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Back Lake Area
Suzhou Street (Suzhou Jie)


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Originally called Merchants Street, it was built in the style of South China towns during Emperor Qianlong’s reign (1736-1795). A street where emperors and empresses could pretend to go shopping as ordinary people, it was burned to the ground by the Anglo-French Allied Forces in 1860 and restored in 1990. The 300-meter street is built over water with shops and stands on the bank. More than 60 businesses, including a teahouse, a restaurant, a pharmacy, a bank, a hat store, a jewelry store and a grocery store, operate on the bank, presenting a concentrated illustration of the commercialism in South China towns in the 18th century.