Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street
According to a book that was published during the reign of Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street was initially named Drum Tower Xiejie and was changed into the present at the end of Qing Dynasty. It is recorded that there were many smoking pipe stores on the street in the Qing Dynasty, among which there was one named Shuangshengtai. The store owner put a 1.5-meter-high (5-feet-high) wooden smoking pipe in front of the store as a sign. As time went by, the street was known by the whole city for its giant smoking pipe, hence its name. Some people also say that the street looks like a smoking pipe.
|Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street, Beijing Hutong|
After the 1911 Revolution, the Qing Royal Family was overthrown, the banners (Manchurians that were fed by the Qing government) lost their incomes and many of them had to sell their properties, such as antiques, to make a living. Gradually many antique markets were formed in Beijing, among which Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street was a large one. But after 1949, the antique trading on this street gradually declined.
The Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street lost its commercial position in the 1950s and many buildings were changed to residential buildings, including the Taoism Temple--Guangfu Guan. In 2007, the street was redeveloped to recover its historical features. Guangfu Guan has become a tourist site and many reproductions of classic architecture were built on the street. In the buildings are stores of Indian clothes, Miao costumes and accessories, Tibet costumes, Lijiang crafts, Shaanxi pottery, badges and quotations of Chairman Mao, etc. If you want to experience Chinese commercial culture, the best way would be to buy some souvenirs and bargain with the shopkeepers.
There are more than 20 cafés and bars with different styles on the Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street, among which there is the Night of Yinding, the largest café in the Shichahai area. And others like the Red Mansion, the Sea Bar, the Show Place Café, the Wenshi Café, etc. One can have a cup of coffee when tired and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Houhai Lake. Tasting the delicacies of traditional Beijing style and those of other places, shopping in the widely varying stores, one would best experience the uniqueness of the city.
Take No. 5, 60, 107, 124, or 834 to Gu Lou (Drum Tower) Stop, then walk 5 minutes to it.
One Day Visit: Panda House - Lama Temple - Confucius Temple - Imperial Academy - Skewed Tobacco Pouch Street
Shichahai and Houhai Hutongs: to visit Shichahai, Prince Gong's Mansion and Hutongs
More Beijing Tours