China is a multi-national country which has a long history of over 5,000 years. Thanks to the good protection of its ancient streets, people nowadays still have the chance to catch a glimpse of the lifestyles from ancient times. Moreover, to present the huge difference between historical lifestyles and modern lifestyles of China, some typical modern pedestrian streets will also be introduced.
Barkhor Street in Lhasa
Barkhor Street is located in Lhasa, Tibet. It has a history of more than 1,300 years. Since Jokhang Temple was built, the temple quickly attracted thousands of Buddhist pilgrims. And many of them passed through the path where Barkhor Street was used to be. This is the origin of Barkhor Street, which is also known as the ‘sacred road’ among Tibetan people.
Nowadays, Barkhor Street consists of 35 streets with traditional Tibetan buildings standing on both sides. Tourists can have a close encounter with traditional Tibetan clothes, Thangka (a Tibetan religious painting), Tibetan food, and other souvenirs.
Central Street in Harbin
Central Street in Harbin is the longest pedestrian street in Asia with length of 1,450 meters. It was built in 1898 by Russians and became the first pedestrian street in mainland China in 1997. Central street gradually attracted numerous foreign shops, hotels, and bars to be open there, selling a large number of exotic commodities like Russian leather, British wool, French perfume, and German medicine, etc. The architectural style on the street mixed some influential Western art styles including Baroque and Renaissance.
Guozijian Street in Beijing
Guozijian means imperial college. It was built in Yuan Dynasty (1306), and had been the highest educational institution through Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. Students learned Confucianism, math, literature, music, archery, etc. there. It was a great honor for students at that time to be admitted to Guozijian. And some of the graduates had profound influence on politics of feudal dynasties. In 2008, after the thorough repair and maintenance work towards Guozijian, it was reopened to public.
Nanjing Road in Shanghai
Nanjing Road was the very first business street since the port-opening of Shanghai in 1840s, and has become the world's longest shopping district, around 5.5km long, attracting over 1 million visitors daily. East side of Nanjing Road is a pedestrian shopping district featuring the Shanghai Bund on one end, and numerous stores alongside the road. West side is a dedicated commercial zone, with numbers of upmarket mall, prestigious historic hotels, and famous Jing'an Temple.
Wangfujing in Beijing
Wangfujing “princess residence well” is one of the most famous pedestrianized shopping streets of Beijing. Commercial activities in Wangfujing dates back to Ming Dynasty, over 400 years ago. In the Qing Dynasty, ten aristocratic estates and princess residence were built here, therefore the name Wangfujing was given. Apart from being a popular shopping destination for local residents and tourists, Wangfujing is also famous for its streets snakes, serving exotic and traditional street food. Mouth-watering scents of food draw people to flood in the food market packed with restaurants and street food stalls.
Zhongshan Road in Ningbo
Ten kilometers of Zhongshan Road - Ningbo's historical, cultural, commercial, and political spine- is designed to foster and exhibit the city's past, while at the same time allowing for its rapid growth. Eight zones, alongside this main street of metropolitan city of Eastern China, Ningbo, showcase each of their own characters creating Ningbo’s radiant city center.