Step Back in Time

LUXE City Guides - Beijing - - Activities -

Li­ulichang Jie. This sweet street of re­stored houses is firmly on the tourist map, but it’s where lo­cals go for tra­di­tional art sup­plies and well worth a visit, es­pe­cially if you have any in­ter­est in ar­chi­tec­ture, cal­lig­ra­phy and paint­ing. Have your taxi drop you at the in­ter­sec­tion of Nanx­in­hua Jie & Li­ulichang Jie /南新華街及琉璃廠街交界. Take the West op­tion (Li­ulichang Xi Jie) for art sup­plies, pa­per­cuts and etch­ings at his­toric #34 Cathay Book­store (go up­stairs). Over the street, check out the gi­ant ink­stone at #19-1 Rong Bao Zhai, a gallery car­ry­ing art ma­te­ri­als and pricey inks for carved chops. #52-1 has qual­ity hand­made shadow pup­pets and rice pa­per by the ream, which is great for wrap­ping. Af­ter a while this street be­comes knick-knacky, so re­trace over the pedes­trian walk­way to the East end (Li­ulichang Dong Jie) for ter­ra­cotta war­rior repli­cas at #134, Xu Bu’s del­i­cate in­side-painted snuff bot­tle artistry at #99, and a fab line in cal­lig­ra­phy with hand­made brushes at the #71 and #73 teashop. De­tour left down Dong Bei Yuan Hu­tong be­tween #65 and #67, and look for the mis­spelled ‘sel­l­eng car­pet’ sign at #54 for an­tique Mon­go­lian/ti­betan cov­er­ings. Back on the main drag, #28 has el­e­gant celadon teapots and vases. At the end of the street, ei­ther head left for more old Bei­jing wan­der­ings, or go right and then left for Yang­meizhu Jie and the covet-wor­thy #62 Ubi Gallery (see Stand­out Stores).

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