Unique to the culture of China, Traditional Chinese medicine is of a long standing tradition, and has always been one of the highlights when visiting China. There are many traditional medicine stores in China, but Hu Qing Yu Tang (胡庆余堂) in Hangzhou is one of the two most famous and authentic ones along with Tong Ren Tang (同仁堂) in Beijing.
HQYT (Hu Qing Yu Tang) is located in Hefang Street at the foot of Wu Hill, near West Lake. It was founded in 1874 by the famous businessman Hu Xueyan and opened to the public in 1878. As a historically significant traditional medicine store, HQYT plays an essential part in presenting the essence of Traditional Chinese medical science and technology. Renowned as the top medicine store of the Jiangnan area, HQYT has a history spanning 120 years of preparing herbal medications. Based on the royal pharmacopeia of the Song Dynasty (Principle of Taiping Huimin and the Bureau Agents), HQYT has developed more than four hundred kinds of drugs by collecting secret prescriptions, proven recipes as well as combining clinical practices.
Besides the essence of Traditional Chinese medicine, HQYT also portrays a style of antique architecture. HQYT is simple, tasteful and unsophisticated in design. It is characterized by a typical architectural style of the Qing Dynasty, with the features of the courtyard in the south. This architecture symbolizes a crane (the symbol of longevity in China) resting in Hefang Street. Being a rare, well-preserved ancient industry and commerce construction from the period of the late Qing Dynasty, HQYT was listed as one of the major national monuments in 1988.