How to visit Dong Jiao Min Xiang

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Plan your Beijing tour? If you like a walking tour, Dong Jiao Min Xiang is a historic site worth your short stroll and glimpse of the European-style buildings left over by the late 19th century and early 20th century foreign powers.

Dong Jiao Minj Xiang ( or Dong Jiao Min Alley ) literally means “East Foreign Residents Alley”, which is the longest alley ( hutong ) in Beijing with a total length of 1550 meters. In the English travel guidebooks, Dong Jiao Min Xiang is popularly known as Former Legation Quarter. It was once home to the former 11 foreign embassies including UK, France, Germany, Japan, the US, Russia, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium and Dutch.

The trees-lined alley is surrounded by elegant historic buildings quite different from the rest of Beijing traditional buildings, an inseparable part of Beijing’s history.

So how to visit How to visit Dong Jiao Min Xiang (the Former Legation Quarter). The historic alley is open all year round without any entrance fee. Dong Jiao Min Xiang is an east-west hutong with its west end ( west entrance ) connected to the east of Tiananmen Square and its east end ( east entrance ) close to the Exit A of the subway station of Chongwenmen ( subway line 2).

A walk along Dong Jiao Min Alley is often done either before or after your visit to Tiananmen Square. So if you prefer to visit Dong Jiao Min Xiang before your tour of Tiananmen Square, you may take subway line 2 and get off at the station of Chongwenmen and exit from Exit A.

The east entrance to Dong Jiao Min Xiang (东交民巷)is just next to the north of Exit A, and the east entrance is also sandwiched by Beijing Tong Ren Hospital and Xinqiao Novotel Hotel. If you’d like to visit Dong Jiao Min Xiang after Tiananmen Square, you walk to the east side of the square, try to find the way to the alley of Dong Jiao Min Xiang.

Well, follow me into the west entrance to Dong Jiao Min Xiang from Tiananmen Square.

The west entrance is on the east edge of the square across the road opposite to the east side of Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao (Mausoleum of Mao Zedong) in the south of Tiannamen Square.

Walking up the steps leading to the west entrance to Dong Jiao Min Xiang ( Former Legation Quarter ). As some of the former foreign legation buildings have been transferred into government offices, taking pictures is not allowed. Other buildings have been turned into restaurants and hotels.

Walking up the steps leading to the east entrance to Dong Jiao Min Xiang

Walking up the steps leading to the east entrance to Dong Jiao Min Xiang

Once entering the west entrance, on your right side is the part of the former the US embassy which is now used as the office building for Tiananmen Square Administration Committee.

Part of the former the US embassy

Part of the former the US embassy

On your left side across the former US embassy is the former Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China. Built in 1919, it is the British royal chartered bank in China during the Republican Period specializing in the oriental business.

former Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China

former Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China

Dong Jiao Min Xiang is a quite and arched tree alley, a timeline bringing you back to the former legation quarter period.

Dong Jiao Min Xiang is a quite and arched tree alley,

Dong Jiao Min Xiang is a quite and arched tree alley,

East of the former US embassy compound is the former Dutch Embassy Compound. The picture below is the former entrance to the Dutch Barrack.

the former entrance to the Dutch Barrack.

the former entrance to the Dutch Barrack.

Move on to the east direction, you will see a grand building in the name of Beijing Police Museum at No.36. The Building is the former CITI Bank. Walk a while, you will come across the building no.34 for the former French bank – Banque de i’indo Chine.

The domed building at the corner of Dong Jiao Min Xiang and Zhengyi Road ( a north-south street ) is the former Japanese Yokahama Specie Bank.

Just to the east of the former Japanese Yokahama Specie Bank is the former Japanese Embassy, a yellow three-storey building (the Building No.23-1).
the former Japanese Embassy,

the former Japanese Embassy,

This is the building for the former French Post Office (No.19-1). Now it has been turned into a Sichuan Restaurant.

This is the building for the former French Post Office (No.19-1).

This is the building for the former French Post Office (No.19-1).

Have a short stroll to the east of the former French Post Office, you will see the entrance to the former French Embassy.

The St. Michael’s Church is located at the northeast corner of the crossroad between Dong Jiao Min Xiang and Taijichang Road (north-south). In 1901, the church property belonged to the French embassy, and when it opened in 1904, St. Michael’s was managed by the French Church.

St. Michael's Church

St. Michael’s Church

To the south of the St. Michael’s Church is the former Belgian legation with green roofs and red brick walls.

the former Belgian legation

the former Belgian legation

The main gate to the former Belgian embassy is on the East Qianmen Street, paralleling Dong Jiao Min Xiang.

The main gate to the former Belgian embassy is on the East Qianmen Street

The main gate to the former Belgian embassy is on the East Qianmen Street

 

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 guided tours to Beijing:

Beijing by Night Illuminations Tour  from US$33 p/p

Beijing Hutong Highlight One Day Tour  from US$59 p/p

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

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2 Responses to “How to visit Dong Jiao Min Xiang”

  1. Christina Nadendla says:

    Could you please tell me the location of the former building of Hartung’s Photoshop 1940s Peking. Thank you.

  2. Daniel says:

    Dear Christina Nadendla,

    The former two-story building of Hartung’s Photoshop 1940s Peking is still intact. It is located close to Germany Hospital ( Now Beijing Hospital). Its address: No.2 Dong Jiao Min Xiang (东交民巷2号). Its ownership has been changed for many times. It is no longer a photo-shop, but it still keeps the style of “Upper Home and Lower Shop”.

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