In which I visit a modern take on an old Chinese street: Jinli Street
Arguably a tourist trap, Jinli Street in Chengdu is a street where you can buy Chinese gifts of various kinds, enjoy local food and enjoy a stroll around some interesting architecture. It reminded me of the one I saw in Fuzhou.
I’m always up for strolling around somewhere new, whether a tourist trap or not, so off my friend Rachel and I went. Oh and it was raining too.
However, the rain didn’t actually matter so much, as it was very quiet, clearly having put off a lot of people coming. It also made the light reflections on the paths for photographs very interesting. I am sure that if there was not so much rain then the place would have been a lot busier.
As you enter the street, you are greeted with a Starbucks on your left hand side. This is pretty common in China and even in Fuzhou there was a Starbucks nestled in old-looking buildings. I did resist the temptation of a banana java chip Frappuccino however, that being my favourite Starbucks drink in China!
There is also a map as you enter, but pretty illegible really:
You can’t really get lost in Jinli Street, so just keep walking around!
You pass many street stalls offering various wares from umbrellas (great for that evening), ocarinas, shadow puppets (very famous in China), lucky bag ornaments (where you write a wish on a piece of paper, put it in the bag and hang it in a tree for good luck), a chance to shoot a traditional crossbow, sugar art and many, many more.
Food is clearly another attraction at Jinli Street, and there are many different offerings for you to choose from. I skipped past the tofu and such nonsense (sorry, it just doesn’t do it for me!) and went straight to the meat skewers. There’s also a Dicos in the old style buildings – Dicos is a Chinese version of KFC – weird! I also had one of the sugar art creations (8RMB). The guy asked me to spin the wheel to decide which design I should have. Let me know what you think the shape in the pictures below is!
or lanterns aplenty:
I’m not really sure I’d like a smell of the past anyhow.
So, Jinli Street. A great place for strolling around and killing an hour.