Yandaixiejie (Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street)

Written by Sally Guo Updated Jul. 8, 2021

Starting from Di’anmen Avenue in the east to Shichahai in the west, Yandaixiejie (the Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street) is 300 meters (984 feet) long, and it’s listed among the eight characteristic streets of Beijing. Yandaixiejie specialized in selling smoking sets, curios, calligraphy, and painting work during the late Qing Dynasty (1616 -1911), where the architectural buildings are in an antique flavor, and a number of famous celebrities have visited it.

Walking 50 meters (55 yards) northward from the east end of Yandaixiejie, you’ll see Dashibei Hutong (Greater Stone Tablet Hutong) which leads to Gulouxi Avenue. The middle section of the street communicates with Yiliu River, along which you can walk southward to Houmen Bridge. The west end of Yandaixiejie is opposite the east end of Yaer Hutong, and you can walk northwestward to Guangyuan Temple along the hutong. In the southwest of the west end of Yandaixiejie is the Silver Ingot Bridge (Yinding Bridge), which leads to the West of Shichahai. In the northeast of the west end of Yandaixiejie is Xiaoshibei Hutong (Little Stone Tablet Hutong).

Legends about Yandaixiejie

It was said that most Manchurians were fond of smoking in the Qing Dynasty (1616 -1911); therefore, they carried tobaccos and pouches with them wherever they went. Owing to the increasing demand for pouches in Beijing, a number of pouch stores were successively built on the Skewed Street in the Qing Dynasty (1616 -1911), hence its name. In the east of the Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street stands Shuang Sheng Tai Pouch Store, at whose front gate erects a wood-carving pouch, with a red tassel hanging from its red holder, and it’s very impressive.

Famous Stores on Yandaixiejie

The stores along Yandaixiejie were built during the late Qing Dynasty (1616 -1911) and the early Republic of China (1911 -1949). Hong Ji Nan Paper Store is the largest of its kind on the street, which specializes in the sale of various kinds of paper. The most famous pouch store on the street is Shuang Sheng Tai, where visitors can purchase tobacco pouches of various sizes and shapes, including porcelain ones, jade ones, wooden ones, and bronze ones. In addition, a number of curios stores are also available on the street, highlighted by Tai Gu Studio, Bao Pu Studio, Song Yun Studio, and Bao Wen Studio.

Not only is the Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street an old commercial street, but also it’s a cultural street, where many quadrangle dwellings (Si He Yuan) are dotted, attracting millions of visitors each year.

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