Beijing’s Oldest Bathhouse to be Destroyed
A lot of foreigners think about bathhouses in China and snicker about happy endings and what not… most don’t understand that a proper bathhouse is just part of the Chinese traditions and can be the destination for a family outing. When I lived in Hebei, this was a near weekly occurrence and a great opportunity to warm up the old bones in a sauna/steamroom for dirt cheap. I can’t say i’ve seen many in Beijing with the Exception of bloc 8 and bathouse number 9.
Now, according to Yahoo News, Beijing’s oldest bathhouse, Shuangxing Tang, out in Fengtai district is about to meet the Chai monster. It might be irrelevant in the grand scheme of things but it seems to me like this culture of bathhouses is something important that a lot of us are missing out on… an essential part of the local culture that is slowly vanishing. I am quite suprised their reporters managed to get a camera in there but at the same time, i’m glad someone captured these as an insight into that side of life.. check them out on yahoo as linked above.
In this Shuangxing Tang’s case, the local goers know each other enough to organize new year’s parties and what not… it’s basically your average zhang’s answer to a country club.. sad.. do you know any remaining bathhouses in the central Beijing area?