Many foreigners visiting Beijing for the Olympics are experiencing a part of the country's five-thousand-year history. They chose to stay in a traditional courtyard house, or Siheyuan, instead of a star-hotel.
Under an Olympic home-stay program, nearly 600 courtyard houses in Beijing are expected to receive thousands of overseas guests during the Games.
Many were fully booked before the Games. The cost of such a home-stay is almost the same as staying in a hotel. With beautiful trees, flowers and birds, these courtyards show a combination of Beijing's past and present. Overseas visitors say they adore such houses because they can better experience a different culture by staying with local families.
(CCTV August 16, 2008)