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Wudaoying Hutong – The next Nanluoguxiang

06-18-2010 13:37 BJT

In Beijing, Wudaoying Hutong is a street that has quietly entered the tourism scene, and is beginning to emerge as a player in the market. With Chinese cultural architecture and an array of shops, boutiques, cafes, and nightlife hotspots, it is no surprise that this area of town is beginning to garner the attention of locals and foreigners alike. The local government has taken notice too, with new plans to help develop the street into a thriving center of attraction.

Wudaoying Hutong 
Wudaoying Hutong 

History

Located in the Dongcheng District of the capital, Wudaoying Hutong has been a part of an area that has influenced Beijing in terms of commerce, politics, trade, and culture for over 700 years. Located near such famous scenic spots such as the Forbidden City, Tianamen Square, the Confucian Temple, Imperial College, and more notably the Yonghe Lama Temple, it is surprising that the Hutong has taken so long to develop into a center of commerce. Dongcheng covers an area of 25.38 square kilometers with a population of 555,000 and was part of the central area of the ancient capital of the Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties. During the Qing dynasty, it is known that Wudaoying was used as a military outpost to protect the inner city. After a period of relative peace and stability, the soldiers settled at the hutong. The Beijing City Master Plan has designated Dongcheng as one of the four core zones of the capital city, a zone that typifies Beijing’s function as the country’s political, cultural, and commercial center. As Wudaoying is located in this zone, it has received attention from the government that has planned to renovate the area and turn it into a pedestrian street. In the last twelve months, this hutong has therefore seen skyrocketing prices. Rent has increased dramatically and landlords have been renting out rooms for around 5,000 RMB/month.


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