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West lake (Xi Hu)

Lingyin Temple

Peak Flown From Afar

China National Tea Museum Hangzhou

Bamboo Lined Path At Yunqi

Viewing fish at Flower Pond

Wuzhen Old Water Town

Xitang Old Water Town

Thousand Island Lake

Mausoleum of General Yue Fei

Huqingyu Tang Chinese Medicine Museum

Guo's Villa(Guo Zhuang)

Former Residence of Hu Xueyan

Siling Seal Society

Moganshan Scenic Area

Nanxi River

Mountain Putuo

Zhexi Grand Canyon

Longjing Tea Plantation

China Silk Museum

Leifeng Pagoda

Grand Canal

Six Harmonies Pagoda

Qiantang River Tide

Qinghefang Street

Song Dynasty Town

Home > Hangzhou Attractions > Strolling through history in old lanes

Strolling through history in old lanes

THOROUGHFARES dotted with clothing stores and boutiques reflect a citys modern side. To explore history and folklore, hidden lanes in old residential blocks offer a much better portrait of a citys past.

Early in 2000, the Hangzhou government sensed the importance of such old lanes. It began a series of projects to protect key sites and dozens have been completed.

Shanghai Daily wanders along four lanes boasting old buildings and lingers over the stories that occurred long ago.

Dajing Lane

Dajing literally means large well in Chinese. It is said that once upon a time a fish spirit who caused frequent floods in the city was imprisoned in a large well in the lane by Bodhisattva. To prevent the spirit from escaping, locals erected a house above the well.

Historical documents date the lane to the Wuyue Kingdom (AD 907-978). The 200-meter-long lane connects bustling Hefang Street with the Drum Tower and is usually not as crowded as neighboring streets.

The area is home to Zhu Yangxin Plaster Pharmacy, founded more than 400 years ago, the 101-year-old Baoda Ginseng Pharmacy and the renowned Qing Yu Tang Pharmacy. All three sell traditional Chinese medicine. In 2008, the lanes old buildings were restored and all new buildings were made in the traditional style to ensure a harmonious look.

Twenty-three lanes of Royal Street of the Southern Song Dynasty

This area is centered around the ruins of the Southern Song Imperial Ancestral Temple. The 23 lanes snake around west of Zhongshan Road S. and east of Wushan and Ziyang hills.

Most of the homes here were built of wood and went back to either the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) or the early Republic of China (1911-1949).

A restoration project has brought them back to their original appearance.

The neighborhood offers a glimpse of how locals live. Be sure to explore the ruins of Three Councils and Six Ministries of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), the Imperial Ancestral Temple and Ziyang Academy.

Baijingfang Lane

Being a narrow strip in downtown, this lane is considered a folk street known for its nice mix of residential and commercial constructions.

Its name Baijingfang literally means a block of 100 wells. At one time it did boast 99 wells, which were built by Qian Liu, an emperor during the Wuyue Kingdom when Hangzhou was capital of the regime.

All but three of the wells have been sealed with cement to make way for various construction projects over the years.

Today the lane features restaurants ranging from Chinese fast-food and barbecue items to mutton and seafood.

Xiaoying Lane

The lane epitomizes the successful renovation of historical residences.

Nearly 70 percent of the buildings in the lane were in disrepair years ago.

But after a face-lift and more emphasis on green space, the neighborhood brings back nostalgic feelings inspired by the white walls and black-tiled roofs. The Palace of the Ting Prince (Chen Bingwen) of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, an oppositional state in China (1851-1864), stands out as the upturned eaves, carved beams and painted rafters are indicative of a style of architecture rarely used in modern China. It serves as a rest home for the elderly today.

Xiaoying Lane is also one of few communities in the city that sorts garbage. Garbage collectors come at a fixed time every day and residents have to sort garbage and throw it out when the collectors come.

Source: Shanghai Daily

12:00am C 12:00pm Daily

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