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Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi in Chinese literally means “Wide and Narrow Alleys” and is one of the three historical relic protection areas in Chengdu and is adorned with Shu culture.Lianna Brinded
It comprises of three parallel alleys – Kuan Alley, Zhai Alley and Jing Alley, as well as the old grid pattern streets and courtyards. Both Kuan Alley and Zhai Alley are the gentrified ancient alleys from Qing Dynasty ( 1644 -1911 ).Lianna Brinded
In the early Qing Dynasty, the government built a walled city in Chengdu as the living place for the Eight Banners soldiers and their families and then in the sixtieth year of Kangxi’s Reign in Qing Dynasty, the General Nian Gengyao in Chengdu proposed to the imperial court to send 1600 people and station in Chengdu permanently.Lianna Brinded
The alleys now host beautifully ornate restaurantsLianna Brinded
Cuisine is available from Sichuan province in the north to the far south of ChinaLianna Brinded
Pubs, bars and clubs nestle alongside more sedate tea housesLianna Brinded
This lane is infused with modern Chinese music and bars, with western influences peppered throughout.Lianna Brinded
Not even an ancient walled city that is protected by the government can escape Starbucks.Lianna Brinded
Locals call Kuan Alley the modern people’s memory of the old Chengdu cityLianna Brinded
The capital of China's Sichuan province, Chengdu, may be one of the fastest growing cities in the world and at the cutting edge of modern technology but nestled between the high-tech business parks and office buildings are the relics of the Qi and Shu dynasties - relics that remain largely untouched by Western visitors.
IBTimes UK has travelled to China to secure pictures of Chengdu's Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi ("Wide and Narrow Alleys") and their ancient relics.
The alleys clearly demonstrate why the Chinese say Chengdu is "the fastest growing city [with] the slowest way of life".
Keep checking IBTimes UK for more Chengdu China Special coverage.