Xiaohe Zhijie (Xiaohe Street Historic Block) – Location and Highlights

xiaohe zhijie hangzhou

Nestled in the northern part of Hangzhou, the Xiaohe Zhijie historic and cultural street (小河直街历史文化街区) is situated at the convergence of three waterways: the Grand Canal, Xiaohe Rver, and Yuhang Tanghe River. The residents of Xiaohe Zhijie, for generations, were primarily engaged in activities related to canal transportation, such as carrying goods and shipbuilding. The buildings along the street, including houses and storefronts, were predominantly designed to cater to the needs of the canal workers, featuring establishments like pickle shops, barber shops, and general stores.

The architectural characteristics, street ambiance, and remnants of canal transportation still present offer a unique glimpse into the living environment of the lower-class people along the canal during the late Qing Dynasty and the early Republic of China period. Today, Xiaohe Zhijie is dotted with numerous cafes, teahouses, mahjong parlors, and noodle shops. Visitors can explore quaint interior courtyards by stopping by a local tea shop run by residents.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour0.5 – 1 hour
Ticket PriceFree
Opening Hours24 hours a day

Location and Transportation

Xiaohe Zhijie is situated in the Gongshu District of Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China, bounded by the Xiaohe River to the east, Hemu Road to the west, Xiaohe Road to the south, and Changzheng Bridge Road to the north. To get there, you can choose one of the following ways:

Bus: Take bus 76, 132, 33, or 1231 and get off at Changzheng Bridge Stop (长征桥站).

Metro: The closest metro station to Xiaohe Zhijie is Beidaqiao (北大桥) on line 10. After getting out of the station from Exit D, walk about 800 meters to the northeast to reach the historic block.

History of Xiaohe Zhijie

history of xiaohe zhijie

As far back as the Southern Song Dynasty, the Xiaohe area served as a hub for the distribution of goods and the transportation of materials by both water and land. By the end of the Ming Dynasty and the beginning of the Qing Dynasty, the riverfront wharf began to flourish. In the mid to late Qing Dynasty, the area experienced a revival, witnessing the emergence of industries such as catering, tea houses, and general merchandise. Distilleries, blacksmith shops, salt depots, rice mills, candle shops, and various other businesses took root in the Xiaohe area during this period. The traditional residential and commercial buildings that have been preserved in Xiaohe Zhijie from this stage are significant cultural artifacts.

Dwellings in Xiaohe Zhijie

dwellings in xiaohe zhijie

The residences in Xiaohe, representing typical water-town dwellings built in the late Qing Dynasty and early Republic of China, belong to the cultural heritage of canal-side towns. Most residences are located on both sides of Xiaohe River, with the ground floor facing the street serving as a shop and the second floor as living quarters – a classic example of a combination of commerce and residence. Heading southeast along Xiaohe towards the intersection with the river port, there is a row of large wooden structures stretching approximately 300 meters. Narrow streets and alleys weave through this area, and some riverfront properties, either communal or privately owned, are still preserved by some residents.

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