Nanluoguxiang (南鑼鼓巷) is an ancient hutong that was built during the Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368). It is a lively place to spend an afternoon with everything for you to do – shopping, street food or simply enjoy a leisure time in the unique tea houses within.
Nanluoguxiang is also known as “Centipede Street” (wugong jie， 蜈蚣街) because it is the central hutong where eight parallel and smaller hutongs stem out from both sides of it, making the layout look like a centipede.
Most of the excitement happens in Nanluoguxiang hutong but the eight parallel little lanes have their quieter charm too.
The hutong is a great place to find unique souvenirs. One shop which I thought was really interesting was the matches shop called “During Matches” – featuring all kinds of match boxes!
Need some embroidered shoes or shoes with a lion face?
The tea cups sold here are much more delicate than the ones I saw on souvenir street at Wangfujing which seemed mass produced.
More items to put on your shopping list include stuffed toys,
seals (with free carving provided),
all kinds of panda that comes in T-shirts or bags,
and paintings !
Food is all over the place in Nanluguxiang. Everyone is walking with something on their hand. Whether it’s sugar-coated fruits (糖葫芦),
or the famous imperial dessert from “Wenyu Cheese Shop” (文宇奶酪). Although the shop is called a “cheese shop”, but the dessert is more like plain yogurt, lightly sweet with a milky aroma.
And so many other things to choose from – lamb barbecue, sweet & sour noodles, grilled fish, grilled chicken wings,
stinky tofu and tako balls!
If you don’t like walking and eating at the same time, sitting down is an option too! Some tea houses provide traditional shows,
whereas some are created in hidden spaces waiting for you to explore,
and some are bright, summery and welcoming.
Don’t like tea? There are a few bars around too 🙂
Nanluguxiang Official Website
Getting there: Get off at Nanluoguxiang MRT Station