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Sanlitun (Chinese: 三里屯; pinyin: Sānlǐtún; lit. 'three li village') is an area of the Chaoyang District, Beijing containing many bars, restaurants, and stores. It is a popular destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment. The area has been under almost constant regeneration since the late 20th century as part of a citywide project of economic regrowth. It currently houses many bars and clubs popular with both locals and foreigners as well as international brand-name stores such as Uniqlo, Apple, Nike and Adidas. It is notable for housing the largest Adidas store in the world.
Prior to 1949, the Beijing Legation Quarter was the center of diplomatic activity in the capital. After the foundation of the People's Republic of China, the government wanted to move the diplomatic district outside the inner city. Sanlitun was chosen as the area where foreign legations and embassies were to be reallocated in the late 1950s. The area was called Sanlitun to designate its location from Dongzhimen gate (东直门), with tun meaning 'locality' and san li meanings 'three li' (a li is 0.5 km), so that the name means "locality 1.5 km away (from Dongzhimen Gate)".
Sanlitun began to grow when, along with the economic reforms of the late 1970s and early 1980s, bars serving expatriates and later locals began to open. International hotels introduced the first bars, but in the 1990s, standalone establishments appeared. Accounts differ over which was the first bar in Sanlitun, with one author crediting the Cat Cafe in 1995 while another names Frank's Place, which opened in 1990.
The first supermarket in Beijing opened in Sanlitun in November 1982. This supermarket has an area about 300 square meters, selling a variety of products.
South Sanlitun Rd used to have stores selling auto parts. After the construction of the Bar Street, those stores are demolished.
Sanlitun saw significant new construction as part of preparations for the 2008 Summer Olympics. In April 2008, as part of an ongoing operation to clean up the city, a major drug bust occurred in Sanlitun and many arrests were made. A total of four bars and clubs were effectively closed, including a notorious bar known as Pure Girl for its cheap alcohol and availability of drugs, both its bartender and manager were executed for distribution of drugs. However, it has since reopened a year later with new management. The police operation was widely criticized for its violence and absence of proper due process. A number of drug dealers as well as a barman are believed to have received the death penalty as a result of this operation.
The Uniqlo in Taikoo Li Sanlitun gained international attention after it was the site of a July 2015 sex tape that was filmed inside one of the store's fitting rooms. Uniqlo denied any involvement in the video.
In an August 2015 incident near the Uniqlo, a Chinese woman was killed and her French husband was wounded in an attack by a sword-wielding man.
On 25 December 2015, following the November 2015 Paris attacks by ISIS, several foreign embassies in Beijing warned of possible threats against Westerners in the Sanlitun shopping district on or around Christmas Day, urging their citizens to "exercise heightened vigilance."
A popular destination for foreigners and young people was the "dirty street" of hole-in-the-wall restaurants and bars at the center of Sanlitun. However, the street was cleaned up in 2017.
As a landmark of Beijing, Sanlitun becomes a popular place to be chosen as the setting in many films and TV series. The films and TV series include Mr. Six, Love Is Not Blind, and A Little Reunion.
- Taikoo Li Sanlitun (Chinese: 三里屯太古里)
- Sanlitun SOHO (Chinese: 三里屯 SOHO)
- Topwin Center (Chinese: 通盈中心)
- Pacific Century Place (Chinese: 盈科中心)
- Hongjie Mansion (Chinese: 中国红街)
- Nali Patio (Chinese: 那里花园) is a multistory Mediterranean-style building built around the 2008 Olympics. It houses many bars and restaurants.
- Sanlitun Bar Street (Chinese: 三里屯酒吧街) houses over 80 bars and tea bars on the side of Sanlitun Rd.
- 3.3 Mansion (Chinese: 3.3大厦)
- Beijing Workers' Stadium (Chinese: 北京工人体育场) is a stadium constructed in 1959 for the 10th anniversary of the People's Republic of China. It is the home to Beijing Sinobo Guoan F.C. now.
- Sanlian Taofen Bookstore is a 24-hour bookstore opened in 2018. It not only sells books and souvenirs but also provides drinks for people to stay and to work.
- Shiba Inu café is a café famous for having dogs that people can play and take picture with.
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- British School of Beijing Sanlitun Campus
- Pakistan Embassy College Beijing
- Accredited Italian Kindergarten in Beijing (Italian: Scuola Italiana Paritaria d’Infanzia a Pechino), formerly the Accredited Italian Embassy School of Beijing (Italian: Scuola Italiana Paritaria d'Ambasciata di Pechino, Chinese: 意大利使馆学校) - It is located on the grounds of the Sanlitun Diplomatic Residence Compound (里屯外交公寓).
- It opened in 2015, making it the first Italian international school in East Asia. It operates in cooperation with Reggio Children. It previously had a primary school section. In 2020, due to a decline in enrollment, it became a kindergarten only. It is now known as the Scuola Italiana Paritaria d’Infanzia a Pechino in Italian, while its Chinese name remained the same. The English name is now .
- Ivy Academy – The Ivy Group
Chinese local schools
- Beijing Union University (Electromechanical College)
- Beijing No.80 High School
- Beijing Sanlitun No.1 Middle School
- Beijing Chaoyang Experimental Primary School
- Baijiazhuang Primary School
- Take Line 10 to Tuanjiehu Station
- Take Line 6 to Dongdaqiao Station
- Take Line 2 to Dongsi Shitiao Station
- Take No.3, No.110, No.113, No.115, No.117, No.118, No.120 to Workers' Stadium Station
- Take No.113, No.115, No.431, No.701, No.16, No.34 to Sanlitun Station
- Take No.113, No.115, No.117, No.431, No.701, No.16 to Changhongqiao West Station
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- Beijing police raid popular bar district for drugs
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- "Contact Us". Caixin Global. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
Beijing Floor 5, Building 6, Sanlitun SOHO, 8 Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China.- Chinese address: "地址：北京市朝阳区工体北路8号院三里屯SOHO 6号楼5层，邮政编码：100027"
- "Italian Embassy School in Beijing". scuolapechino.com. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "Contact Us." Pakistan Embassy College Beijing. Retrieved on 16 September 2015. " Pakistan Embassy College Beijing Embassy of Pakistan Compound No. 1, Dong Zhi Men Wai Da Jie, Sanlitun, Chaoyang Distt. Beijing 100600, CHINA."
- "Contatti". Scuola Italiana Paritaria d’Infanzia a Pechino. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
SB05-1-011, Sanlitun DRC, No.1 Gong Ti North Road Chaoyang District, 100600, Beijing, P.R.C.[...]北京市朝阳区工体北路1号三里屯外交公寓5-1-11 邮政编码：100600
- "Italian embassy opens school in Beijing". 7 September 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
- "Re: PRIMARY SCHOOL SECTION CLOSING DOWN AS OF 1 AUGUST 2020" (PDF). Italian Embassy School of Beijing. 8 July 2020. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
- "Why to sponsor the Accredited Italian Kindergarten in Beijing?". Accredited Italian Kindergarten in Beijing. Retrieved 14 April 2022.
- "艾毅教育集团 – 我们的项目". www.ivyschools.com (in Chinese (China)). Retrieved 22 January 2018.
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- "北京市朝阳区实验小学". www.cysy.bjedu.cn. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
- "白家庄小学". www.tfbx.net. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
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