At the foot of the Pagoda Mountain in Yan'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, on the first day of the opening of Red Street on June 12, the number of tourists exceeded 260,000, heralding a good start for Wanda Group, the construction and management team behind the project.
It evoked, as the name implies, another time with its spaces and atmosphere. The street stirred with a collective memory shrouded in red culture. Gray roof tiles, sloping eaves and yellow mud walls harked back to a land of yesteryear.
Yan'an is most famous for its red culture, a Chinese revolutionary holy land that was once a command center of the Communist Party of China. Chairman Mao Zedong and other revolutionaries lived here and led the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1931-45) and the War of Liberation (1946-49).
Red Street is China's first immersive cultural business district to undergo a red tourism makeover. It is only a 15-minute drive from the airport and high-speed rail station, and just 3 kilometers away from the Yan'an landmark Pagoda Mountain. The street is next to the shore of the city's only water body, Yanhu Lake.
Attractions include red lecture halls, immersive performing arts theater, shooting parks, Long March trails, cave dwelling hotels, characteristic intangible cultural heritage shops and red culture presentation bases. The street was awarded and named a Yan'an Intangible Cultural Heritage Inheritance Base and was included in the Yan'an Red Tourism Boutique Route.
Zhang Jianguo, a tourist from Southwest China's Sichuan province, says he could hardly believe his eyes that Yan'an had changed so radically. Forty years ago, he participated in the construction of the Xi'an-Yan'an Railway and actually worked in Yan'an for a period of time.