How to spend a Wednesday in Liulichang
Wednesday of Fall break was spent exploring Liulichang, (as far as I know) the most famous district in Beijing to experience Chinese culture. It was actually one of the lesson topics in our textbooks, and since I hadn’t seen much culture other than Jingju, I figured I may as well check it out. I was warned beforehand that for every store that showcases “real” Chinese culture, there’s another that’s probably selling some really good fakes. It may not be that far off the touristy path, but as far as I’m concerned, it was still an interesting experience.
Liulichang takes its name from an official kiln which produced colored glazed tiles for the roofs of palaces, temples and nobles during the Yuan (1271-1368) and Ming Dynasties (1368-1644). During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the area was popular with the scholar and artist crowds and it became a well know cultural street for selling antiques. Eventually the factory was closed and replaced by more shops, but it still kept the name. The street was renovated in 1982, and is still one of the most thriving cultural centers in all of Beijing.
There you have it, the center of culture in Beijing. If you’re looking to head that way, take subway line 2, get off at Hepingmen Station, get out of the station from Exit D1 or D2 (southwest exit), and walk south for 500 meters. If you’re looking to buy while you’re there, you can haggle over the price in most shops and stores. Either way, the air seems to be cleaner in that area, so it’s a good place to spend an afternoon.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and I’ll get back to you!