The Ancient Qinghefang Road is a side street of the Hefang Road located north of the foot of Wu Shan Mountain in Hangzhou, it is only a few hundred meters from West Lake. With an area of 13 hectares, the street is the only well-preserved part of Hangzhou’s old town and a symbol of the long history of the city. It is also the best place to understand the historical and cultural character of Hangzhou.
Qinghefang Ancient Street has been the most flourished street in the city since ancient times. During the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 – 1279 AD), Qinghefang with lots of shops, restaurants, and teahouses was the center of politics, culture, and commerce in the city.
Hefang Street is renowned for its splendid historical and cultural characters. The old-fashioned street lanes still remain well preserved to this day, including Zhongshan Middle Road, Hefang Street, Gulou Bay, and Gaoyin Lane. The street is full of Chinese craft stores, such as candy sculptures, old-fashioned movie players, paper-cuttings, which makes Hefang Street charming and lively. It is a good place to buy small local souvenirs.
In April 2000, the government of Shangcheng District proposed their project for Qinghefang. The proposal was to protect the historical buildings of the Ming and Qing Dynasties that were in Hangzhou along this 460m stretch of Qinghefang. The redeveloped Hangzhou’s old town now exudes an atmosphere of its past and is boastful of its street-culture, entertainment, commerce, and the tours that are the attention of its citizens and visitors home and abroad.