The history of Dashilar dates back centuries. Just
south of Tiananmen Square, the Dashilar area is a commercial market with over
600 years of operation. Modern day
Dashilar is a commercial street boasting several of China’s time honoured
brands (老字号), prominent in China and abroad.
Amongst them is Chinese traditional medicine
pharmacy, Tongrentang Traditional Medicine. With a history spanning 350 years, these guys have been making pills, powders
and ointments from herbs and other natural ingredients since 1669. In 1723, Tonrentang became the official
pharmaceutical service for the Qing dynasty palace.
Dashilar has become the intersection of the past and the present. The
Dashilar we know today is still reminiscent of its historical status as a
wealthy and grand metropolis all thanks to a 2011 redevelopment strategy
launched to revitalise one of Beijing’s most original historical quarters. The
result of that is a modern-day Dashilar made up of a cluster of old Beijing
signatures standing alongside chic modern day coffee and boutique stores.
Photo: Yangmeizhuxie Jie
There’s much to see at one of the oldest hutongs
in Beijing. From iconic sites to shopping exclusives, this is a comprehensive
list of everything to look out for when you’re strolling through the area.