If you pay attention to the streets in Chengdu, you'll notice that their names can be funny and unique. Before I tell you about the origins of these names, let me quiz you on Chengdu’sstreets.
How many streets are there in Chengdu? How many alleys are there? How many streets name after "road"? How many streets name after a bridge?
Okay, I'm done. Time for some street name history lessons.
Most interesting name: Silk Sock Street ("Summer Sock" Street)
This interesting street is next to Chunxi Road and Yanshikou. In 19th century, Chengdu was a land of prosperity, and the city's more privileged residents were expected particular about their socks. Woolen socks were worn during winter for warmth, while silk socks, delightfully light, were ideal counterweights to Chengdu's humid summers. As Chengdu's climate tends to be humid and warm, people spend more time in silk socks, thus attracting silk sock shops to congregate on this street – hence its name.
The "Media Street" of Chengdu: Hongxing Road (Red Star Road)
Chengdu locals of all ages and backgrounds are all familiar with Hongxing Road. The street is the epicenter of the city’s media. Sichuan Daily, Chengdu Daily, Chengdu Media, Hello Chengdu and more. Crowds of media professionals dash in and out of this place, delivering the freshest news to their readers.
Chengdu has stars to spare. Besides Hongxing Road, there are, to name a few, Xinghan Road, Xinghe Road, Xingke Road, Xingchen Road, and Xingyue Street.
The quintessential Chengdu: Qing Shiqiao Nan Jie (Green Stone Bridge South Street)
Qing Shiqiao Nan Jie had supposedly already rollick into existence between the 1950s and 1960s. Decades later, the beloved street, the largest agricultural produce market, is a rowdy mishmash of vegetables, meat, flowers, random gadgets, and pets – a no-frills reflection of Chengdu’s people and their lives.
There is also a largest seafood market, chock-full of seafood stalls. Fried chili shrimp and stir fried river snails. Swig some ice cold beer and get deep into some banter with friends. This is as good as it gets.
Quiz answers: Chengdu has more than 600 streets, 240 alleys, 212 streets named after a road and 33 streets named after a bridge.
Don't forget Meng Zhuiwan, a street whose name literally means to pursue vigorously. Who is chasing whom here? getting chased here?