Chinese bath culture – The old culture of public bathhouses and saunas is threatened by modernization.
One of the oldest saunas in Beijing, 双兴堂, “Shuangxing Tang”, a century-old bathhouse located in Nanyuan, was founded by laborer Wang Shuankui, in 1916.
The bathhouse, which occupies two floors, has dozens of regulars, aged 50 to 82, who visit every day.
Nanyuan had been the location of a military barracks during the Qing dynasty. After a period in which the bathhouse was nationalized by the communist government, it was taken over by Xiong Zhizhong in 2003.