Located in the south-west of downtown Chengdu, Jinli Cultural Street is a winding cobblestone road with buildings decorated in the style of the Qing Dynasty. In the middle of a modern urban landscape like Chengdu, Jinli Street is a great place to retreat and get a dose of traditional Chinese culture. Similar to the notorious Wangfujing in Beijing, Jinli Street offers a variety of food, shopping and activities to entertain any visitor.
Jinli Street is one of China’s oldest commercial streets. Originally built during the Shu Dynasty, when Chengdu reigned as China’s capital city in the Three Kingdoms period (220-280). The street was fondly named the â€œFirst Street of the Shu Kingdomâ€. It was reconstructed to reflect the Qing Dynasty and was renovated into the bustling street that it is today in 2004. Jinli Street continues to be one of China’s most significant commercial and pedestrian streets.Â Visitors can wander through the alleyways to see the hawkers and vendors sample and sell a variety of traditional-style Chinese goods. Available to buy are a variety of products like tea, books, along with souvenirs such as Sichuan opera masks and traditional musical instruments. This is the place to go if you are looking for traditional Sichuan-style folk art and caricatures.
When it comes to food, the most notable place to venture is the small alley next to the Wuhou Temple. The temple is also known as the Memorial Temple of Marquis Wu, who was the Marquis Wu of the Shu Kingdom. Sample some ill-famed stinky tofu, snacks like sweet caramel and different kinds of rice cakes. There are salty dishes available from spicy beef to kung pao chicken as well as a variety of noodle dishes to indulge in.Â Catch the nightly show of Sichuan Opera at 8:30, performed in the theatre at the end of the street. A variety of performances are involved in the Opera such as fire-breathing, face-changing, some comedy theater, shadow puppets as well as tea ceremony performances.Â
While the food stalls close shortly after 9 p.m, the shopping kiosks stay open and much of the action on the street continues until late in the evening. It is most-popular to visit in the evenings and especially on weekends.