Nanluoguxiang Lane (Photo: china.org.cn)
Nanluoguxiang Lane is an old street in Dongcheng District, Beijing. It's not as wide as modern streets but still manages to retain the Yuan Dadu style. The lane was constructed during the Yuan Dynasty and is now 1,000 meters long from its southern end to its northern end. There are 8 symmetrical Hutong buildings on either side of the lane, making Nanluoguxiang Lane look like a centipede from above. Thus it's also referred to as "Wugong Street," after the Chinese word for centipede. The households in Nanluoguxiang were developed from the early Qing Dynasty up until the 1940s. Large families of historical fame as well as ordinary people lived here for decades. Some people also founded their business here. You can find grain shops, a greengrocer, a tofu store, barbershops, teahouses, a drug store, a tailor, the steamed-bun shop and even a pawnshop. Although these are all small private businesses, it's a surprise to see that approximately 30 kinds of separate industries can be found here.