Consisting of Wide Alley (Kuan Xiangzi), Narrow Alley (Zhai Xiangzi), Well Alley (Jing Xiangzi) three parallel ancient city alleys and 45 courtyards along them, Wide and Narrow Alley is one of Chengdu’s historical and cultural reserves, together with Daci Temple reserve and Wenshu Monastery reserve. It is a microcosm of the city’s history as well as a mark in local people’s deep memory.
The history of Wide and Narrow Alley can be dated back to the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911 AD). At that time, the area was a city within the Chengdu city called Mancheng City or Shaocheng City, where the court quartered troops. As time passes by, the city decays and only the wide alley and narrow alley are left. In 2003, renovation work of the two alleys begun, aiming to build a complex cultural and business street with the functions of tourism and recreation. On June 14, 2008, the newly renovated Wide Alley, Narrow and Well Alley were opened to the public, located in nowadays Qingyang District, to the east of Tongren Road and west of Changshun Street. Nowadays, Wide and Narrow Alley is a popular entertainment and nightlife block as well as a famous tourism site, with lots of restaurants, pubs, teahouses, and stores selling featured souvenirs.
This alley exhibits the leisurely life of natives and represents the most typical Chengdu folk culture. The unique attractive elements like the natives, old lodges, and ancient teahouses, etc show the modern Chengdu people’s memories about the city’s past. Inside the alley, there is an Experiencing House of Old Chengdu Life, which is also the cover and tourism center of Wide and Narrow Alley. Made of kitchen, study, living room, and bedroom, it mainly exhibits the daily life of a common family during the period of the Republic of China (1912 – 1949 AD). Visitors can also appreciate Sichuan embroidery, shadow play, and puppet show, etc here.
The feature of this alley is the slow life of Chengdu natives. It mainly shows the courtyard culture of the city and courtyard dreams of Chinese people: there is a garden in a residence, a house in the garden, a yard in the house, trees in the yard, sky over the trees, moon in the sky…After renovation, the alley is decorated with bamboos, vines and traditional wall lamps. Other facilities and services on this alley include western and fast food restaurants, café, and healthy life experiencing hall, etc.
Applying a theme as the new life of Chengdu people, Well Alley is the modern side of Wide and Narrow Ally, as well as the most open, most diverse, and most dynamic zone in the area. In this most beautiful historical block of Chengdu, one can taste the delicious food; among the most delicate traditional buildings of the city, one can entertain himself in the colorful night; in the most typical alley of the city, one can enjoy the happiness of free thinking. The facilities here include pubs, nightclubs, dessert shops, wedding site and retail shops, etc. The most featured building here is a western villa. Originally a private residence and later a church, it is now a site for love and marriage consumption and representative of sweetness and fashion.
– Take bus no. 5, 13, 43, 47, 58, 64, 78, 81, or 163 to Jinhe Road, then Walk to Wide and Narrow Alley;
– Take bus no. 62, 70, 93, 163, or 340 to Changshun Upper Street and then walk there.