Beijing Attractions: Wangfujing Snack Street
Wangfujing Daije 王府井大街
- Beijing's major shopping street
- Snacks on sale range from sugar-coated fruit to deep-fried scorpions
- Department stores Sun Dong'an Plaza & Oriental Plaza
- Lively night market
- St. Joseph's Church at no. 74
- Foreign Language Bookstore
- Previously known as Morrison Street
The historic shopping street of Wangfujing Daije lies to the east of the Forbidden City in the Dongcheng district of the capital. Bounded by the massive Oriental Plaza department store and Beijing Hotel at its southern end, Wangfujing Daije runs north past the Sun Dong'an Plaza department store on the eastern side, St Joseph's Cathedral, one of Beijing's most important churches and the Dong'Anment Night Market and the Foreign Language Bookstore to the west.
The area has been an important commercial and retail center since the middle of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and before the revolution was known as Morrison Street, after the Australian journalist George Ernest Morrison (1862-1920), who shopped for books on China for his library in the area. Many historic Chinese stores are located in the area including craft shops, hat stores, pharmacies, shoe shops, and teashops.
Wangfujing Daije is now largely pedestrianized and makes for an interesting experience of both modern and ancient Beijing.
Islamic Food in Beijing
Donghuamen Yeshi Night Market further up the street at the intersection with Jinyu hutong is the famous area of cheap, xiaochi ('small food') street stalls selling all sorts of exotica: fried starfish, scorpions, even insects. Less unusual Chinese candied fruits and kebabs are also mainstays. Prices are rock-bottom.
The nearby Foreign Language Bookstore (Tel: 6512 6911) at 235 Wangfujing Daije has reputedly the largest collection of foreign language books in China: fiction, history books, translations of Chinese classics, magazines and non-fiction crowd the shelves. Imported books in English, German, Japanese and other languages are mainly on the 3rd floor - travel guides, art books, cookbooks, photography books complete an eclectic collection.
At 75 Wangfujing Daije St. Joseph's Church (East Cathedral) dates from 1904 though the church's origins are much earlier. The three-domed building is a local landmark with a large square outside.
Getting To Wangfujing
The nearest subway station is Wangfujing on Line 1, one stop east from Tiananmen Dong Station.
Wanfujing Snack Street Map
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Book Hotel Accommodation in Beijing near Wangfujing