Hefang Street, Hangzhou – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

hefang street hangzhou

Hefang Street (河坊街), also known as Qinghefang Street, is situated at the foot of Wushan Hill and belongs to the old city area of Hangzhou. Since ancient times, it has served as Hangzhou’s commercial hub, notably during the Southern Song Dynasty when it became a nationwide cultural and economic center. In the past, the intersection known as “Qinghefang Siguaijiao,” where Hefang Street meets Zhongshan Middle Road, was home to four renowned establishments: Kong Fengchun Xiangfen Shop, Mi Dachang Tobacco Shop, Wanlong Ham Manor, and Zhang Yunsheng Hat Manor. Each of these shops occupied a corner, making this spot widely famous.

Following renovations, Hefang Street now showcases the appearance of the late Qing Dynasty and early Republic of China. It stands as one of the streets that best reflects the historical and cultural charm of Hangzhou. The street is adorned with a variety of specialty snacks, antique calligraphy and paintings, and a multitude of shops, including over a hundred traditional and distinctive Hangzhou stores. Noteworthy establishments include the former residence of Hu Xueyan and the Zhu Bingren Copper Sculpture Art Museum, adding to the street’s historical significance.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour2 – 3 hours
Ticket PriceFree
Opening Hours24 hours throughout the year
Telephone Number0086-0571-87813477

Location and Transportation

Hefang Street is situated at the foot of Wushan, forming a part of Qinghefang and belonging to the old city area of Hangzhou. Spanning over 1800 meters, it stretches from Jiangcheng Road to Nanshan Road. The section from Wushan Square to Zhongshan Middle Road constitutes a pedestrian street with a charming blue-stone pavement, measuring 13 meters in width. The remaining part of the street expands to 32 meters in width, creating a historic and vibrant thoroughfare in the heart of Hangzhou’s old city. To get there, you can choose one of the following was:

Bus: Take bus 8, 84, 195, or WE 1314 and get off at Qinghefang Stop (清河坊站).

Metro: The closest metro station to Hefang Street is Wushan Square (吴山广场) on line 7. After getting out of the station from Exit D, you will be standing at the west end of the area.

Chinese Medicine Stores on Hefang Street

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Baohe Tang (保和堂)

Baohe Tang, a nearly millennium-old traditional Chinese medicine store, stands as a testament to the rich history and cultural heritage of Hefang Street in Hangzhou. For centuries, this pharmacy has been providing medical care and advice to the nearby impoverished residents, earning a commendable reputation in the Qinghefang area. In the late Qing Dynasty when Hu Xueyan established Hu Qingyu Tang in the same vicinity, Baohe Tang faced a gradual decline. Today, a bronze statue of Xu Xian, a character from Chinese mythology, stands at the entrance of Baohe Tang. Legend has it that Xu Xian was an apprentice at Baohe Tang when he encountered the White Snake Lady.

Hu Qingyu Tang (胡庆余堂)

Hu Qingyu Tang, located in Dajing Lane at the northern foothills of Wushan Hill, was founded on the basis of ancient pharmacy architecture. Established by the prominent late Qing “Red Top Businessman” Hu Xueyan, the architectural complex is well-preserved, featuring high walls, a grand entrance, and a dignified atmosphere. The design is ingeniously crafted, resembling the form of a crane, with the gate tower resembling a crane’s head, the long corridor like a crane’s neck, and the main hall representing the crane’s body. The use of materials is meticulous, with intricate carvings, presenting a typical ancient and simple style. The site also includes a pavilion for relaxation, a “beauty leaning” curved bridge, and a fountain. Covering an area of 3000 square meters, Hu Qingyu Tang houses over 160 cultural relics, comprising exhibition halls, traditional Chinese medicine workshops, health clinics, a sales hall, and a medicinal diet hall. Visitors can explore the essence of traditional Chinese medicine while appreciating the architectural charm of the “Southern Medicine Mansion.”

Ye Zhongde Tang (叶种德堂)

Ye Zhongde Tang, originally established in 1808 by Ye Pusan, a native of Cixi, Zhejiang, is another noteworthy Chinese medicine store with historical significance on Hefang Street. Emphasizing philanthropy and virtue, the store, known as a national pharmacy, became renowned for its refined formulations of various pills, powders, ointments, and medicinal wines based on ancient formulas, imperial secrets, and ancestral prescriptions. The efficacy of their medicines drew numerous seekers of medical advice and remedies, earning recognition in Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Anhui, Fujian, and other provinces.

Fang Huichun Tang (方回春堂)

Fang Huichun Tang, established over three centuries ago in Hangzhou, is one of the oldest traditional Chinese medicine stores in China. Founded in 1649 by Fang Qingyi, a native of Qiantang, the pharmacy gained prominence as a hub for traditional medicine. Fang Qingyi, hailing from a family deeply rooted in the field of traditional Chinese medicine, extensively studied the medicinal theories and prescriptions of Wu Yuanming, a renowned physician in Hangzhou during the Ming Dynasty. Utilizing family secret formulas, he crafted pills that facilitated the recovery of those suffering from chronic and persistent ailments. The Fang Huichun Tang store on Hefang Street covers an impressive 2500 square meters, embracing the typical layout of traditional Jiangnan architecture from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It comprises three main sections: the national pharmacy, the national medical hall, and the referral hall.

Handicraft Stores on Hefang Street

Xiangyi Hall (香溢馆)

Xiangyi Hall takes visitors on a journey through the rich history and culture of tobacco and smoking. At the heart of the hall stands a remarkable tobacco pipe crafted from Indian blood sandalwood, weighing a substantial 205 kilograms and soaring to a height of 5.06 meters. This pipe, with the ability to roll and smoke tobacco, has rightfully earned its place in the Guinness World Records.

The Tobacco Utensil Exhibition Hall within Xiangyi Hall showcases smoking paraphernalia from different regions and eras in China. Notable exhibits include an ivory-handled large smoking gun symbolizing authority, a brass bone-shaped smoking gun from Tibet, and exquisitely crafted water pipe bags and axe-shaped lighters, each reflecting the diverse cultural influences on smoking traditions.

Shengtan Pavilion (圣檀阁)

Shengtan Pavilion specializes in a variety of sandalwood crafts, primarily using the rare Pterocarpus santalinus imported from the pristine forests of Africa, known as Bole Shengtan. Growing on remote cliffs with a bark color of milky white and a core hue of yellow-brown, this wood emits a delicate and elegant fragrance. It is the only wood in the world that remains non-corrosive when soaked in seawater for years, boasting insect-repelling properties.

Craftsmen at Shengtan Pavilion transform this exceptional wood into artifacts with insect-repelling and insect-driving effects. The crafts range from intricate carvings to functional items, each carrying the unique scent and durability of Bole Shengtan.

Wuyue Renjia (吴越人家)

Wuyue Renjia serves as a haven for the art of blue printing, offering a captivating showcase of the craftsmanship involved in the production of blue printed fabrics. Visitors can witness live demonstrations of spinning, weaving, and embroidery, gaining insights into the intricate process. The store retails a diverse array of lifestyle and decorative items crafted from blue printed fabrics, also known as “medicine spot cloth.” This traditional fabric, made from pure cotton and utilizing health-promoting plants, is created through the meticulous hand-carving and printing process.

On the second floor of Wuyue Renjia, a treasure trove awaits, displaying and selling a range of clothing and bedding made from blue printed fabrics. Each piece carries the rich cultural heritage of this traditional craft, inviting patrons to immerse themselves in the timeless beauty of blue printing.

Ouye Sword (欧冶刀剑)

Ouyi Sword proudly stands as one of the most renowned traditional crafts on Hefang Street, celebrated for its “firmness, sharpness, the harmonious blend of strength and flexibility, and exquisite patterns.” The founder, Ouye Zi, forged the first iron sword in Chinese history, the “Longquan Sword,” during the Spring and Autumn period. The legendary sword, associated with the famous tale of Goujian, has been revered as a rare treasure since its discovery in 1965.

Beyond historical significance, Ouye Sword continues its legacy by designing and casting ceremonial swords used by the Chinese National Flag Guard, Dalian Female Mounted Police, Taiyuan Mounted Police, and Wenzhou Mounted Police. The meticulous craftsmanship of Ouye Sword ensures that each blade carries the essence of Chinese swordsmithing tradition.

Zhang Xiaoquan Scissors (张小泉剪刀)

Zhang Xiaoquan, a name echoing through the centuries, has been synonymous with quality scissors since the early Qing Dynasty. The Zhang Xiaoquan Group Company, currently the largest and most prolific scissor manufacturer in China, traces its roots back to 1663 when Zhang Xiaoquan and his son Zhang Jingao set up a forge in Dajing Lane, bustling at the foot of Wushan Hill.

Today, Zhang Xiaoquan Scissors Group Company boasts an illustrious history and continues to be a leading force in the scissor industry, showcasing a wide range of products. The company’s dedication to quality and craftsmanship has solidified its position as one of the “Five Hangs,” making Zhang Xiaoquan a household name not just in Hangzhou but throughout the world.

Food and Other Stores in Qinghe Street

Zhuangyuan Lou (状元楼)

Zhuangyuan Lou, originally a nameless noodle shop in Qinghefang, was established in the tenth year of the Tongzhi era (1871) by Wang Shangrong, a native of Ningbo. This eatery specialized in Ningbo-style noodle dishes. The store’s name has an intriguing origin. Legend has it that a destitute scholar, dressed in worn-out clothes, walked into Wang Shangrong’s modest noodle shop one evening and ordered a bowl of noodles. Upon discovering that the scholar was from the same hometown, Wang engaged in a conversation. Learning that the scholar had come to the provincial capital for an examination but couldn’t find lodging due to financial constraints, Wang, being a warm-hearted person, offered the scholar a place to stay in his shop. Grateful for the hospitality, the scholar agreed.

As the scholar prepared for the provincial examination, Wang Shangrong specially prepared a bowl of “Double Yuan Noodles” for him. This dish, symbolizing success in both provincial and national examinations, was a gesture of goodwill. Before departing for the national examination in Beijing, the scholar, lacking sufficient funds, received support from Wang Shangrong, who raised money for him. As a farewell, Wang prepared another bowl of yellow croaker noodles, symbolizing success in the upcoming Beijing examination.

True to the symbolism, the scholar not only passed the examination but achieved the highest rank, becoming a Jinshi and earning a position in Jiangxi. On his way to his new post, he stopped by Hangzhou to express his gratitude to Wang Shangrong, leaving behind the characters “状元楼” (Zhuangyuan Lou) as a parting gift. Since then, Wang Shangrong’s noodle shop acquired an elegant name, Zhuangyuan Lou, signifying success and friendship.

Panyongtai (潘永泰)

Panyongtai stands as a reflection of the market life on Hefang Street and holds the distinction of being the oldest surviving cotton store in Hangzhou. Despite the evolving lifestyle that has diminished the demand for cotton mattresses, Panyongtai retains its significance among nostalgic elderly individuals. During the reopening of Hefang Street, Panyongtai adapted to the changing times, showcasing the entire process of making cotton mattresses.

Wanlong Ham Manor (万隆火腿)

Wanlong Ham Manor, with a history dating back to the third year of the Tongzhi era (1864), is a century-old establishment renowned for its Jinhua ham. The current Wanlong Ham Manor, reconstructed on the original site at the four corners, primarily focuses on selling Jinhua ham while also offering a variety of Northern and Southern products and preserved meats. The store’s reputation is captured in the local saying, “For the finest preserved meats, choose Wanlong.” Notably, literary giant Lu Xun frequented Wanlong, and even after settling in Shanghai, he continued to send people to purchase ham from this esteemed establishment.

Taiji Tea House (太极茶楼)

In the past, Qinghefang was known as the “Center of Five Blossoms” (Tea Houses, Taverns, Brothels, Gambling Dens, and Theaters), with tea houses being a popular destination for common folks. Taiji Tea House is a resurrection of this bygone era, recreating the ambiance of the 1920s and 1930s. With a history spanning over 240 years, the Zheng family, experts in the tea trade, initially operated tea houses in Shanghai. In the late stages of the Anti-Japanese War, the Zheng family relocated to the Hefang Street area in Hangzhou. Sitting in this time-honored tea house, patrons can savor tea while witnessing the skilled tea performances by waitstaff in traditional attire. The slow melodies playing on the phonograph immerse visitors in the historical atmosphere of Hefang Street, adding to the allure of the establishment.

Museums in Hefang Street

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Guanfu Museum (观复博物馆)

Guanfu Museum stands as the first private museum established in China since the founding of the People’s Republic. With a primary focus on showcasing Ming and Qing furniture, this museum takes visitors on a journey through the exquisite craftsmanship of the past. The first floor captivates with displays of chairs from various regions, predominantly crafted from redwood. The collection includes circle chairs, official hat chairs, meditation chairs, and more. The second floor unveils the beauty of huanghuali and zitan furniture, accompanied by a collection of intricate silver ornaments. Huanghuali, known for its hard texture and clear grain, was widely used during the Ming dynasty. The zitan furniture, renowned for its craftsmanship, receives high praise from connoisseurs. The silver ornament exhibit predominantly features pieces from the Qing dynasty.

Jiangnan Copper House: (江南铜屋)

Crafted by Chinese arts and crafts master Zhu Bingren and his son Zhu Junmin, Jiangnan Copper House is a masterpiece that combines painting, sculpture, architecture, calligraphy, and more. With a sprawling 3,000 square meters, this residence showcases the artistic essence of five generations. The museum houses Zhu Bingren’s art, including copper paintings, murals, molten copper art, copper architectural art, and Buddhist culture, creating a unique blend of traditional Chinese artistic forms.

Rongbaozhai (荣宝斋)

Rongbaozhai in Hangzhou serves as a branch of the renowned Beijing Rongbaozhai, symbolizing Chinese elegance. As the largest gallery on Hefang Street, it exhibits a multitude of artworks from famous artists. The first-floor hall primarily features fan paintings, while the second floor displays works from various esteemed artists, providing visitors with an immersive cultural experience.

Hefang Street Post Office (河坊街邮局)

Originating in the Ming dynasty, the Hefang Street Post Office has a rich history that can be traced back to the establishment of the Wu Shan relay station. Over time, it evolved into the Wu Shan Post during the Qing dynasty. In 1903, a postal substation was set up in Dajing Lane, later becoming the Dajing Lane Postal Affairs Substation in 1914. Eventually, it moved to Qinghefang. In 2001, in alignment with the development of the historical district, the post office underwent reconstruction. Today, it continues to offer various postal services and sells unique Hefang Street-themed postal items. The second floor houses the Postal History Exhibition.

Yafengtang (雅风堂)

Yafengtang is an art gallery that seamlessly blends traditional Chinese painting and antique collections. Featuring authentic works from renowned artists across different dynasties, the gallery showcases delicate scrolls alongside elegant antiques, including jade artifacts, sand pots, and rosewood furniture. Yafengtang serves as a condensed representation of China’s Confucian art across various eras, hosting small-scale art exhibitions and auctions.

World Coins Museum (世界钱币博物馆)

The World Coins Museum immerses visitors in the fascinating world of currency. The first floor primarily focuses on selling various Chinese commemorative coins and circulating currency. Meanwhile, the second floor hosts the coin museum, displaying circulating coins, banknotes, gold and silver commemorative coins from over 200 countries and regions. Notably, the museum boasts a distinctive collection of historical coins from Southeast Asian countries.

Ancient Ceramic Museum (古陶瓷博物馆)

Zhejiang, as the birthplace of ancient ceramics, holds a rich history of pottery production. From the Neolithic Hemudu culture to the widespread use of ceramics during the Liangzhu culture, the transition from pottery to hard pottery, and the subsequent development of porcelain over seven millennia is a testament to human progress and history. The Ancient Ceramic Museum houses over 400 precious historical artifacts, showcasing the evolution of ancient ceramics and reflecting the political, military, economic, and cultural developments of various historical periods.

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Attractions near Hefang Street

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