, laundry, room service, any telephone or other communication cost not mentioned in the program
  • Travel insurance coverage for customers (highly recommendable)


  • This tour is operated on full private basis with English-speaking guide. Other languages are on request / subject to availability and supplementary charges may apply
  • Return transfers for this excursion apply only / are inclusive for customers staying in and inside downtown Beijing. Transfers outside these areas, including any accommodation outside the Central Business District and both Beijing’s International Airports are excluded. Supplements apply for customers who want to join this excursion outside one of these regions.
  • Customers are advised that during the Lunar Festival celebrations (celebration of Chinese New Year), excursions and tours may be subject to supplementary charges and/or may see longer waiting times than normal.
  • We regret to inform you that this excursion is not suitable for wheelchair users.
  • We will always make the effort to confirm the exact pick-up time upon reservation. For any operational issues in which are not able to confirm the exact pick-up time in advance, we reserve the right to inform you the day before the departure of the tour.
  • Please note pick-up and drop-off services may not be confirmed for customers staying at private residences, apartment complexes, or other non-registered tourism accommodations. Customers may be asked to meet at a nearby hotel for pick-up and drop off.
  • Natural elements of any kind have a destructive effect on electronic equipment. It is the customer’s own responsibility to ensure that any camera, mobile telephone or other device is properly wrapped and protected against these elements. We cannot be held responsible in any way for negligence and/or not following suggestions for any damage related to this.
  • The protection of the country’s flora and fauna is of immense importance for us. We will not pursue any activities for guests that are not in line with our animal, wildlife and environment protection principles.
  • It is the responsibility of the customer to provide us with the correct hotel information, should pick-up and drop-off services be included in the package. Any changes in accommodation outside 24 hours will be handled accordingly: changes within 24 hours may be on request.
  • In the event of no-show or change of accommodation without prior consent and confirmation from us within 24 hours may result in the applicable cancellation charges as outlined in the terms and conditions.
  • This excursion is operated both in the morning and in the afternoon.


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