Wangfujing Street - biggest commercial center of Beijing
Wangfujing is now considered as the central heart of Beijing City. It is the first modern-style commercial street in Beijing, about 800 meters long and on two sides of it standing many stores and malls. A walk from end to end would take you about 30 mins, and that's without looking at any shops and malls.
The Wangfujing shopping district aims to achieve equal ranking with New York's Fifth Avenue, the Champs-Elysees of Paris and the Ginza in Tokyo. The packed stores in the street selling clothes, tea, shoes, souvenirs, books, hats, etc - you name it, Wangfujing's got it.
Layout of Wangfujing Street
It starts from Wangfujing Nankou, where the Oriental Plaza and the Beijing Hotel are located. It then heads north, passing the Wangfujing Xinhua Bookstore, the Beijing Department Store as well as the Beijing Foreign Language Bookstore before ending at the Sun Dong An Plaza.
Much of the road is off-limits to cars and other motor vehicles, and it is not rare to see the entire street full of people. It is embellished with squares, lawns, flower beds, fountains, ornamental columns, sculptures and benches. This pleasant environment has made shopping an exercise in fashionable leisure.
How to get there
Getting to Wangfujing is pretty easy. You can take the subway and get off at the Line 1 Wangfujing (118) station. Alternatively, you can of course take the taxi.
Oriental Plaza, covering an area of 120,000 square meters, is one of the largest shopping malls in Asia. The Plaza features flagship stores of over 40 first class brands like Trussardi, Miss Sixty and Costumeuomo.
Wangfujing Department Store
It is comparable to Bloomingdales. Unlike shanghai, beijing has less luxury department stores and this is the most popular, situated in the hip wang fu jing street, it carries many foreign brands such as Calvin Klein, Nina Ricce, Gucci, Prada, Lanvin etc. The first floor is home to cosmetic brands such as Christian Dior, Elizabeth Arden and Guerlain and boutiques like Mondi, Yves Saint Laurent, Nina Ricci, D'urban and Charles Jourdan. The second floor houses the ladies department, lingerie, accessories and leather bags plus a coffee shop. The third floor has the men's department, and on the fourth floor are children's clothes, toys (plenty of foreign brands) and household items.
Snack Street in Wangfujing
The Wangfujing Night Market has a selection of exotic Street food on the Snack Street. Deep fried insects, scorpions, and sea creatures can be found, along with other animals and animal parts not ordinarily consumed as food in the west. But while these exotic snacks can be found, other more common foods, such as Chuanr (meat kebabs, commonly made of lamb) and desserts, such as Tang hu lu, or candied fruits make up the majority of the food sold on the street.
Wangfujing at Night
The stores of Wangfujing Street close at 9PM, but a small night market stays open after that which caters to tourists. The night market consists of vendor stalls that stretch along a few blocks of side streets and alleys that branch off from Wangfujing Street near the southern end of its pedestrian mall section.
Most of the stalls sell either souvenirs or food. The souvenirs are the same things that you see in shops all over the city, and you will have to bargain to get down to the right price. We shopped for postcards and Christmas ornaments there. The food on offer in the food stalls ranges from ordinary (ice cream) to unusual (scorpion-on-a-stick and seahorse-on-a-stick are a couple of the stranger ones that we saw).
For souvenirs, try to buy them for about 1/3 of the asking price. You will have to bargain for a few rounds and walk away once or twice to get to the right price.
Old-Beijing-Street in Wangfujing
The Old-Beijing-Street which is located on Wangfujing Dajie (-1/F, Xin Dong An Plaza) is an underground street built in Ming and Qing styles. The outstanding characteristic of it is the centralized well-known longstanding stores selling shoes, caps, silk cloth, scissors, Chinese brushes and ink-stick, jade, teas, desserts, pickled vegetables and roast duck. Beijing Craftwork and Art Mansion specially operates various industrial arts and artworks, and is famed all over Beijing, and is an old shop in Wangfujing Street.
Additionally, there are many old stores selling the tasty local dishes in Wangfujing Street and they will make your mouth watery, such as Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant and Donglaishun.
Wangfujing Book Store
This large bookstore has a history of nearly 50 years, and it is the preference of many foreigners in Beijing. The bookstore has a great number of books written in English covering literature, history, politics, travel, art and even cooking. Most of them are published by Chinese publishing houses, while there are also some original imported books from foreign countries.
- To Wangfujing Photos Page to enjoy Wangfujing Street more.