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HUANGLONGXI (黄龙溪古城, huánglóng xī gŭchéng), 40km south of Chengdu, is a riverside village with a half-dozen Qing-dynasty streets, all narrow, flagstoned and sided in rickety wooden shops. Tourism aside – and visitor numbers are frankly overwhelming at weekends or during holidays – it’s a pretty place, also popular with old ladies coming to pray for grandchildren to Guanyin, to whom all the village’s temples are dedicated.

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