Hangzhou is now regarded as China’s richest small city.Hanzhou is an old city, and the modern street sits where there were once rich Southern Song Empire residences and teahouses frequented by the politically powerful and wealthy in the city. During the end of the Southern Song Dynasty and Yuan Empire eras, Hangzhou was one of the biggest and perhaps the richest city in the world. Hanzhou is now once again probably the richest city in China in terms of per-capita wealth. The Hanzhou Museum of History and the West Lake Park area are places you can go during a visit to shop and dine on Qinghefang Ancient Street
The history of Qinghefang Street can be dated back to Southern Song Dynasty, and it became prosperity since Qing Dynasty. This street can be taken as one of the oldest streets in Hangzhou. The well-preserved ancient architectures only can be found in this commercial street.
The street collects the business culture, construction culture and folk art culture, famous people, old alleys, ancient houses and renowned store accumulating rich historical and cultural heritage. It is the epitome of Hanghzou.
Many famous century-old shops gather in this ancient street, such as Wang Xing Ji Fan Store, Zhang Xiao Quan Scissors , Wanlong Ham Stack, Hu Qing Yu Hall, Bao He Hall, Zhuang Yuan House, Wang Run Xing, Yi Yuan Jin Dian, Jing Yang Guan, Sheep Soup Restaurant etc..
Hu Qing Yu Hall
Hu Qing Yu Hallwas built by the businessman Hu Xueyan in the Tongzhi (13th year of the Qing Dynasty (1874). It is based on the pharmacopoeia of imperial family in Song Dynasty, it chooses the proved recipe in dynasties to triturate many famous medicines. Now people trust the medicines very much. Together with Tong Ren Tang in Beijing, the two were regarded as the most famous pharmacy in south and north.
Bao He Hall
Bao He Hall is also a famous pharmacy in Qinghefang, it provides treats and medicines to poor people for free. There is legend that Xu Xian was working as a apprentice in Bao He Hall when he met Lady White (bái niáng zǐ 白娘子). Now the statue of Xu Xian is still in front of the hall. During the waning days of the Qing dynasty, Bao He Hall went to recession as the Hu Qing Yu Hall increasingly became flourishing.
Zhang Xiaoquan Scissors
Zhang Xiaoquan Scissors are known as one of the "five prestigious brands in Hangzhou". The Scissors were named after its maker Zhang Xiaoquan. Three hundred years ago, Zhang Sijia, Zhang Xiaoquan’s father, adopted the Zhejiang Longquan Sword-making technique and applied it to making scissors inlaid with steel. Afterwards, Zhang Xiaoquan inherited his father's business and improved the processing techniques with strict regulations for modes, standards, variety and the degree of tautness. In 1663 Zhang Xiaoquan established the Zhang Xiaoquan Scissors brand. Because of the outstanding quality, Zhang Xiaoquan scissors have been widely sold and won high praise. Gradually it became well known and gain a good reputation throughout China.
Wang Xing Ji Fan Store
Wang Xing Ji Fan Store originally called Wang Xing Zhai Fan Store. The founder of the fan was Wang Xing Zhai. His father and grandfather were engaged in making fans. When Wang Xing Zhai was yong, he followed his father to learn making fans. He worked very hard, the fans he made were praised by local people. In 1929, the name of the store was changed to Wang Xing Ji Fan Store. The traditional fan-making handicraft of "Wang Xing Ji" has been kept quite intact after having undergone the vicissitudes of history. It mainly produce black paper fans, sandalwood fan, fragrant wood fans, white paper fans, silk fans and dancing fans. Wang Xing Ji Fan, Silk and Dragon Well tea were listed as the Three Wonders in Hangzhou.
Clay Figure Making
The clay figure making in Hangzhou originated from the Southern Song Dynasty, when handicraftsmen used mud from the West Lake to make figures like cats and kids to be stored in families to bless peace. This customs continued through the dynasties to the current period.
Taiji Teahouse, managed by the offspring of Zheng family specialized in tea business, now has over 6800 disciples and over 530 franchised teahouses at home and abroad. Zheng family started teahouse business as early as late Qianlong Period of Qing Dynasty. Taiji Teahouse pays great attention to water quality, tea quality and tea preparation skills. Li gang, a disciple of the teahouse, was awarded the first Top Tea Master in China.
Apart from these, there are many other places to visit, such as Taihe Teahouse, Wenglongsheng Teahouse, Rongbao Zhai, Guanfu Museum, Ancient Ceramics Museum, World Coin Museum etc..
You must feel hungry after strolling around the streets for a long time. Don't worry, there is a snack street which has lots of delicious food. For example, Wu Dalang Cake, Dingsheng Cake, Bean Curd With Odor etc..
When you travel in Hangzhou, don’t forget to visit the Qinghefang Ancient Street.
You can take the buses of No.8, No.60, K216 (night line) and get off at the east crossing of Gaoyin Street, or take the buses of No.25, No.35, K187, K404, Y8, K850 and get off at Wushan bus station.