Wangfujing is situated in the centre of Beijing which makes it a perfect location for people to visit from anywhere in the city. To reach Wangfujing, visitors can take the line one of the subway and get off at Wangfujing station, exit A. Despite the bustling roads around Wanfujing, the pedestrianized layout of the area means visitors can have a relatively relaxed shop. For international access to the city, some operators such as; China Airlines and Air China may be a useful way in which to get your trip started.

Commerce has flourished in the Wangfujing ever since the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). The name ‘Wangfujing’, however, actually arose later under the Ming dynasty from “Wang Fu”, meaning princely residence and “Jing” which means ‘well’. Relics of Wangfujing’s past can be found around the area. These include the ‘Wangfujing Well’ and the stunning, Romanesque-styled, Wangfujing Cathedral which was rebuilt in 1904. Walking down the main street will also provide an excellent opportunity to take some fun-snaps with the camera due to the fact that the street is dotted with statues which portray life in old-Beijing. Together with these reasons, and more mentioned below, this should hopefully influence your decision to go and travel to Beijing.

At 810 meters long and over 200 shops, Wangfujing is not short of retail outlets. On the main street, visitors can experience an array of modern shops where the latest products and designs can be found. If accessing the main street from the ‘south entrance’ (Wangfujing Nankou), visitors will pass the Oriental Plaza mall which, given by its size, can provide nearly everything a shopper desires. If you love reading books, then Wangfujing is probably the place for you. Indeed, the street has a strong connection with the written word. For example, Wangfujing was once named ‘Morrison Street’ after George Morrison, an Australian journalist. Whilst today the main street displays two fine bookstores which both sell western literature. Wangfujing Bookstore is the larger of the two stores and sells western material on the third floor with the Beijing Foreign Languages Bookstore being the other.

Visiting Wangfujing at night is certainly worth considering because this is when the main street is illuminated with fantastic neon colours. For instance, the Citizen Clock Tower certainly appears impressive towering over the street in the dark. Moreover, for those who have built up quite an appetite from shopping along the main street, there is always the option of venturing into Wangfujung Snack Street (Wangfujing XiaoChiJie) which comes alive after 6pm. As a note of warning, some of the foods here may be very different from what you may be used to (such as scorpion and sheep testicles). On the other hand, taking the opportunity to visit this food market will nevertheless enrich your experience of local culinary delights. Furthermore, the market serves some very tasty and popular treats like glazed fruit kebabs (Tanghulu) along with more ordinary foods like noodles.To make your experience of Wangfujing even more pleasurable, Beijing Hotels lists many luxury hotels near to the area.

 

Jack Li

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