Old towns around chengdu

Updated: 2015-05-23 06:59

By Chen Liang(China Daily)

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Old towns around chengdu

The Huang family mansion in Yuantong Old Town in Chongzhou county is known for buildings of traditional Sichuan style.[Photo by Chen Liang/China Daily]


About one-and-a-half-hour's bus ride from Chengdu, Xilai Old Town in Pujiang county is one of the less-known historical towns scattered on the Chuanxi Plain.

It has a history of more than 1,000 years. Most of the residential buildings that line the 200-meter-long stone-paved main street through the town can be traced to the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. In traditional Sichuan style, these buildings often have black-tiled roofs, brick walls, wooden structures and timber sliding doors.

At the entrance of the main street and on a small square stands a 20-meter-high and three-storey pagoda, in which sit the statues of deities. Built in 1833, the pagoda is the place where locals burn joss sticks for the deities' blessings. On another side of the square is a traditional roofed stage, on which the local troupe performs the Sichuan opera during festive occasions.

Surrounded by restaurants, groceries and teahouses, the plaza is the center of the town's traditional country life. There local people have their breakfast on snack stands and the elderly bask in the sunshine while drinking tea.

A newly restored showroom displays a huge boat-shaped wooden coffin. With a length of 6.8 meters and a diameter of 1.5 meters, the coffin made from a Chinese medang cedat tree has a history of more than 3,000 years.

Walking along the street, one passes restaurants, barbershops and stores selling various kinds of bamboo ware, baijiu or white spirits, homemade handicrafts and traditional pastries. At the end of the street is a small dock on the Linxi River.

The river is clean and clear. There are a dozen banyan trees on its banks. Aged hundreds of years, these tall trees have dense and beautiful canopies and offer local people a shade to relax under.