Thursday, August 16, 2012

Qianmen , Another Glimpse Into the Old Life in Beijing

        While doing my research for my trip to Beijing I came across photos of a street lined with buildings that resembled old chinese structures. I found out that it is an old mercantile centre of shops in Beijing. Qianmen runs from Jianlou (the Archery Tower) of Zhengyangmen in the north to Tiantan Park in the south.  The street is lined with buildings whose architecture resembles the buildings in the late Qing Dynasty 1644 --- 1911(although I doubt if the buildings are the original structures since there were a lot of demolition that took place in the area before the Olympics).These nice structures are still used as restaurants ,and now some are souvenir stores and shops that house international brands.

       For those who love to shop they can squeeze in a few hours of shopping in their "sightseeing time" as it's easy to drop by at Qianmen.It is near the famous Beijing landmarks and tourist spots like Tian'amen square, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven. The prices in the shops of Qianmen seemed to be more expensive though compared to the other shopping area of Beijing. There were shops in the Wangfujing area where I bought some souvenirs and a scarf from and the asking prices were lower than the ones in Qianmen.If you couldn't afford to shop at Qianmen you could just marvel at the nice buildings that would make you feel like you've time traveled back to the 17th century. You will also enjoy checking out the interesting and colorful knick knacks inside the souvenir shops.
        Aside from the shops another good reason to visit Qianmen is the gate in Beijing's historic city wall called Zhengyangmen ( Qianmen is actually the colloquial name for Zhengyangmen). 
Zhengyangmen was first built in 1419 .It's consisted of the gatehouse proper and an archery tower. The gate guarded the direct entry into the imperial city. I wanted to go up to the imposing tower but a lady told me that tourists were not allowed ( at least that's how I read her hand gestures). I envied the kids who were waving at everyone below , I wondered how they had gotten up there.The city's first railway station, known as the Qianmen Station, was built just outside the gate.                              

Railway Museum                          


  1. loving the pictures! I can see that you are loving the place too. envy much...:) a new follower...:) hope you'll follow me too...:)


  2. Para syang old Industrial Town ng Beijing.

  3. In my plans for traveling to Beijing, this is the first time I've encountered Qianmen. Thanks for sharing---will try to include it in my itinerary :)