Beijing Lu (Beijing Road) is the main shopping thoroughfare in the majestic city of Guangzhou. It is a pedestrian street where most stores are open from 9AM-10PM. It has absolutely everything, including cheap clothes, good street food, and even a little history.
It was always a place I wanted to come and experience when in Guangzhou, despite the weather being a big iffy. In particular, I was interested in the historical parts of Beijing Lu (despite not knowing anything about it beforehand). Upon arrival, in the centre of the street, you will see two underground archaeological sites proving that this road has existed here in some form for nearly a thousand years. Coca Cola seem to sponsor this ‘attraction’ and permanently stationed between these two historical sites is the convenient “Coca Cola Trolley”, peddling the traditional glass bottles of what Chinese people not too long ago believed was a strange elixir that tasted like some awful western medicine! I seemed to learn more about Coke than I did the history of Beijing Lu, but, oh well, I guess we all come here to shop (or window-shop, in my case), anyway!
Another of my interests at Beijing Lu in Guangzhou was the sweet smell of Chinese street food! There are plenty of little backstreets that meander away from the main road and it is in these streets where the cheapest (and tastiest) snacks can be found. Whereas the main street has international flavours (including McDonald’s and KFC) and upmarket restaurants, I wanted to see the real Guangzhou, and luckily enough I saw soups, congees, and noodles galore! Whilst I wouldn’t say Chinese street food is among my favourite, it is always nice to experience the local cuisine when it is cooked by talented local people – and you can find plenty of that here at Beijing Lu!
When you walk down Beijing Lu, in addition to the luxury brands, you will see many little shops where you can bargain for designer clothes, handbags, and electronic equipment (and accessories). There are also tons of guys selling fake watches as well and they will follow you down the road for a bit trying to get you to look at their stuff (reminds me of Hong Kong). I had to firmly say “no thank you” a few times before they left me alone. The weather did take a turn for the worst not long after I began window-shopping, so there were some areas I didn’t get to see, but at least I did eat some dinner (steamed buns and baked potatoes, actually!) whilst mingling with the locals!