Plan your Beijing trip? Beijing Qianmen Area is a nostalgic place to visit, which immerses you in the long history of Beijing in its Ming and Qing dynasties (about 500 years). Qianmen area has been under the protection of Dongcheng District Government aimed at 100% keeping and restoring its culture and history, a kind of rebirth of Old Beijing. You couldn’t miss it if you want to learn more about Beijing’s past.
Situated in the south of Tiananmen Square, Qianmen Area mainly comprises Qianmen Street, Dashilan Street, Xianyukou Street, Taiwan Street, Guanyinsi Street and many more. On Jan 21, two days before Chinese lunar new year, I took a fast stroll around Qianmen area to experience the festive atmosphere in Beijing’s most nostalgic place.
Qianmen Street is 845 meters long, running south from Tiananmen Square, just along the Beijing central axis. It has been transformed into a pedestrian street, the second walking street after Wangfujiang Street in the downtown shopping ditrict Beijing. Qianmen Area reproduces old Beijing’s look and feel.
Qianmen Street was initially formed in Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911). By the time of Emperor Jiajing, the 12th Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) emperor, the street was dotted with guild halls built by different localities, to provide housing to citizens intending to take the imperial exams.
The Ming and Qing Dynasties’sQianmen Street was burnt down to ashes in 1900 when the Allied Forces of the Eight Powers ransacked Beijing. Physically, there is nothing left for us to retrieve. The present Qianmen Street has been rebuilt on the historical photos and the mould of the 1920s to 1930s.
Qianmen Walking Street’s north entrance starts with this decorated archway south of Zhengyang Tower south of Tiananmen Square.
By the decorated archway is a starbucks with old design
The rebuilt Qiananmen Street reproduces the look and layout of old Beijing, lined by famous Beijing time honored shops and restaurants as well as international brands.
Bird cage lights are old symbols of Beijing.
Xianyukou Street literally means “fresh fish mouth”, an old street with a history of 572 years. Xianyukou is linked to Qianmen shopping street running from west to east, opposite Dashilan and houses many of Beijing’s time honored shops and restaurants.
Xianyukou Street’s west archway entrance connecting Qianmen Street.
Wandering along the street, paved with bricks instead of asphalt, people can have a bite in the variety of local restaurants and unique shops. People also have a taste of history from the plaques reminding you of the history of various buildings in the area.
The fish style streetlights take you to the past of Xianyukou Street.
Taiwan Street (Imagine Taiwan)
Located on Dajiang Hutong, Taiwan Street or Imagine Taiwan is actually a Taiwan culture and business district in Qianmen area set up by the Taiwan government. Its presence will further enhance the culture and economic exchange and understanding between China mainland and Taiwan.
The Taiwan Street is linked to Xianyukou Street on the north and Qianmen Walking Street on the west. The most atttraction is Taiwan Guild Hall in Qianmen with a history of over 110 years.
Museum of Deng Lijun’s (Teresa Deng’s Chinese name) Life and Music where her videos and songs play on a loop.
A giant cement tree, a replica of a “famous” tree from the Alishan mountains in Taiwan and Alishan old train car.
Taiwan Food Street, a food court in the basement
Dashilan Street is located from east to west linked to Qianmen Street and opposite to Xianyukou Street, also a walking street. Dashilan is an old commercial street, first built in Yuan Dynasty and further deveopled in Ming and Qing dynasties. Dashiland literally means the street wooden fences which were used to protect the street on both of two ends, hence the name.
Its east entrance to Dashilan Street
On both sides of Dashilan Street are teemd with famous Beijing time honored stores and restaurants.
Ths street managment staff were putting up the banner to welcome the dragon new year 2012.
Guanyinsi Street is also known as Dashilan West Street, since it is situated to the west of Dashilan Street, running east to west. If you walk from Dashilan Street from east to west, then you continue to walk to Guanyinsi Street. From Guanyisi Street, you walk to the west and soon you will join in Nan Xinhua Street and Liulichang Street, which is often regarded as one of best walking trails in Beijing.
Its east entrance to Guanyinsi Street
Walking on Guanyinsi Street, bringing you back to Beijing’s past.
Tip: Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for Beijing guided tours: