Qinghefang Pedestrian Street, Hangzhou
The Qinghefang Pedestrian Street in Hangzhou has become a tourist attraction in itself. Known as one of the most interesting spots in Hangzhou, Qinghefang Street is lined with shopping and dining treats that can satisfy any traveler. Due to its huge role in Hangzhou’s business and commerce, Qinghefang Pedestrian Street is now considered a prestigious national AAAA-level scenic spot in Hangzhou.
The street is named after general Zhang Jun, who defeated the Jin Army in Mingzhou City, also known presently as Ningbo. When the general was hailed as the viceroy, he established the Qinghejun Mansion on Taiping Lane; it was positioned right along Hefang Street. After some time, the whole street was simply renamed Qinghefang Street to honor the general.
During the Song Dynasty, the Yuan Dynasty, the Ming Dynasty, and the Qing Dynasty, Qinghefang Street was known as the most prosperous commercial street in the city. Today, mixing Qing and Ming architectural styles and housing an overwhelming number of shops, the street is truly a sight to behold.
Things to do
If you’re traveling in Hangzhou and you wish to familiarize yourself with the local flavor and personality of Hangzhou, then Qinghefang Pedestrian Street is the place to go. Extending up to 460 meters, the Street is considered the best-preserved historical street in the city. Thus, tourists flock there not only to take part in Hangzhou’s lively commerce but also to admire the ancient buildings, many of which date back to the late Ming and the early Qing dynasties.
The street’s prominence is not just because of its antiquity, but also of the important role it plays for Hangzhou City. Even in the past, Qinghefang was considered a highly prosperous area in Hangzhou. In fact, during the Southern Song Dynasty, the street housed a great number of stores and shops. It was thus considered as the cultural, political, and commercial center of Hangzhou.
Aside from the thriving local businesses in the area, the Street has also played a key role in keeping China’s ancient tea culture, medicine culture, and authentic Chinese cuisine alive. Guests are therefore encouraged to stop and check out the various shops along the street. Some of this dates back to the olden times.
Indeed, many prominent shops and businesses of the past still stand and do business today in Qinghefang Street. Some of the most popular ones, which tourists should definitely look out for, include:
Huqinyu Drugstore. The drugstore was originally owned by Hu Xueyan, an entrepreneur who lived during the latter part of the Qing Dynasty. The shop has a unique graceful shape and comes with plenty of classical adornments such as pavilions, bridges, and fountains. It is certainly unlike any drugstore in the area. In fact, it even has different sections, namely the Display Hall, the Traditional Chinese Medicine Manual Workshop, the Health Protecting and Care Clinic, the Business Hall, and the Medicine Diet Hall.
Baohe Drugstore. The Baohe Drugstore has been in Qinghefang Street for 1000 years now. It is highly reputed for its charitable health care services for the poor. Visitors can even go there just to contribute to the cause by buying any of the drugstore’s self-manufactured herbal teas and medicinal liquors.
No. 1 Scholar Hall. Known as the first noodle restaurant in Hangzhou, this is very famous among tourists who want to taste authentic Ningbo, Sichuan, and Hangzhou dishes. The hall has two levels divided into 20 uniquely designed compartments; all in all, it can hold 600 customers at once.
After checking out the famous shops along the street, visitors should also check out the newer additions to the street. These include the Global Currency Museum, the Zheijiang Ancient Pottery Collection Hall, the Global Currency Museum, the Guanfu Classical Art Museum, the Shaoxing Wine Store, and the Taiji Tea House, among others.