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Wide and Narrow Alleys

Wide and Narrow Alleys, which also called Wide and Narrow Lanes or Wide and Narrow Streets, is a fusion of tradition and fashionable, business and leisure in the heart of Chengdu. Its name literally means wide and narrow lanes, and present-day Kuanzhai Lane consists of three lanes-- Kuan Lane, Zhai Lane and Jing Lane.

Dating back to the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), Chengdu was divided into two small cities, the Greater City in the east and the Lesser City in the west. Wide and Narrow Lanes is situated in the latter. In 1718, the 57th year of the reign of emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), the government sent soldiers to Tibet to expel invading Dzungars. After the war, more than 1,000 of these soldiers and their families settled in Chengdu permanently, giving the city a substantial boost.

Wide and Narrow Alleys

Originally there were 42 alleys in the Lesser City, but only the three comprising Kuanzhai Lane remain today. There you can still see the stones where people used to tie their horses, bearing testimony to the glory days of Kuanzhai Lane. In 2004, a four-year restoration project began in Kuanzhai Lane, restoring and rebuilding historical relics and architecture. Reopened in 2008, it is now an all-around destination that satisfies visitors' appetites for both delicious food and culture.

Kuan Lane, also known as Xingren Lane stretching back during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), is where visitors can experience the traditional attractions of a typical Chengdu leisure street. Zhai Lane, originally called Taiping Lane, is the combination of Chinese and Western styles offers diverse and fashionable choices. Jing Lane, in the past known as Ruyi Lane, was given its current name because of the old well at the western end of the alley. Here you can find traditional Sichuan-style handicrafts, as well as modern bars.

Chengdu Wide and Narrow Lanes

Wandering around the labyrinth of lanes, there is much to explore and try. Old-fashioned tea houses and restaurants serving authentic Sichuan and other cuisine stand alongside, modern chic Western-style restaurants, bars and cafes, adding a twist of the 21st century to the ancient gray stonework. The 400-meter "brick" culture wall documenting 1,000 years of history is also a must-see attraction in Wide and Narrow Lanes.

When visiting Chengdu, Wide and Narrow Alleys is the attraction not to be missed. It is almost like a city within the city, a double-sided mirror that reflects the lifestyles of both a magnificent past and an energetic present; the splendor of the East and the elegance of the West. To both locals and visitors, it is a fascinating destination that epitomizes Chengdu City’s traditional, leisurely, modern and dynamic.

Wide and Narrow Alleys Chengdu