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Backstage Beijing

May 30, 1999

Regarding Susan Spano's article "To Hedge Your Bets Against Sightseeing Letdowns, Try a Well-Conducted Tour" (Her World, May 2): I just got back from Beijing and a wonderful half-day tour of the hutongs (alleyways). We went to a private house and met the people who lived there.

I also had two university students take me around Beijing where Americans never go. They took me to an upper-middle-class hutong neighborhood, with many shops such as a bike shop, post office and open-air market. I highly recommend that people find areas where they can immerse themselves in the culture.

TRUDY SMITH

Torrance

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