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The Glamour of Jinli Ancient Street

 2014-02-26    Ada    Sights    Chengdu    919  

Chengdu is a city brimming with a strong leisurely ambience. Jinli Street, located to the east of the Wuhou Memorial Temple of Chengdu (the most famous Three Kingdoms period (220 - 280) relic museum in China) is particularly representative of this city. This street, which is only 550 meters long, is a stage for life in Chengdu and showcases its features. You can taste the flavor of old Chengdu by seeing the age-old street, official residences, folk residences, teahouses, inns, wine bars, stages and handiwork; you can get a taste of authentic Chengdu flavor by trying local snacks and specialties.



It is recorded that as early as the Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC), Jinli Street was the most famous place for baldachin - a rich, ornate cloth. And it was one of the busiest commercial areas during the Shu Kingdom (221-263). Hence, it is known as 'First Street of the Shu Kingdom'. In order to reclaim its prosperity of former days, it was restored with contributions from the Wuhou Memorial Temple and was opened to public in October of 2004. Since then, visitors from all over China and abroad gather here to relax, admire the traditional-style buildings, and taste some local snacks.



At one end of the street is an imposing archway with 'Jinli Street' carved on it. From there the lane, paved with green flagstones, winds through Chengdu for a length of 350 meters (382.8 yards). By combining the culture of the Three Kingdoms Period with the folk customs of Sichuan, the buildings on both sides including tea-houses, stores and hotels, are modeled on the architectural style of a traditional old town in western Sichuan Province from the Qing (1644-1911) Dynasty.



The wooden steles and the brick-walls exhibit an ancient charm. Strolling down the narrow street, you will find yourself surrounded by old-world stores selling Shu Embroidery, lacquer products, folk handicrafts, curios, or calligraphies and paintings of celebrities. All of these stores have their unique style but also have one thing in common: no matter how busy the place is, the stores are peaceful and relaxing. You can browse leisurely or purchase some souvenirs for your friends. Most of the special local products can be found here.
In the middle of the street, there is a wooden stage which looks like an ancient pavilion. It is used from time to time for performing classic Sichuan Operas. You can enjoy folk music along with the actor's beautiful, quick costume and make-up changes.



The actors' perfect performances will wow you. Open-air movies are also shown in front of the stage.
When you reach the end of the street, you'll be tempted by the aroma of delicious local snacks. Some consider Jin Li is to be tourist trap, which is partly true. However, this 'new old street' offers regional and fairly affordable street food specialties as well and can be combined with a visit to the Wuhouci Temple.



Expect to be fully enthralled by the glamour of the folk customs in Sichuan Province? Come and visit the famous Jinli Street! Snacks, stunning architectures with local features appear before your eyes one after another, creating quite a feast for both stomach and eyes.

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