One description of Hefang Lu:
Every city has pedestrian shopping streets now, but most are filled with generic stores like Nike and KFC. Hefang Old Street in Hangzhou is unique by showcasing a variety of Chinese crafts, such as land-blown sugar candy, paper-cutting and hand-made dough figurines. You can also find a large variety of local snacks such as roasted walnuts, and "dragon-whisker" candy. The street is full of art hawkers, candy sculptors, pillow shops, caricaturists, old-fashioned movie players, storytellers, bonsai shops, teahouses, and an array of small eateries, to make Hefang Street charmingly lively.
Hefang Street is a well-designed old pedestrian street, which is the epitome of old Hangzhou.
The original street has been ruined and it recently takes on a completely new look after lager-scale of restoration.
Shops selling art crafts, souvenirs, silk, teahouses, and restaurants line on both sides of the street. Many famous century-old shops including Hu Qing Yu Tang, Wang Xingji Fans can be found along the street.
Hefang Street is otherwise known as the Snack Street for the diverse food it serves. The street clearly concentrates food from all around the country, while at some time highlighting the local flavors.
Ok, it is a tourist attraction. But, for all that, I enjoyed my time there last Saturday. It was a good place to be on a mild and sunny Autumn day.
While the shops are the focus of the area, the main reason I went there was to see the Traditonal Chinese Medicine Museum and associated dispensaries.
The narrow side streets that run off Hefang Lu are full of history and interest - and not so full of people!