Qianmen has a lot of history in it. A small part is that it used to be a shopping area in the Q,g/Ming dynasty which was renovated and is now a tourist haunting. The layout is simple, theres a main street with branches on both left and right. One side is full of small shops and the other side is food shops. The ideal trip here is to plan Forbidden City in the morning (about 2-3 hours), then do a photo-op across the road in Tienanmen Square, then continue walking south (keeping Forbidden City behind you) and you'll reach Qianmen subway station. Cross the road to pass the arch and you are in Qianmen street. Here you can stop for a nice Peking Duck lunch close to the tea shops and then continue shopping. Don't be tempted by the Starbucks at the start of the street to quench your thirst, go further in to look at the tea shops and the smaller restaurants.
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