Dashilan Street

Dashilan Street

Dashilan Street

Dashilan Street was a commercial center of Beijing more than five hundred and eighty years ago. The name Dashilan comes from the large gates built at either end of the street during the Qing Dynasty to prevent street crime at night and as a safeguard against riots by the local Han people against the Qing. The fences built here were quite peculiar and remained for a long time. In 1900, the entire street was burnt to the ground during the Boxer uprising before it again prospered from returning merchants.

Dashilan

Dashilan Shopping Street

Dashilan is situated on south of Tiananmen Square, west of Qianmen Dajie, where many century-old shops and restaurants are located. Here you can also purchase some traditional handcrafts. Bargaining is always needed. The old shops and small stalls located here are frequented by Beijingers.

Looking from the eastern end of the street, one might be misled by the two-storey facade and elaborately carved Baroque style pillars of a shop called Ruifuxiang.This is actually a 100-year-old Chinese silk and fabric store. This store provides an excellent tailor service at a reasonable price and also has ready made clothes.

A stone's throw to the west is Zhangyiyuan Teahouse. In olden times, tea drinkers would bicycle tens of kilometers just to buy a pack of tea there. If you are a tea lover, this is the place to find the finest tea from a variety of types such as: green tea, black tea, mint tea, jasmine tea, chrysanthemum tea and medicinal tea.

Dashilan

Dashilan Shopping Street

If there is one thing Chinese take more seriously than tea drinking it is health care, as may be seen from the three-storey Tongrentang Pharmacy which dwarfs other buildings in the vicinity. Even if you are in perfect health, you may still benefit from the magical effects of such tonics and remedies as pearl cream, ox gallstone pills and other elaborate concoctions once made for the Imperial court.

An old Beijing saying states: "A man is half poor without wearing good shoes". Two doors down from Tongrentang, Neiansheng Shoe Store is still making and selling their "thousand-layer cloth shoes" which are favored by old timers in Beijing.

Dashilan

Dashilan Shopping Street

Across the street is one of the oldest opera houses in Beijing: Guangdelou. It opened in the late 18th century, around the same time the Paris Opera House and Moscow's Grand Opera House were completed. Apart from its long history, it was once famous for the performance of Peking Opera masters and famous actors. Today, the old operas are rarely performed in their entirety but rather as compilations of selected scenes. For foreigners and Chinese alike, the most fascinating part of Peking Opera is the resounding style of singing, the many masks and the bright, colorful costumes.

Address: 5, Zhubaoshi, Qianmen Dajie
Metro:Line 2 and get off at Qianmen station