Dashila’er Shopping Street

Address: Qianmen St. Chongwen Dis. Bejing
Tel: None
Entrance Fee: 0RMB

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Dashila (or Dashila’er in the local Beijing dialect) is a 500-year old commercial street located south of Tiananmen Square and to the west of Qianmen Dajie. Dashila was built during Ming Dynasty and became prosperous during the Qing Dynasty.

The former name of Dashila is ”Langfangsitiao”. The Qing Dynasty government (being made up of ethnic Manchus from north-east China) created fences along several streets in order contain rioting by ethnic Han Chinese disatified with Qing rule, though also with the dual purpose of controlling street crime in mind. Because the fence at ‘Langfangsitiao’ was much bigger than the others, this Hutong (alley) was renamed ‘Dashila’ (Dashila means big fence in Chinese). The street was razed during the Boxer Uprising in 1900 but reconstructed later as merchants returned to the street.

After undergoing extensive reconstruction, Dashila was reopened to the public in time for the August 2008 Beijing Olympics. The new pedestrian street has a length of 840 meters from the north end at Qianmen Yueliangwan to the south end at Zhushikou. The street contains many famous restaurants, such as the Qianmen Quanjuede Roast Duck Restaurant, as well as speciality shops selling traditional Chinese specialities such as the Dabei Photo Studio, Zhangyiyuan Tea Shop, Tongrentang Drugstore, Ruifuxiang Silk Shop, as well as theatres and many other sites of interest. The buildings have been reconstructed in Ming and Qing construction style, though the street has a modern infrastructure. The other main attraction is the Dangdangche, an old-style tram that used to run during the late Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China period.

Dashila is a must if you are interested in Chinese folk culture or want to buy some traditional Chinese souvenirs.

For some photos of the Dashila’er Shopping Street (Qianmen Avenue), Check here

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