It is fast becoming the most economically important city in the interior West China, with an urban population of around 8.8 million. In addition to the central urban area, the municipality of Chongqing also includes some 80,000 km² (31,000 sq mi) of the neighboring countryside and smaller towns, with approximately 30 million people altogether.
Chongqing is also the launching point for scenic boat trips down the Yangtze River through the Three Gorges Dam. The spectacular Buddhist Dazu Rock Carvings are three hours west of Chongqing City in the outlying Chongqing Municipality and are listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Spring from the end of February to early May is the optimum time for travel, while the wintertime around December is not bad. Chongqing together with Nanjing and Wuhan are known as the ‘three furnace cities’ in China, so if possible, avoid the summer months when the weather is blistering and the temperature can reach up to 40 C (104 F).
Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport
It is about 21 km northeast of Chongqing in Lianglu Town, Yubei District. It is served by international flights from Asia, Middle East, Europe, Oceania and North America. It also serves most main domestic cities. It has two terminals (a third much larger terminal under construction, and a fourth is set for construction shortly after completion of the third).
Adddress: Cai Yuan Ba Li Jiao Qiao, Yuzhong
Arrival method: CRT Line 1 & 3 Lianglukou Metro Station
Original station closest to the centre of Chongqing. Handles many long distance trains from many destinations across China. Some services are being transferred to Chongqing North Station, due to planned redevelopment of the station.
Chongqing North Station
Address: Kunlun Avenue, Yubei District
Arrival method: CRT Line 3 Chongqing North Station South Square Metro Station and CRT Line 10 Chongqing North Station North Square Metro Station. Buses are also available to the North Square Terminal from the Longtousi Metro Station on Line 3
Chongqing West Station
Address: Sha Ping Ba Zhan Dong Lu ShaPingBa Qu, Chongqing, China
Arrival method: CRT Line 1 Shapingba Metro Station
High speed trains (G series) link to Chongqing North Station to Beijing in about 12 hours, and to Chengdu in about 1½ hours. In addition, there are slow trains that take about twice as long.
Chongqing Long-Distance Bus Station
Address: 3 Caiyuan Road, Yuzhong District
Chongqing North Railway Station South Plaza Bus Station
Address: 46 Kunlun Avenue, Yubei District
Chenjiaping Bus Station
Address: 39 Shiyang Road, Jiulongpo District
Sigongli Transport Interchange
Address: 61 Sigongli Street, Nan’an District
The first section of Chongqing’s rapid transit system opened in 2005. Since then, major expansions have now linked major railway stations, major shopping districts and the airport, with more extensions under construction. Announcements are made both in Mandarin and English. No smoking is allowed and all services are air-conditioned, which is a reason alone to board one from between April to September! Don’t forget your electronic ticket card to get out of the station. If you overshoot your stop, go to the service counter and add value to your card.
Buses are frequent and cheap, but unless you can read Chinese you have to know where they are going and choose the right number bus going in the right direction. If you are going to one of the city centres in Chongqing city, simply ask each bus if they go there.
Taxis in Chongqing are bright yellow small sized Suzuki sedans. They are relatively cheap (starting at ¥8 and ¥1.8/km, ¥8.9 and ¥2.25/km after midnight) and can be easily found 24 hours a day. Few drivers speak anything but Chinese, so you must know where you are going. Either have your destination written for you in Chinese, learn how to say it, or be able to direct the driver. A good way to use taxis is to gather cards from hotels, then simply show the driver the one you want to go to or is nearest to your destination.
A large public square at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers. Here you can see the importance of the river trade to Chongqing with nice views across the river to the new Chongqing Grand Theatre. Many river cruise ships terminate nearby and the night lights are spectacular to see.
Address: 1 Changjiang Binjiang Road, Yuzhong District
Meaning “Porcelain Port” as porcelain has long been made & transported from here, in Shapingba, on the banks of the Jialing River. This is a step back in time with several streets of Chongqing as it was, (and still is in some places). It is mostly comprised of small shops selling tourist stuff, but does lead down to the river where it is possible to board a restaurant boat and where the present hostel is located. The temple at the top of the hill is worth a visit. Worth a visit for a couple of hours. Unlike similar places in China, this one is still in its original state and not a reconstruction. Walking uphill away from the river and main tourist area, it is still populated by regular families and homes as it has always been.
An entertainment and amusement park area northwest of Jiefangbei on the other side of the river and a bit north, where foreigners have been encouraged to set up shops. You can find a church, an upside-down house, an Australian bar, a small train, the world’s largest public restroom and many other overly kitschy attractions.
Arrival method: Either take bus no. 163, 320, or 338 and get off at Tenghuang Road or take bus no. 163, 318, 320, 338, 375, 376, 607 or 816 and get off at the Panlong Roundabout
Near Jiefangbei, a recreation of the old Chongqing, clinging to the side of the mountain with many small shops. A tourist place but you can find recreations of old local crafts here and genuine local food.
Address:: 88 Jialingjiang Binjiang Road, Yuzhong District
Arrival method: Metro Line 2, Linjiangmen Station, Exit D and Metro Line 1, Xiaoshizi Station, Exits 6 & 9
Chongqing’s Great Hall of the People (and the People’s Square in front of the Hall) is an architectural symbol of Chongqing City. Its construction began in 1951, but its design is traditional and mirrors those of China’s ancient classical dynasties. It somewhat resembles an enlarged version of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. The People’s Square was only completed in 1997 and is decorated with trees and flowers. The ground of the square is paved with smooth marble tiles; there is magic music fountain; at the southern end of the square stands a stage for performances in the open air. You may see thousands of people dancing on the square in the numerous beautiful lights in the evening.
Arrival method: Access through pedestrian tunnel from Zengjiayan metro station on line 2.
The center of downtown Chongqing. Jiefangbei, or the People’s Liberation Monument, formerly known as the Monument of Victory in the War of Resistance (World War II), is a 27.5-meter-high structure. Around the monument is a broad, paved pedestrian square lined by numerous glassy office skyscrapers and highrise hotels, reminiscent of New York’s Times Square or Tokyo’s Shibuya district. Jiefangbei Shopping Square, completed in 1997, has a 400 by 350 meter footprint. Around the square are more than 3,000 stores of various kinds, including more than two dozen large malls and shopping centers, dozens of star-graded hotels, and offices such as banks, stock markets, trade and finance companies, postal and telecommunication services, and places of entertainment.
The General Joseph W. Stilwell Museum is situated in Yuzhong District of Chongqing, and occupies an area of 1.2 acres (about 4,800 square meters). It was founded in memory of Joseph W. Stilwell (1883 – 1946), an American general who contributed a great deal to Chinese people. Since the museum has been opened to the public in 1991, tens of thousands of visitors from home and abroad have been there, including scholars, students, US ambassadors, veterans, and political and military officials. William Pace, a former American Secretary of Defense, made a special trip to the museum in 1994 and was greatly touched by how well it had been preserved. Although it has been restored and enlarged several times, the style of it has not been changed.
Dazu Rock Carvings contains all the cliffside carvings in Dazu County. The collection is composed of the rock carvings in Beishan, Baodingshan, Nanshan, Shimenshan as well as Shizhuanshan, all of which are of the highest artistic attainment and demonstrate the most exquisite skills.
Dazu County, reputed as ‘the county of rock carving’ is located at the southeast of Sichuan province. It is 168 miles (about 271 kilometers) from Chengdu on its west and 104 miles (about 167 kilometers) from Chongqing on its east. The whole county has an area of 540 square miles (about 1,400 square kilometers), and it owns a history of more than 1,200 years since it came into existence in 758 during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).
Dazu Rock Carvings was built from 650 in the Tang Dynasty and continued to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1616-1911). It is as famous as the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, Gansu Province. The rock carvings in these places are very distinguished both at home and abroad. Among the rock carvings, there are more than 50,000 statues and over 100,000 Chinese characters of inscriptions and epigraphs. The Buddhist statues dominate in this rock carving group, and the Taoist and the Confucian stone figures can also be seen.
With an area of 40 square miles (103 square kilometers), Black Mountain Valley, or Heishan Valley, 70 miles (115 kilometers) from Chongqing City, is located in Black Mountain Town (Heishan Town) of Wansheng Economic Development District of Chongqing City. Enjoying a forest coverage of 97%, the primitive natural ecological environment in this scenic area is preserved well. There are distinctive views in the area, including high mountains, deep valleys, steep cliffs, grand waterfalls, winding plank roads and floating bridges, as well as various animals and plants, making Black Valley a great place for rafting, mountain climbing, camping, hunting and hiking.
Chongqing China Three Gorges Museum, also known as Chongqing Museum, is situated opposite to the Chongqing People’s Assembly Hall. It is not only the largest monographic museum, but is also a public undertaking for the preservation, education, scientific research in respect of cultural relics and the natural environment of Chongqing and the Three Gorges area.
The exterior of the museum has cambered walls and vitreous dome, representing the historical culture of Three Gorges Dam Project and its origins. In addition, there are large-scale reliefs, bronze sculptures and an ‘Ecological Corridor’ that is 1,100 yards in length (about one kilometer)
Chaotianmen Dock is a major water transportation hub in Chongqing, where Jialing River and the Yangtze River meet. It is also the landmark and a must-visit attraction of Chongqing.
Chaotianmen was built in 314 BC as a city gate. In ancient time, local officials knelt down to receive the emperor’s decrees in front of the gate. The emperor was considered the son of the heaven in that time, so the place is called Chaotianmen, meaning “towards the heaven gate”.
Chongqing Happy Valley aims to provide diverse ways of leisure and recreation for people of all ages. It is the seventh Happy Valley amusement park in China and is located in Liangjiang New Area, north of Chongqing. The park covers an area of 550,000 square meters (658,000 square yards) and has a large number of rides and shows with high and advanced technology. Due to the unique terrain, the park has become the first “mountain happy valley” in China.
If there are only two wonderlands of idyllic beauty, one is in your mind and the other one is in Youyang, Chongqing. Located in the north of Youyang County, Taohuayuan Scenic Area is an amazing destination spanning an area of 12,000 acres (about 50 square kilometers). Taohuayuan, which literally means a garden of peach blossom, is the prototype of the paradise hidden from the outside world mentioned by the great poet Tao Yuanming of the East Jin Dynasty (317 – 420) in his influential prose entitled Peach Blossom Spring. In springtime, countless peach flowers bloom together and fallen petals flutter in the wind, leaving visitors with a beautiful memory.
Wulong Karst National Geology Park, an important part of South China Karst, is situated at the lower reaches of the Wujiang River in southeast Chongqing. It was named as a world natural heritage by UNESCO in 2007. Wulong Karst features spectacular karst landscapes, including the three main parts of Furong Cave, Three Natural Bridges, Houping Giant Doline (Houping Tiankeng) and other scenic spots.
Three Natural Bridges in Wulong Karst National Geology Park is located 12 miles (20 kilometers) southeast of Chongqing City. It is a rare geological wonder and an eco-tourist’s delight. It features three natural karst bridges: Tianlong Bridge, Qinglong Bridge and Heilong Bridge. The three natural karst stone arch bridges, with an average height of over 656 feet (200 meters), and an average span of over 656 feet (200 meters), constitute the largest natural bridge cluster in Asia.
Furong Cave, located on the bank of the Furong River in Jiangkou Town, Wulong County, is the only cave in China that was listed in ‘World Natural Heritage List’. Together with Mammoth Cave in the US, and Graemes Cave in France, it was named one of ‘The Three Greatest Caves in the World’.
It is a large limestone cave, formed in the carbonate rocks of Cambrian-Ordovician Period. Furong Cave is abundant with various speleothems, which shape the dazzling karst landscapes.
Houping Giant Doline (Houping Tiankeng) in Wulong Karst National Geology Park is situated at Houping Town, 88 kilometers (55 miles) from Wulong County. It is the first tiankeng cluster type of erosion discovered in the world.
A tiankeng refers to a karst doline or sinkhole, measuring at least 100 meters (328 feet) in depth and in diameter. Based on the cause of formation, tiankengs can be divided into two types: collapsed tiankengs and eroded tiankengs. Collapsed tiankengs are common, while eroded tiankengs are quite rare. The Houping Tiankeng cluster is the finest example of an eroded tiankeng.
Formed 465 million to 600 million years ago underwater due to continuous sedimentation, the Wansheng Stone Forest in Chongqing is proved to be the oldest forest of stones in China, even 200 million years older than the Stone Forest in Kunming and honoured as “Father of Stone Forest in China”. Enjoying typical Karst landform, it is renowned for its different forms of stone forests and underground Karst caves. Various fossils make the scenic area unique compared with other similiar sites in China. Local residents, mostly Miao people, are friendly and encourage you to experience and learn their customs and culture.
Grand and spectacular Jinfo Mountain is located in Nanchuan District, Chongqing City. When sunshine falls on it, it looks like a giant Buddha shining with boundless golden radiance, hence the name, which literally means “Golden Buddha Mountain”. Enjoying a forest coverage rate of 95%, it is a “Museum of Natural Plants”. This great place, with a total area of 500 square miles (1,295 square kilometers) and a scenic area of 170 square miles (441 square kilometers), has two different slopes with distinctive attractions for sightseers.
Shenlong means great dragons in Chinese. Shenlong Gorge Scenic Area is named after its dragon-like landform and dragon-related legends. It is located in Nanping Town of Nanchuan District in Chongqing City, 17 miles (27 meters) from Nanchuan and 53 miles (85 meters) from Chongqing. The Gorge is 2.6 miles (4.2 meters) long and averages 55 yards (50 meters) wide, with the widest part being 98 yards (90 meters) and the narrowest only 11 yards (10 meters). Formed by extrusion of crustal movement over millions of years, it has been home to thick forests, diverse animals, plunging waterfalls, rippling waters, steep cliffs and high mountains. It is a great place for visitors to breathe fresh air and relax. The area, with an average temperature in summer of less than 56.7 F, is a great summer resort, where it is possible to enjoy rafting and camping.
Simian Mountain is located in Jiangjin District of Chongqing City. Five main scenic areas on the mountain are open to tourists. From north to south, the scenic areas are: Dragon Pool, Danxia Landform, Wangxiangtai Waterfall, Pearl Lake, and Honghai Lake. You can also climb up Chinese Love Ladder to experience a couple’s romantic and moving love. Apart from these beautiful natural sceneries, there are famous local specialties as well.
Madame Tussauds Chongqing is the first Madame Tussauds in southwest China. It is also the fifth in China after Madame Tussands Hong Kong, Madame Tussauds Shanghai, Madame Tussauds Wuhan, and Madame Tussauds Beijing, and has become the 20th Madame Tussauds in the world. Its exhibition area is about 2,000 square meters (2,400 square yards) and was officially opened on September 10, 2016. The exterior architectural style reproduces the unique historical features of old Chongqing. There are eight themed exhibition areas, which are spread over two floors.
Yangtze River Cableway
Address: 151 Xinhua Road, Yuzhong District
Opennig time: 7:30-22:30.
This cableway, which is operated by the Chongqing Passenger Cableway Company Ltd takes one across the Yangtze River and provides a great view of the city. The trip covers a distance of 1166 meters and takes about 5 minutes.
Ticket: ¥20 one-way, ¥30 return.
Liangjiang Evening Cruises
Office address: China Youth Travel Service Chongqing, 7-19/97 Zhongshan Yi Road, Yuzhong District
All the boats depart from the 5th and 6th piers of the Chaotianmen dock, which is at the northeast extremity of Yuzhong District
Opening time: 19:30-22:20. A 1-hour trip on the Yangtse (Chang Jiang) and Jialing rivers gives you a night view of Chongqing’s modern skyline.
Ticket: ¥95-118 or more depending on class.
Yangtze River cruises
Cruises on the Yangtze River will take you through the cradle of China, while giving you the opportunity to see some spectacular scenery. There are several different companies operating these cruises. ¥700-¥2500.
Hot Pot is one of Chongqing’s claims to fame. In cities across China, one can find hot pot restaurants, but only Chongqing people can really stand a real hot pot, so if you want authenticity, get it while you can in Chongqing.
When ordering hot pot you have a choice between three kinds. First, the spicy version called red soup (hong tang). Then there is one without any spices. This is basically a bone soup, and it is tasty. To get this, simply ask for “yuan wei” or tell them “wo bu yao la” which means “I don’t want the spicy stuff!” Finally there is a compromise with Yuan Yang Hot Pot (Yuan Yang Huo Guo), which is basically a pot split down the middle with the spicy stuff on one side and the mild on the other.
For those who like spicy but do not like it too spicy, it is possible to order red soup without the jolt (wei la hong tang). It is a nice mild experience.
Twice cooked spicy pork slices
Fish slices in sour and spicy pickled vegetable soup
Fried pork fillet slices in sweet and sour sauce
Steamed fatty pork with preserved vegetables
Fish flavoured aubergine
Onions and parsleys in spicy mustard
Fish with tofu
Fish flavoured pork shreads
Black agaric and pork slice stir-fries
Pork/beef slices in hot and spicy soup
Numbing and spicy tofu
There are hundreds of hotels all over the city ranging from dormitary style for ¥30 per night, through three star equivalent hotels for ¥150, up to the numerous top western hotels for ¥600-2000 per night, and many more are being added and are under construction. Most hotels are rarely fully booked. You can always check the room before you commit.
Shu Brocade, Three Gorge Inkstone, Rongchang Paper Fans, Print Painting Local Food: Bangbang Chicken, Beef Hotpot, Pork leg cooked with rock candy, Sliced meat with crispy rice, Barbecued Fish, Dan Dan Noodle.Share this tour
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