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Qian Men Shopping Area, Beijing

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Beijing's oldest shopping district is reminiscent of the former glory of commercial hutongs—ancient alleyways specialising in one particular trade. The main street, running due south from the Qian Men Gate, starts with a delightful silk market and just beyond Beijing's best spot for leather clothing. Da Zhan Lan hutong with Qing Dynasty teashops, herbal medicine stores and silk vendors is worth a visit. To the northwest of Da Zhan Lan lies Liu Li Chang , an “ancient culture street”, with books, art and more chinoiserie than you will ever need. Home to several of Beijing's better-known eateries.