Donghuamen night market, established in the 1980s, is the oldest night market in Beijing. Image: chinadaily
The oldest night market in Beijing has been announced that it will be shut down by the end of June, mainly because of noise and hygiene problems.
Donghuamen night market, a fixture in downtown Beijing established in the 1980s, is the first night market opened after the foundation of People's Republic of China in 1949.
Offering a variety of Chinese finger foods and snacks along a 200-meter long street, it has become an attraction for foreign tourists. Travel guide website TripAdvisor has recommended the market as one of the 1,500 places to visit in Beijing, ranking at the 55th place.
However, the noise from shouting vendors up until midnight each day have long bothered residents of the area.
Frequent traffic congestion caused by the crowds at the market is also one of the factors that has led to the closure.
Unhygienic food storage conditions in the stalls and improper management of food waste disposal have also led to concerns over food hygiene at the market, according to an inspector of Beijing's Dongcheng District Food and Drug Administration.
Some Beijing locals say the Donghuamen night market over the years has turned into a commercial tourist trap, with few offerings of truly authentic Beijing foods.
Authorities are planning to replace the night market with a reconstructed street, which would also improve traffic conditions.