Every city has an old street that carry the reminders of past glories and dreams and tells the stories passed down through the generations.
Wenchang is the source of most overseas Hainanese migrants, with the majority of Singapore’s Hainanese population having ancestral roots in Wenchang. Wenchang Hainanese is considered to be the most prestige accent of the Hainanese language and is used by the provincial broadcasting media.
Located in Wenchang downtown, Wennan Old Street was built more than 400 years ago during the Ming Dynasty. This is the town’s old commercial street and is lined on both sides with old Cantonese-style shop houses, similar to those found in places in South East Asia, like Singapore. In the Wennan Old Street, there are about 300 small shops operating from the street that stretch for over 1 kilometer.
In 2012, the street was given a new face lift so that it resembles the kind of commercial scenes commonly found in Nanyang (Southeast Asia). Unlike Haikou’s Bo’ai Road area, the facades are unpainted and appear gray in color. The area is now a visitor attraction.
Today, the street is a visitor attraction as it remains Wenchang’s business center whilst giving you a taste of the traditional life of Wenchang. Salesmen in the shops, passers-by taking shelter from the rain, vendors having a short break, yelling hucksters, everybody enjoys the Wennan Old Streets!
When strolling along the street on a leisurely afternoon, you can experience Wenchang’s rich and dignified past. Even after a motorcycle roars onto the street and disturbs the tranquility, you would feel at ease as you continue your tour.
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