Jinli Street, east of Wuhou Memorial Temple, is known as “the first street of the Shu Kingdom”. Featuring traditional architecture, snacks, and folk customs, Jinli Street is synonymous with leisure. Strolling down the narrow street, you can slowly and freely experience the attraction and charm of Chengdu.
At one end of the street, there is a brick-built archway carved with the word ‘Jinli Street’. From there, the street, paved with green flagstones, winds through Chengdu. The buildings on either side include tea-houses, cafes, bars, souvenir stores, and hotels.
The street dates back to the Three Kingdoms Period, over 1,800 years ago. It is based on Shuhan, one of the Three Kingdoms from 221 to 263 AD. Most of its architecture is decorated in the style of the houses in western Sichuan during the Qing Dynasty. In order to reproduce the flavor of prosperity from the past, it was restored and re-opened to the public in October 2004.
Sichuan Opera – Rapid and Varied Face Changing
Sichuan Opera is renowned among Chinese opera. Face-changing, to highlight characters’ emotional changes, is the most brilliant feature. When actors perform face-changing, they will tear off, rub or blow away the mask on their face to present a new mask under the previous one.
As well as on stage, tourists can watch Sichuan Opera in some restaurants or tea houses on the streets. You can watch Sichuan Opera for free, as long as you order food or a cup of tea.
Traditional Wedding Ceremony – Marry in the Traditional Way
Another interesting performance is a local wedding ceremony, in which tourists can participate, to experience the local marriage customs. Lovers can even have a unique and traditional wedding ceremony here.
Shu Embroidery – Exquisite Embroidery with Different Designs
Shu Embroidery, influenced by geographic environment and local customs, is famous for its exquisite and elegant style. During the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC–24 AD), embroidery was a luxury enjoyed only by the royal family and was strictly controlled by the government.
Embroideries had many themes, such as scenery, flowers and birds, dragons and phoenixes, and even folk stories. Designs with distinctive local features, including lotus and carp, bamboo, and pandas, are very popular among foreigners.
Shadow Puppetry – Lively Performances
Shadow puppetry is a kind of folk drama, performing folktales behind a white curtain holding animal-skin or cardboard silhouettes. When actors perform shadow puppetry, they hide behind the curtain with the silhouettes, telling the story with local melodies and traditional music.
Shadow puppetry is famous for its lingering music, exquisite sculptures, bright colors, and lively performances. In 2011, it was enlisted as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
- Paper cuttings involve cutting various patterns on paper for decoration. It was also enlisted as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
- Clay figurines are sculptures made with clay.
- Sugar paintings are drawing by melting sugar. It captures the attention of customers with its subtle design and sweet taste.
Chengdu food is Renowned for Spicy and Interesting Dishes as well as Delicious Snacks. Most food in Sichuan is pungent. Chengdu is a paradise for those who love spicy food.
Dishes – Spicy and Interesting
Sichuan cuisine is recognized as one of the eight great cuisines of China. Renowned Sichuan cuisine includes Sichuan hot pot, mapo bean curd, spicy boiled fish, and shredded pork with chili and soy sauce.
Besides, tourists should not miss the special and interesting“Dishes of Three Kingdoms”, a series of dishes named after stories during the period of the Three Kingdoms. For example, “borrowing arrows with straw boats” is fried fish with egg and winter bamboo shoots.
Snacks – Yummy
Many vendors selling local snacks congregate in the street, where all kinds of typical snacks can be found. You can hardly help being overwhelmed by the temptation of perfect colors, aromas, and tastes of the delicious local snacks.
Every year, crowds of tourists from all over the world pour into the streets to look for and enjoy the yummy local snacks. The most famous and popular snack is San Da Pao, made with sticky rice, brown sugar, sesame, and beans. Other local snacks include bean jelly, spring rolls, and so on.
Can’t wait to have a taste of these delicious foods? Our Chengdu Highlights and Food Tour will whet your appetite even further.
Best Time to Visit – Spring or Autumn, Night Rather Than Day
You can visit Jinli Street all year round. Spring and autumn, however, are the best seasons. In other words, the most comfortable times are from March to June and from September to November. Chengdu experiences extreme temperatures in summer and winter as well as high humidity, thus summer is stuffy and winter clammy.
The night view of Jinli Street is more attractive than the day view. In the evening, the street seems extremely charming, compared with its pale appearance by day.
All the street’s red lanterns are lit, which makes it a dreamland. Walking there, tourists will feel like they are in a fairy tale. If you are fond of taking photos, you can produce a lot of satisfying works.
Are you feeling attracted by Jinli? Our Panda & Chengdu Highlights Tour will give you a wonderful experience of it.
Tourists can stay overnight in Jinli Street. All hotels there is built-in Qing Dynasty (1644-1912 AD) style, which offers a special experience. But you should remember that the price for these hotels is higher than for normal hotels. So if you a lower price, you can stay near rather than on Jinli Street.
How to Get There
Tourists can get there by bus, such as buses No 1, 57, 304, and 306. It’s about 17 km from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, about 40 minutes by car. And it’s about 8 km from Chengdu North Railway Station, about 30 minutes by car.