Plan your Chengdu tour? Qintai Road (琴台路）or Qintai Gujing （琴台故径） is a well known attraction in Chengdu. It is a gentrified street built in the styles of Ming and Qing dynasties (1368 – 1911). “Qintai” literally means “Musical Instrument Platform”.
The Road Name and the Love Story Behind It
The road is named “Qintai” in commemoration of Sima Xiangru and Zhuo Wenjun whose ancient love story has been lingering for over 2000 years.
The love story went back to the Western Han Dynasty ( 202 BC – 08 AD) about 2,200 years ago. In a small town near Chengdu, Zhuo Wenjun was a pretty girl from a wealthy family. Unfortunately she became a widow when she was very young.
Sima Xiangru was a poor scholar well versed in music and essy writing. One day Sima Xiangru had chance to meet Zhuo Wenjun. At the dinner time, Sima Xiangru used a piece of music to express his sincere love to her by playing a stringed music instrument. Zhuo Wenjun fell in love with him too. But her parents didn’t agree because Sima Xiangru was still a penniless scholar.
So the lovers fled secretly. They came to the western of Chengdu ( the present Qintai Road) where they run a pub to make a living. It is recorded that Sima Xiangru sold liquor while Zhuo Wenjun cleaned cups. At the same time, Sima Xiangru never gave up studying. Not long, Sima Xiangru passed the imperial examination in Chang’an, the capital of the Han Empire. Sima Xiangru left for Chang’ An (the present Xian ) and Zhuo Wenjun remained in Chengdu.
Sima Xiangru got a good job in Chang’an and moved quickly to a higher position in the court. His wife Zhuo Wenjun had waited for five years, but Sima Xiangru didn’t come back to see his wife and his family. One day, Zhuo got a letter from her husband to the effect that Xima Xiangru wanted to have a concubine in Chang’an. Zhuo was totally depressed.
She wrote back a letter to Sima Xiangru. In her letter she penned a famous poem reminding him of their past love and describing her longing for reunion. After reading her letter, Sima Xiangru felt much ashamed. He gave up the idea of having a concubine. In addition, he himself drove a four-horse carriage back to Chengdu and took his wife to Chang’an for their final reunion.
ABC of the Present Qintai Road (Qintai Gujing)
Qintai Road is 900 meters long. Of course, you cannot find any trace of the ancient quite street during Zhuo Wenjun’s time. Qintai Road has been built into a commercial street with splendid buildings in the styles of Han and Tang dynasties lined on its both sides.
Qintai Road has become a kind of jewelry street in Chengdu city, and many the city’s large jewelry stores are clustered here. There are also some restaurants suitable for weddings. So the local people call Qinta Road “the Love Road”.
In the midle of Qintai Road, there is a famous Sichuan opera house, also a teahouse – Shufengya Yun 蜀风雅韵. It has become a popular tourist destination with big tea bowls, face-changing and fire-breathing performances.
Still fortunately, the gentrified ancient street still dances around the theme of the love story between Sima Xiangru and Zhuo Wenjun. You can see a great amount of stone carvings, wood carvings and copper carvings which showcase the custom in Western Han Dynasty in terms of music, banquets and etiquette.
How to visit Qintai Road (Qintai Gujing)
In the evening the Qintai Road is illuminated with brilliant night views. Kuan Alley and Zhai Alley are only about one kilometer’s walk from Qintai Road. It is a good idea to put them together for a night tour of Chengdu.
First come to Qintai Road for window shopping and immersing yourself into the time machine chasing the love story 2000 years ago. Then continue to walk to Kuan Alley and Zhai Ally to feel the vibe of the buzzing urban life in the megacity of Chengdu.
Virtual Tour of Qintai Road
Follow us for a brief virtual tour of the modern day love road – Qintai Road ( Qintai Gujing). Both the north and south entrance start with a huge pailou inscribed four Chinese characters “Qintai Gujing”
Qintai Road has been built into a commercial street with splendid buildings in the styles of Han and Tang dynasties lined on its both sides. The row in the middle of the road replete with stone carvings, wood carvings and copper carvings which showcase the custom in Western Han Dynasty in terms of music, banquets and etiquette.
Is this the horse carriage Sima Xiangru and Zhuo Wenjun used to flee secretly? They came to the present Qintai Road where they run a pub to make a living.
There are some teahouses and restauarant that put on face changing performances at night.
There are also some restaurants suitable for weddings.
In the evening the Qintai Road is illuminated with brilliant night views.
Hassle-free Chengdu Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for Chengdu and Sichuan guided tours:
Top 10 Attractions in Chengdu
Best Time to Visit Chengdu
Railway stations in Chengdu
How to visit Wuhou Shrine
How to visit Du Fu Thatched Cottage
How to visit Jinsha Site Museum
How to Visit Tomb of Wangjian
How to Visit Wangjiang Tower Park
How to Visit Qingyang Taoist Temple
How to Visit Jinli Street
How to visit Kuan Alley and Zhai Alley
How to visit Qintai Road, Qintai Street Chengdu
How to visit Shaoling Road Bar Street
How to Visit Jiuyanqiao Bar Street
The Old Teahouse in Pengzhen Town, Chengdu
Drive from Hanzhong to Ya’an
Ya’an Night View
Most Beautiful Sky Road in China
Night View of Moxi Old Town
Camp No.03 at Hailuogou Glacier
Camp No.04 at Hailuogou Glacier
Night View of Kangding
Drive from Kangding to Xinduqiao
Drive from Xinduqiao to Danba
Jiarong Tibetan Blockhouses
Jiarong Tibetan Ancient Watchtowers
Drive from Xinduqiao to Yajiang
Drive from Yajiang to Litang
Drive from Litang to Daocheng
Drive from Litang to Batang
Drive from Batang to Mangkang
Drive from Shangri-la to Daocheng
Drive from Daocheng to Yading
Yading Brings You Inner Peace
Bipenggou is a fairyland in Autumn
When is the best time to visit Jiuzhaigou?
Best Places to Visit Autumn Leaves in Sichuan
Top 10 Places to Visit in Sichuan
Ruoergai Grassland, my first trip to Ruoergai Grassland
Any questions, just drop a line.