Wangfujing Street

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Wangfujing Street

Postby inbeijing » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:21 pm

Address: Wang Fu Jing Street, Dongcheng District Opening hours: Mon-Sun 9:00am to 10:00pm Metro: Line 1 and get off at Wangfujing station

Wangfujing is now considered the central heart of the city of Beijing. Along the 810-metre-long street and in an area of about 810 square meters are over 200 shops. The new street provides convenience for pedestrians since vehicles are prohibited from most of the shopping area. In spite of being modern, the renovated Wangfujing Street has retained its traditional cultural atmosphere. The street combines traditional and modern styles with culture and commerce. The ancient well, from which legend says the street got its name, has been symbolically restored. The massive Beijing Department Store is a prime shopping store on the street and a large modern plaza is located at each of the south and northern ends of the walking area. The Foreign Language Bookstore, the largest bookstore of this kind in Beijing, is located on this street.

Now, the Wangfujing area has become the city's central shopping district because of its easy access to major roads, high density of retail and service businesses, and the high degree of population flow.

1. The Tiananmen Square
Telephone: 8610-65243322
Address: 4 Jingshan qianjie (front street), Dongcheng District
Ticket: Free entry to Tian'anmen Square
Bus:1, 9, 20, 44, 59, 120, 742, 803, 808, 819, 848 and Special bus routes 1
Metro: Line 1 and get off at Tian'anmen West station
Opening Hours: 5:00-22:00

2. The Palace Museum
Telephone: 8610-85117049
Address: No. 4, Jingshan Front Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Ticket: From November 1 through March 31, admission is RMB 40
From April 1 through October 31, admission is RMB 60
Metro: Line 1 and get off at Tian'anmen West station
Opening hours: April 1st-October 31 8:30-17:00 Last Entry at 16:10 Tickets sold until 16:00
November 1st-March 31 8:30-16:30 Last Entry at 15:40 Tickets sold until 15:30



The street originated in the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) more than 700 years ago and is said to have received its name in the Ming Dynasty more than 500 years ago. It was said that the emperor wanted all his 10 brothers to build their mansions in the place now known as Wangfujing so as to make it easy for him to keep a wary eye on them for fear that they might pose a direct threat to him. Therefore, the street was then named Shiwangfu, meaning "mansions for 10 imperial brothers". Now the street is one of the busiest shopping areas in Beijing. There are more than 200 shops on the 810-metre-long street from Nankou of Wangfujing to Jinyu (Goldfish) Hutong (Lane). Tourists love to go shopping here. Within 8 years from 1992 to 1999, 1 billion Yuan (US$120 million) was spent on renovating the whole of Wangfujing Street. According to statistics, before 1992, the highest flow of visitors numbered 450, 000 every day on Wangfujing Street. Every day about 200, 000 shoppers came to Beijing Department Store. Later, only about 50, 000 came to do shopping at the Beijing Department Store. To change the situation, the Beijing municipal government decided to restore all the shops and the street so that they could attract more people to come to the street reputed as a "golden street" by the people of Beijing. Recently, the area has had more major renovations to improve the appearance, accessibility and the shopping experience.

The Legend of Wangfujing

Originally it was the site of a chieftain's villa where a freshwater well and an exquisite pavilion made the place known far and wide. This chieftain was a very selfish man.

One year, the town suffered a severe drought and most of the wells almost dried up. However, the chieftain's well still had abundant fresh, sweet water so he asked the old doorkeeper to guard the well and allow none to fetch water. However this old man was so kindhearted that he always secretly helped the poor who desperately needed water.

Later, the chieftain found out about this and was furious. However, the doorkeeper stood up to him and said, "My lord, I help those in need, which runs counter to your instructions. But look at it this way: If all the people were dying of thirst, nobody would work for you. However, if you don't agree with me, then I will not allow anyone to fetch water from now on." The chieftain had no choice but to give in.

Afterwards, more and more people came here for water, even those living a long way away. Therefore, the reputation of Wangfujing was spread far and wide and became the name of the place. From then on, when mentioning this area, people would call it north, south, east, and west Wangfujing.

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