Kuanzhai Alley Tours – China, Sichuan Province, Chengdu
About this place
Of the many words used by visitors to describe Chengdu's wide and narrow lanes known as Kuanzhai, we think wonderful is amongst the best. Wonderful, describes the remodeled Hutongs, or courtyard houses of the district which are most typically indentified with Beijing. Wonderful correctly describes the architectural styles that have been most faithfully maintained, with beautiful doors, roof-lines, gardens, and the structural elements utilized by craftsmen of a time long gone by.
Wonderful equally well describes the collection of chic boutiques, eateries, souvenir, and craft shops interlaced with bars, restaurants, hotels, and more than a fair share of red lanterns, and street performers.
Kuan, Zhai, and Jing lanes come together as Kuanzhai Alley, resulting in a not to be missed, easy to get to Chengdu City attraction. Kuanxiangzi Street being perhaps the most likey spot to be dropped off by taxi. Upon arrival you will find a large map displaying the area lay-out. Generally speaking, visitors entering from here usually stroll northwards along Kuan Alley, reach the end, and return southwards along Zhai, and then back north along Jing to exit. "Jing lane" was once known as "Well Lane" due to the old well sistuated at the western end of the alley. "Zhai" still refers to lane's narrowness, and "Kuan" means fat or wide.The noncomformists zigzag between all three main lanes by way of the many interconnecting alleys, hoping not to get too confused, but having a great time exploring this amazing place.
By day or by night, the lanes of Kuan will keep everyone busy, whether it's studying the amazing photographs, and original art framing many of the sidewalks to offer viewers images of past, and present Kuanzhai. For you, it maybe enjoying the flavours of a local speciality Dan Dan noodles, or fine dining at one of the many courtyard restaurants, or enjoying a coffee, or something a little stronger, at one of the sylized establishements with out-door seating. Still others will be intrigued by the professional "ear-cleaners" plying their trade amongst the laneways. Others come to choose from a large selection of Sichuan (Shu) embroidery available at specialty stores dotted amongst those offering high-end fasions. Many simply come to learn about, walk down, photograph, and or simply admire the historical lanes of Kuanzhai.
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