Kuanzhai Xiangzi (“kuan” means wide, “zhai” means narrow, “xiangzi” means alleys or lanes in Chinese), or Wide and Narrow Alleys, is the name card of Chengdu, a city with a long history. Here you can see the historical remains of the old Chengdu City, and experience the authentic local lesure life style. Once you walk into the Wide and Narrow Alleys, you will step into the most local, ancient, while international and stylish part of Chengdu City.
The Wide and Narrow Alleys are an area of ancient streets preserved from the Qing dynasty (1616AD-1912AD) in Chengdu. The Wide and Narrow Alleys are the epitome of the old life of Chengdu City. The historical and cultural area is composed of three parallel ancient streets and complex of courtyard houses. The three ancient streets are Kuan Xiangzi, Zhai Xiangzi and Jing Xiangzi. Wide and Narrow Alleys, together with Daci Temple and Wenshu Monastery are the three historical and cultural blocks under protection.
The Wide and Narrow Alleys was open to tourists on 14th June, 2008, after four years of renovation and an investment of 600 million yuan. Here, it has everything, from the most authentic Sichuan cuisine, Sichuan Opera and tea houses, to world famous Indian food and French chocolates, from the elegant local leisure to the fashion and modern Enropean lifestyle, from the most grass-root Chengdu culture to the ultra-modern international atmosphere. The Wide and Narrow Alleys has gradually become a popular tourist spot of Chengdu City.
Nowadays the Wide Alley is the playback of old Chengdu Life. Visiting this alley will make you feel the local customs and life scenes of old Chengdu that are near the border of disappearing. You can sip tea and eat Sichuan cuisine in the traditional courtyards. This reminds people of the precious memories of old Chengdu life. The Narrow Alley has some modern and elegant restaurants, bars and boutique shops. Though the history of the Wide and Narrow Alleys is long, its commercial development started only in recent years.
Walk through the north-south alleyway, you will come to the Narrow Alley. Today it mainly has western food, coffee, club houses, and themed cultural commerce. It is a fashion center, while the old Chengdu life is well-preserved. The Narrow Alley is about the “slow life” of Chengdu. Jing (Well) Alley is located south next to the Narrow Alley. Jing Alley is the bar area of new Chengdu. This is the most lively place in Chengdu at night.