Jianghan Lu in Wuhan. Photo: subaonet.com
Wuhan’s Jianghan Lu (江汉路) is a market street with a hundred years of history and is one of the city’s most distinctive blocks. Jianghan Lu is wedged between the Hankou River Bank and Hanjiang districts. To the southeast it follows the boulevard along the river to Wuhan Guan. To the northwest it stretches to Jiefang Boulevard. Totaling 1210 metres in length, it is currently the longest pedestrianised street in China. In the 1930’s, Jianghan Lu was called the mainland’s “little Hong Kong”. Luxurious to the extreme, you can still see some of the European, Romanesque and Byzantine style architecture preserved from the 30’s. Some even say that “Jianghan Lu is Wuhan’s 20th century architectural museum”.
After decades of refinement, today’s Jianghan Lu is the most luxurious shopping pedestrian walkway in Wuhan. The walkway focuses on boutique shopping, recreation and travel. The sides of the streets no longer have “shoulders”. The street connects right up to the windows of the stores as one unit. Pedestrians perusing the streets will feel as if they have entered a huge open air shopping centre. In addition to all the goods to see and pick through, there is also a myriad of charming historical buildings.
Jianghan Lu is divided into three sections: from Jianghan Guan to Fuyang Street, it is the finance oriented business district. There are several financial institutions lining the street such as Bank of China, China Commercial Bank, China Minsheng Bank and so on. Fuyang Street to Zhongshan Boulevard is devoted to age old Chinese brands and well known international brands. These include the Jingyi Glasses Shop with the banner “to refine the refine” penned by Sun Yatsen himself. There is also the Heng Dali Watch Store specializing in traditional Western watches and clocks. There is also Wansheng Yuan, Huakang Foods, Wuhan Chinese Pharmacy, Sijimei Dumpling House and other well known old names. At the same time, there is also Baleno, Lining, JeansWest and Giordano outlet stores. Further down the street is Jianghan Si Lu, and area dominated by the Central Department Store, Hong Kong Centre and other large department stores.
To adjust to the changing times, some of the retailers have begun to reorganize. For example, Central Department Store is pushing for hardware, plumbing and articles for daily use, focusing on mid to high level specialty goods. Hangkou Department Store, on the other hand, has developed into a “Women’s Centre”, offering women items of food, clothing, every day items, play things, exercise equipment, photography, beauty products and other brand name goods and modern services.
Though the times have changed, smelling the fresh scent of sticky rice seeping out of the VIP room and sipping a little of that “Little Peach Orchard’s” rib and lotus root soup, will allow us to experience once more that rich old Wuhan feel.
Add: Wuhan, Jianghan District, Wuhan Guan to Jiefang Boulevard section
Transport: Take the Wuhan light rail 1 line or Bus 1, 7, 24, 38, 45, 301, 402, 520, 608, 622, 707, or 801.
Map of Wuhan Jianghan Lu
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Keywords: market street Wuhan Jianghan Lu Wuhan jianghan road Wuhan historical street Wuhan
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