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Wangfujing Dajie, btwn. Wangfujing Nankou and Sun Dong’an Plaza
HOURS: Most shops open daily 9 a.m.-late
METRO: Wangfujing (Line 1)
The buzzing pedestrian section of Wangfujing Avenue is one of Beijing’s busiest commercial stretches. Starting at Oriental Plaza at Wangfujing Nankou to the south and ending at Sun Dong’an Plaza in the north, the wide street is lined with Western brand shops, malls, and traditional Chinese department stores.
Around 300 Beijing brands are represented, including tea shops, shoe stores, and milliners. West encroaches on East with the likes of Starbucks, Haagen-Dazs, and Nike.
Wangfujing Avenue has been a place of commerce since the Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties. The street was named for the jing (well) of sweet water that was discovered close to a wangfu (prince’s residence). Dong’an Market was established in 1903, when trolley buses traversed the avenue.
The nightly food market on Donghuamen Avenue, toward the north end of the pedestrian area, is famous for its unusual snacks, like seahorses on sticks.
© Susie Gordon from Moon Beijing & Shanghai, 2nd Edition