Dong Quan Men Alley Tours – Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, China
Dong Quan Men Alley
About this place
Running parallel to the busy Wenchang Road is a quiet ancient back alley that contains a host of sites well worth visiting. The alley's main gate/entrance dates back to the Qing Dynasty. Small restaurants and craft shopss line the alley, yet it thankfully lacks any sense of commercialization. Other small alleys jet off to the sides, and wooden doors representing multiple eras of China's lengthy history serve as a backdrop to residents sitting on stools, smiling at passersby. Former Chinese president, and Yangzhou native, Jiang Zemin even has a residence in this alley.
Further down the alley lies one of the best preserved ancient residences in Yangzhou, that of the salt merchant Wang Shi (汪氏小苑). This residence and its nearby offshooting alleys allow for a unique opportunity to look into China's past and observe what has already been demolished in most other Chinese cities. The maze-like residence is a bit dusty and less renovated than other sights, which likely assist in making it feel as if you are walking on a piece of history.
Just east of this area is the Qiong Hua Temple (琼花观) and garden. The former temple, fronted by two 300 year old Gingko trees, is now an art gallery featuring rotating exhibitions of calligraphy and paintings by local artists. Behind the gallery is the quiet Qiong Hua garden which contains an abundance of Yangzhou’s city flower, the qiong hua. This flower was actually part of what drew emperors to Yangzhou for their spring tours.
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