Take Subway line 2 to Qianmen Station, take exit C and walk approx. 10mins
Nei Lian Sheng / 34 Dashilan Jie / +86 10 6301 4863 / 9am-8pm daily
Rui Fu Xiang / 5 Dashilan Jie / +86 10 6525 0764 / 9am-8.30pm daily
A Trip Down Memory Lane
Dashilar / Dashilan Street
There are few more captivating pastimes in Beijing than taking to the streets to appreciate the remaining historic areas and relics of centuries past. With criss-crossing hutongs (alleyways), siheyuans (courtyard houses) and architecture dating back to the C.14th, Dashilar is not only one of the oldest and most renowned commercial areas in the capital, it’s also one of the few historic places to have survived the blanket city centre reconstruction of recent years, not to mention several destructive fires that ravaged the main thoroughfare, Dashilan Street, in years gone by.
Despite its sometimes checkered past, many of Dashilar’s ancient buildings have been surprisingly well preserved, with multiple shops from the days of yore remaining, like the now heritage-listed Nei Lian Sheng footwear store, where black-cloth shoes were originally handmade for the imperial court some 150 years ago. Similarly, the Rui Fu Xiang silk store dates back to 1863, and it was from their silk that the first People’s Republic of China flag was made and raised in Tiananmen Square in 1949. There are hat stores, foodstuff stores, traditional herbal medicine dispensaries and tea salons, though cinemas now take the place of opera houses in terms of entertainment venues. The Chinese capital's race headlong into C.21st may be breathtaking and audacious, but there's never been a better time to go back to the future in Old Beijing.