As much as the bustle of tourist hot spots may not feature on your ‘must see’ precincts, at Chengdu’s heart you will find two streets that offer insights into the local lifestyle and what attracts people from all over.
Legendary Jinli is one of the oldest and busiest commercial streets in Sichuan. It’s said that Jinli was first recognized as a commercial hub as early as the Three Kingdoms period; that’s all the way back in 189 AD to 280 AD. There’s no question, Jinli Street gives new meaning to the concept of longevity. Renovated in 2004 for the purpose of maintaining its appeal for contemporary visitors, there is no question Jinli is now considered the heart and soul of Chengdu life, with the unique blend of charming Sichuan folk customs and Three Kingdoms culture. A wander through the area will reveal many treasures, along with teahouses, taverns, restaurants, bars, street foods, and traditional handicrafts. Especially beautiful at night because of the lanterns that adorn the buildings, Jinli can be visited at any time of day for a truly one-off Chengdu experience.
For a change of pace, but an experience that is no less intriguing, make your way to Kuanzhai Alleys. This is a precinct encompassing three alleys: Kuan Xiangzi (Wide Alley), Zhai Xiangzi (Narrow Alley), and Jing Xiangzi (Well Alley). As the remaining sections of Man City, built during the Qing dynasty in 1718, the traditional style blue-brick courtyards and ancient stone-paved streets are a delightful window into a bygone era of Chengdu’s history.