Being in the list of Chengdu Historical and Cultural Protection Project, China Lane was one of the Three Chinese Characteristic Commercial Streets in Chengdu, and was regarded as the most epitome of Chengdu.
Now China Lane is composed of three parallel alleys, Wide Alley, Narrow Alley and Well Alley. Among them there are totally 45 traditional courtyards, especially Siheyuan. Briefly, in Wide Alley, there are plenty of restaurants and teahouses, presenting the beauty of China’s traditional food culture, tea culture and folk culture, while in Narrow Lane, there are also many western style restaurants, bars and cafes in which you can feel the merge of Chinese culture and western culture. As for Well Alley, if you are interested in genuine Chengdu local snacks and handcraft, visiting it is a good choice.
The history of China Lane can be traced back to Qing Dynasty. 300 years ago, Emperor Kangxi sent three thousands Baqi soldiers to suppress the provincial rebellion in Tibet. After that, most of the soldiers settled down in Chengdu and then the government built 42 hutongs for them. Wide Alley, Narrow Alley and Well Alley are the only left three of them.
The reconstruction of China Lane was begun in 2003, in the charge of Chengdu Culture and Tourism Corporation. The essence of the reconstructing project is to realize the perfect combination of the following three aspects, culture, physical space and commerce. For instance, culture means Chengdu’s thousands of years’ historical precipitation such as its life philosophy and folk culture. The physical space actually is the carrier of culture, referring to the streets and building that are also inherited from hundreds years ago. Finally on the basis of these two aspects, we’ve arranged corresponding commercial forms such as tea house, restaurants and handcraft stores. So you can see that what we consume in China Lane is not only commodity but also culture.