Wide and Narrow Lanes (Kuan Zhai Xiangzi) are two separate alleys lined with traditional architectures built from the Qing Dynasty. Now the old buildings are used as modern shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. “Kuan” means wide and “Zhai” means narrow, while “Xiangzi” means alley in Chinese, therefore, local people call them Kuan Zhai Xiangzi. Wide and Narrow Lanes are regarded as a symbol of old Chengdu.
Why the Wide and Narrow Lanes is famous
The history of the Wide and Narrow Lanes could be dated back to the Qing Dynasty (1616AD-1912AD). The place is actually an epitome of the old life of Chengdu City. The area has everything, from the most authentic Sichuan cuisine, Sichuan Opera and tea houses, to world famous Indian food and French chocolates, from the elegant local leisure to the fashionable and modern European lifestyle, from the most grass-root Chengdu culture to the ultra-modern international atmosphere. The Wide and Narrow Lanes has been one of the most popular tourist destinations of Chengdu.
Wide and Narrow Lanes highlights
The Wide Lane
Nowadays the Wide Lane is a mirror of old Chengdu life. You can enjoy the tea service ceremony and have a taste of Sichuan cuisine in the traditional courtyards, and gain a full glimpse of local customs and precious folk culture of Chengdu. The Wide Lane features boutique hotels, unique restaurants in folk styles, traditional teahouses, taverns and distinctive inns. There is a museum called "Chengdu's Real-Life Experience Hall" showing the daily life of a common family during the Republic of China (1911–1949), such as the scenes in kitchen, study, central room and bridal chamber. However, visiting this alley, you may feel the local customs and life scenes of old Chengdu are near the border of disappearing since there is an increasing number of modern elements appeared in the area.
The Narrow Lane
The Narrow Lane features preserving the “slow life” of Chengdu. Jing Alley, the bar area of new Chengdu, is located south next to the Narrow Lane. It is the liveliest place of Chengdu night life. Besides, The Narrow Lane is a fashion center, a favorable place for young people. Both side of the alley is lined with modern bars, boutique shops, elegant restaurants as well as night inns and themed cultural commerce.