Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism

Interesting Old Lanes Along Yan-an Road

Hangzhou has changed a lot in the new year — the total mileage of subway operations has exceeded 300 kilometers, the municipal district has achieved the “full coverage of rail transit” and three subway lines with over 50 stations have been put into use at the same time. 


With those once distant places becoming easily accessible, more and more new blood flows into downtown Hangzhou. Those streets and communities in old downtown have changed inadvertently …


These old streets and lanes have carried countless beautiful things in the past years. Today, we’ll take you to take a turn on Yan-an Road and re-walk those old streets and lanes in downtown Hangzhou to look for the dwindling old Hangzhou lifestyle.


Shihuqiao (Lion and Tiger Bridge) Road

狮虎桥路


Starting from the north section of Yan-an Road in the east and ends in the middle section of Wulin Road, Shihuqiao Road used to a street famous for selling outdoor supplies. Now, it’s the gathering place of vintage clothes and art toy stores.


Those vintage clothes stores hidden in the corridors of residential buildings are so lovely as if they are from Japanese cartoons.


There are also some extremely beautiful jewelry stores and brick-and-mortar stores of online internet-famous stores. They bring in fashion and give the old street a new look.


Walking into these colorful stores, you will find them full of vigorous and youthful atmosphere.


Hai’er Lane 孩儿巷


The history of Hai’er Lane can be traced back to the Memorial Hall of Lu You 700 years ago. Grain and oil stores, roasted seeds and nuts stores, preserved fruit stores … those that are almost extinct in this city can all be found here.


The thousand-year-old lane that you may have passed many times without looking at it carefully has a list of eating and drinking as long as its history. Any restaurant on this street can fully satisfy your stomach with a budget of only a dozen of Chinese yuan. 


This lane has welcomed successively berobello, no big deal, Hey Coffee, Yuzhou Coffee (屿宙咖啡), and the extremely popular “outbreak beans doudou coffee” … The reputation of the lane, the Coffee Street of Downtown Hangzhou now has become one of its prominent labels.


Coffee and bread definitely make a great option for afternoon tea. The many refreshing Japanese handmade bread stores here have captivated many.


Perhaps because of its history, time in Hai’er Lane seems to go very slowly. The humanistic feelings of Hangzhou are magnified on this 300-meter-long lane.


Guohuo Road 国货路


Sandwiched between Jiefang Road (解放路) and Xihu Avenue (西湖大道), Guohuo Road faces Hubin business district and is backed by West Lake Scenic Area. It is home to a collection of small shops with various strengths, and it has become a solid and assured daily existence in the hearts of countless people.


The first rice ball cooking special restaurant in Hangzhou, Liuma Canteen (六马食堂) can be found here. It can really bring people the warm tune of the healing Japanese drama.


Take a turn and you will see VORTEX COFFEE that possesses the particularly beautiful scenery of phoenix trees. It’s not to be missed.


More and more new stores continue to join, while old stores still retain their charm. Vin de JeanHerni–Hangzhou’s first European-style red wine tavern, drippers–the city’s first pour-over coffee shop, and the innovative follow coffee … are all here.


After being visited by waves of people attracted by their fame, they gradually settle down and become more than just internet-famous stores.


Dajing Lane 大井巷


The Dajing Lane at the foot of Wushan Hill is the tail of Yan-an Road. It is separated from the bustling Qinghefang Street by a wall and is named after an ancient Dajing (big well) in the lane.


As one of the oldest lanes of Hangzhou, a hundred years ago, Hu Qing Yu Tang Pharmacy (胡庆余堂), Zhang Xiaoquan Scissors (张小泉), Baoda Ginseng Store (保大参号) and numerous tea houses began to operate here. Now walking along the lane, people can still smell wisps of fragrance of herbal medicine from the neighboring street.


In the past few years, the only-one-meter-long tranquil Dajing Lane gained its vitality too and became a culture-and-art center place.


In Dajing Lane, the strong tea culture atmosphere is merging with coffee culture. Famous coffee stores like Zi Dong Wo Xi Coffee (资董窝玺coffee)–the name card of Hangzhou boutique independent café and Ceremorning &Random Play – the mini “community art gallery” are in this lane.


Take a turn on the prosperous Yan-an Road packed with tourists and you will find those streets and lanes with authentic Hangzhou lifestyle. While retaining the old lifestyle of Hangzhou people, it is full of vitality.


Let’s stop our steps and take a turn to find the new scenery and fun along the city’s artery.