Nanluogu Xiang Tours – Beijing, China
About this place
Nanluoguxiang（NLGX）, an ancient alleyway (Hutong) in downtown Beijing and very close to Lake Houhai is getting more and more attention from media, local young generation and travelers. Located several kilometers north of the Forbidden City and just east of Houhai Lake, this North-South Hutong is filled with bars, cafes, clothing stores and handcraft shops all designed in classical Chinese ‘Hutong’ style. The northern end of NLGX can be found at Gulou Dong Street (Drum Tower East Street), with its southern end at Dianmen on Pingan Street. With 16 Hutong meandering east and west of off the central lane, giving each side eight Hutong. This was the typical Hutong layout of the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368). It’s one of the best preserved old Hutong areas in downtown Beijing. Nanluoguxiang has a history of over 800 years. Many tourists enjoy taking ride through this 800-year-old Hutong that was once home to elites, celebrities, government officials, artists and well-off families.
Unlike the other two famous bar streets of Beijing, bars and cafes at Nanluoguxiang are quieter, providing food and drink at more reasonable price. Most of the bars and shops are decorated in a traditional Chinese style that matches well with their surroundings. At the central section of Naluoguxiang, you will encounter The Central Academy of Drama, the alma mater of countless Chinese TV and film stars such as Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon).
A youth hostel call “Peking Downtown Backpackers” can be found at found at No. 85 Nanluoguxiang (phone number 8610-8400-2429). This hostel is serene and clean, with a standard two-bed room priced at 80 yuan (US$10). Bicycles can be rented at the hostel’s reception. This hostel also provides a popular cafe with a cozy environment, internet access, coffee and breakfast.
The earliest and most famous bars in the area are the Pass By and Here bars. The Pass By Bar was set up more than seven years ago. The owner of the Here Bar is a photographer, thus many interesting photos can be found in his bar. Old pictures are also exhibited, such as those of Chairman Mao. Fish Nation serves traditional British-style fish & chips, as well as pizza, pasta, and a big English breakfast. A spacious rooftop is the perfect hangout for an afternoon. Those who enjoy shopping may be interested to visit The Pottery Workshop to see the world famous work of Caroline Cheng. While browsing her art you can also enjoy a glass of wine or a range of other drinks on sale.
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