Jinli Ancient Street

Located just next to Wuhou Temple, Jinli Old Street is a pedestrian street that blends into the modern Chengdu culture with ancient buildings.

Most of the buildings in Jinli streets can be dated back to the Qing Dynasty, built from 1644 to 1911.

Jinli Ancient Street.

There are plenty of pedestrian streets or the locals call them “walking streets” in China, and Jinli is one of the most popular in Sichuan.

Just like the Kuan Zhai Alley, you can buy many souvenirs, enjoy the tea culture of Chengdu, and taste the local street foods in Jinli.

While Kuan Zhai Alley gives you a more upscale feeling, the Jinli old street preserves its own feeling of being “back-to-time”.

Jinli Old Street at night.

There are many things to see and foods to eat here – from bars to cafes, from Starbucks to the local hotpot, you can also find the traditional Sichuan tea house in Jinli.

What to See in Jinli?

One of the Oldest Shopping Street in Sichuan Province

Jinli is called the ancient streets because its history can be traced back to the Three Kingdoms period, which was over 1,800 years ago. Most of the architecture here is in the style of Shuhan (one of the Three Kingdoms cultures). And that is why the Wuhou Temple is just next door.

The Life of Chengdu

Jinli showcases the life stage of Chengdu people. From traditional teahouses, bars, cafes, the taste of authentic Sichuan flavor, age-old residences to local snacks and specialties, Jinli covers all.

Sichuan Opera Performance

Sichuan Opera performance – Face Changing

As you walk deeper into Jinli Streets, you will see a wooden traditional stage that is used from time to time for classic performances of Sichuan Opera. And the most famous stunt is none other than Face Changing. There are also quite a selections of teahouses along Jinli Street where you can watch the Sichuan Opera performance while enjoying the Kung Fu Tea.

Folk Art

You can also see many folk artisan performances along the street of Jinli. From sugar painting, clay figurines, to puppet shadow show, Jinli Old Street has plenty to offer.

What Food to Try Out?

As you walk along Jinli streets, you will discover many local delicacies and street foods. Ranging from the hot, spicy and numbing hotpot to fried rabbit’s head, Jinli is no doubt one of the best places to hunt for food.

Below are some of the local and street foods you should try out in Jinli:

Sandapao – known as Three Big Bombs. Something like glutinous rice balls. Serve with brown sugar syrup.
Dandan noodle – A Sichuan style noodle mix with red chilli oil and peanut sauce.
Zhengzhenggao – or to make things simple, steam rice cake.
Jinli has many teahouses, you should try out one.
Rabbit’s head – yes, fried rabbit’s head. The locals love it and taste like fried chicken.
Liangfen – spicy glutinous “noodle” made with green bean paste. It is served in cold.
Sichuan style hotpot – If you are not afraid of spicy food, this can be the perfect dish for lunch or dinner. Sichuan hotpot is special because of the numbing pepper corns.

How to Go to Jinli Ancient Street

Getting to Jinli is easy. It is located next to Wuhou Temple. Hence, you can visit both places at the same time.

Taking the metro will be easy and convenient. Just get on to Line 3 and then get off at Gaoshengqiao Station. Walk to the east direction for about 5 minutes and you will see Wuhou Temple entrance and Jinli next to it.

Tips for Visiting Jinli Old Street

  • Jinli Ancient Streets can be crowded at times, but it can be fun exciting.
  • You can visit Jinli all year round regardless of the weather. And most of the stores open from morning until night at about 10:00 pm.
  • You don’t need an admission ticket for entrance.
  • Make sure you visit Wuhou Temple that is located just next to Jinli streets.
  • The pedestrian streets cover an area of 30,000 meters square, it can be huge. The recommended time for visiting is at least 2 hours. Spend more time in Jinli if you plan to watch the Sichuan Opera performance or relax in a teahouse.
  • The Starbucks in Jinli is blended into the traditional architecture of China.
  • Jinli streets and Kuan Zhai Alley are almost similar, but in my opinion, Jinli gives the ancient feels.
  • If possible, relax in a teahouse, enjoy the tea while watching the Face Changing performance.
  • Try out Sichuan hotpot if you can eat spicy food. And be prepared for the Sichuan spicy and numbing experience.

Written by 

Shawn Lim is the founder of StarlingTrip.com. He loves to travel and likes to share his experience and talks about his trips.

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