Most Tourist-favored Old Towns around Chengdu

Authors: Go Chengdu


When you are in any of the following old towns in suburban Chengdu, you can surely realize that “quaint” and “charming” are not just adjectives, but are truly genuine expressions of the centuries-old places, and reflections of the local people’s way of life.
Old towns are like little Disneylands in our world's modern cities because they are the prettiest little escapes where we can see so many quaint and historical streets and buildings, and find interesting stories behind them. In the both ancient and modern Chengdu's surroundings, there are many unique old towns which can bring you back to the city's past and give you a different feeling you can not experience in the modern-day life.
Huanglongxi Ancient Town: One of the Most Famous 10 Riverside Towns in China
Located in southwest Chengdu's Shuangliu County, the old riverside town, which used to be an important port in Chengduis about 40 km away from the downtown Chengdu and was titled the "Most Beautiful Ecological and Cultural Town in China". The well-preseved town has old slabstone streets and winding alleys which are lined with wooden buildings with a typical style of western-Sichuan architecture and centuries-old trees with dense canopies.
In the town, almost all the structures were originally built in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) dynasties. One of the most distinct features of the town is its unique teahouses, most of which are outdoors. Set along the streets and river banks, the small bamboo tables and bamboo chairs and colorful sunshine umbrellas under the shade of big trees are an attractive sight of the town. People, most of whom are urbanites from Chengdu's city center, always come here at weekends to enjoy a one-day simple and plain small-town life.
How to get there:
Take a coach at Xinnanmen Bus Station in downtown Chengdu to Huanglongxi Town. The bus service runs every hour from 08:00 to 16:00. The one-way fare is 8-13 yuan/person.
Yuelai Ancient Town: A Gateway to Xiling Snow Mountain Scenic Spot
Situated in western Chengdu's Dayi County, the old town is about 70 km from the downtown Chengdu and close to Xiling Snow Mountain and Huashuiwan Hot Spring.
With only 4 streets, the town is not big. The major old-style architectures here are lined on the Yuelai and Heba streets and were built some 80 years ago.
As a typical small town with tranquility and unsophisticated folk customs, Yuelai features small tea houses and classic Chinese-European-style architecture, which makes it different from other ancient towns in Chengdu.
How to get there:
Take a coach to Dayi County at Chadianzi Station which costs just 10 yuan per person, and then transfer to Yuelai Town at a cost of 2.5 yuan per person.
Anren Ancient Town: A "Famous Chinese Town with Historic and Cultural Significance"
Only 40 km from downtown Chengdu, Anren Town holds a unique place on the city's cultural map, not only for the buildings of architectural and historical importance but for the emerging community of numerous theme museums in its area. The town is home to 27 old-style mansions and 37 modern museums, and some sites and collections are listed as Class-A cultural properties under national protection.
The Liu's Manor in the town is a wide-spread residential community of antique buildings. The buildings with the distinctive West Sichuan style are well preserved and some of them have been turned into museums.
Museums around the place have a rich collection of relics and artifacts, and shops of old furniture and handicrafts can be found on the nearby old streets.
Signs written in English can be seen at various places on the streets of the old town, including those at the doors of some shops dealing in bicycle renting, old-style posters, calligraphic works, souvenirs and ancient furniture, etc.
Ancient furniture and antiques are the mainstay business of the Town and there are numerous shops dealing in old furniture production and sales. And visitors on the street can easily find articles dating back to remote antiquity, including porcelain ware, calligraphic works, metal ware, embroideries and so on. A set of authentic ancient table and chairs may cost thousands of yuan, but the imitated counterparts are priced much lower.
How to get there:
Take a shuttle bus from Wuhouci Shrine to Liu's Manor;
Bus service to Anren Town is also provided at Chadianzi Bus Station (at an interval of 1 hour), Shiyangchang Bus Station and Shuangliu Bus Station.
Jiezi Old Town: Backyard of Mt. Qingcheng
Adjoining Mt. Qingcheng, Jiezi Old Town sits at the foot of Fengqi Mountain and is home to 32 old temples. The old town is a tourist site featuring enchanting natural scenery and cultural sights.
With a history of over 1,000 years, Jiezi is located in Chongzhou, adjacent to the famous Taoist Mt. Qingcheng, and therefore is called the "backyard" of the mountain. In the town, there are more than 20 well-preserved cultural relic sites and natural landscapes including Guangyan Buddhist Monastery and Fengqi Mountain Scenic Area, as well as a stone pagoda made in the Qing Dynasty.
How to get there:
There is direct bus service between Chadianzi Bus Station and Jiezi Old Town. It operates every half an hour from 08:30 to 17:40. The one-way fare is 20 yuan/person.
Shangli Ancient Town: An Old Post on the Southern Silk Road
In the north of Yucheng District of Ya'an City, Shangli Ancient Town was an important post and a courier station on the Southern Silk Road.
Featuring old stone bridges and exquisite buildings, the town is surrounded by hills and rivers. There are stone-paved streets and lanes, big evergreen trees, stilted wooden houses, quaint courtyards, old towers, and historical archways, caves and stone bridges. The layout of the slate streets is like the Chinese character "井(well)", which means there is inexhaustible water supply for fire control inside the town.
How to get there:
Take a bus directly to Ya'an Tourist Station at Shiyangchang Bus Station or Xinnanmen Bus Station, and then transfer to Shangli Ancient Town taking a local bus or a taxi.
Huaiyuan Ancient Town: Town of Banboo-woven Ware
Historically prosperous, the town is located in western Chengdu and has an over 1600-year history. This ancient town covers only 1 square kilometer. Though small, it has over 20 streets lined with silk shops, teahouses, stores specializing in bamboo weaving and oil producing, and grocery stores. The town is most famous for its three kinds of hand-woven crafts made of bamboo, natural rattan and palm leaves, respectively.
How to get there:
Take the bus to Chongzhou County at any of the bus stations in Chadianzi, Shiyangchang or North Railway Station, and then transfer to Huaiyuan Town at 5 yuan/person.

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