Jinli Street

Admission:

Free

Hours:

The food market closes around 9pm, but the street remains bustling late into the night.

How to get there:

Right next to Wuhou Temple, just southwest of downtown.

Replicas of Qing Dynasty mansions line Jinli Old Street (Jǐnlǐ Gǔjiē, 锦里古街) selling local souvenirs as well as tea, books, musical instruments and caricatures.

While several large restaurants can be found here, the real charm lies in the small snack alley between Wuhou Temple and Jinli. Here the overpowering odor of stinky tofu is softened by sweet caramel, spicy beef, rice cakes, noodles and sesame buns—made to order amidst the din of hawkers and touts shouting their products.

Locals fill the street nightly—especially on weekends—so if you want to catch a slice of real Chengdu life, this tourist-street-cum-snack-Mecca is a great starting point.

Nightly Sichuan Opera performances start at 8:30pm in the theater at the far end of the street. Highlights include fire-breathing, face-changing, comedy theater and Sichuan tea ceremony performances. Seating is almost always available and entry runs RMB 80 per person.

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