One of Beijing’s oldest traditional bathhouses will be completely shut down on September 20 and converted into an inn, the manager said, citing operating expenses as the main reason for its closure.
Located on Yandaixiejie Street in Xicheng district, the Xinyuan Bath dates back to the Guangxu Years of the Qing Dynasty, and is considered one of Beijing’s oldest.
The bathhouse became a joint state-private endeavor in 1959, and remained a popular destination for local elderly residents as well as foreigners seeking a bit of traditional culture and a cheap thrill.
Staff members said, however, that business has recently slowed down. Although the bathhouse can accommodate 80 to 90 customers maximum, usually only around 30 people visit per day.
The manager said that as the price of water, electricity and gas have gone up, operating costs at the bathhouse have become too expensive. He added that the bathhouse is expected to be turned into a small inn (and probably shaped like the Louvre or something).