Tangpa (“镋钯” in Chinese), a street name which has been used since the time of Emperor Guangxu of Qing Dynasty, is hardly pronounced right. You may hear seven or eight different pronunciations out of ten people in Chengdu, such as Tangba, Dangba, Dangpa, mixed with tone variations, or whatsoever… A person who has lived in this street for many years may easily get stuck when required to write down the two Chinese characters.
The pronunciation for these two characters may vary from one to another even on traffic signs.
As a Virgo, I have looked up all sources available, and been officially affirmed that the pronunciation of this street is tang pa.
It is said that it used to be an open place next to Daci Temple where the monks practiced their martial arts. They would store their weapons here like tangpas and bolas when they finished practice. That's how the street name originated.
This ancient street of unique charm with such a "dizzying" name is hidden in the prosperous downtown. Walking through Taikoo Li towards Jingronghui, there is a street of snacks on the other side. Going down along the street of snacks, you will find Tangpa Street.
The hustle and bustle of business vanish here, while a lazy and laid-back atmosphere sinks in among the green trees and vines. Shanghai style architecture of the time of the Republic of China, represented by red bricks and black stones under the shadow of trees, is imbued with a strong historical scent. The street preserves the city's ancient smell in tranquility.
Attracted by the comfortable environment, dozens of stores have settled here, which in turn attract numerous artistic youths and buddies to this street.
Come along with me, young art fellas:
This is a 24-hour bookstore, integrated with coffee and cultural & artistic innovation. It is a cozy reading place like a warm ray of light shining over the city at dark nights. There is a small yard in front of the bookstore, and on a sunny day, you can enjoy reading in the shadow of a tree here. Sounds nice, doesn't it?
Sunfire Maker Youth Zone
At No. 88 Tangpa Street, there is a yard of ancient smell, where there are flowing water and dense bamboos. You can see Modern Young Innovators Meeting Place written on the wall. It is an exclusive space for young people, and it will occasionally hold public welfare events like cultural and artistic exchange meetings, exhibitions, cuisine saloons, small-scale concert, lectures amd etc.
Chongde Li Alley
On the left of No. 88, there is a humble entrance, inside which is Chongde Li, the landmark of Tangpa Street. This residential building was constructed in 1925, and it looks as it is now after some repairs. At present, Chongde Li is divided into three sectors: tea, dining and hotel. The alleyway paved with black stones here is very quiet and cool, leading to a tranquil teahouse. Make sure to come and have a seat here whenever it is convenient for you.
Photos by Carmen