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.