Chongqing (重庆; Chóngqìng), (formerly spelled Chungking), 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 sq km (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 located three hours west of Chongqing City in the outlying Chongqing Municipality and are listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Chongqing is notorious for its hot and humid weather. The air quality, winter or summer, can be challenging to people with respiratory problems due to massive amounts of smog. Chongqing has been ranked by the World Bank as one of the most polluted cities in the world.
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Chongqing (105°17'-110°11' East, 28°10'-32°13' North) is humid yearround, cold December - February and hot June - September.
Chongqing is one of the four municipalities in China, the cities that are not part of a province but report directly to the national government; it is the only municipality not located on the east coast, (the others are Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin). It was historically a part of Sichuan province, and is culturally considered to be part of it.
Chongqing urban area consists of Yuzhong District, Dadukou District, Jiangbei District, Shapingba District, Jiulongpo District, Nan'an District, Banan District, Yubei District and Beibei District.
1 Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG IATA) 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 currently features two terminals (a third much larger terminal under construction, and a fourth is set for construction shortly after completion of the third).
- Terminal 1 - Closed for renovation. The re-opening date is yet announced.
- Terminal 2 - Serves four domestic airlines: China West Air, China Express Airlines, Sichuan Airlines and China Spring Airlines. Metro Line 3 and Line 10 connects this terminal to downtown Chongqing. Bus service is also available from the ground level of the terminal. Taxi to downtown Chongqing costs about ¥80.
- Terminal 3 - Serves domestic airlines and international airlines, connecting Chongqing to major international cities. Metro Line 10 runs through the transportation hub of T3. There is free airport shuttle service between T3 and T2, which takes approximately 15 minutes for each trip.
There are several ways to get from the airport to the city:
- Chongqing Metro Line 3 connects the airport to the city centre. The station is accessible from both terminals.
- The Airport shuttle bus departs from the ground level of Terminal 2 to 2 Shangqisi Lu airport bus stop in central Chongqing. There are two different stops, when you stand on line, look carefully.
- A taxi to downtown Chongqing would cost about ¥40-80.
There are three major train stations in Chongqing:
- 3 Chongqing Station (Chongqing Zhan - Caiyuanba 重庆站), Cai Yuan Ba Li Jiao Qiao, Yuzhong (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.
- 4 Chongqing North Station (Chongqing Bei Zhan 重庆北站), Kun Lun Da Dao, Yu Bei Qu, Chongqing, China (CRT Line 3 Chongqing Bei Zhan Metro Station). Passengers now need to be aware there are two plazas @ the New North Station. Chengdu trains depart from the newer North Plaza accessible from Longtousi Station 龙头寺 transfer by bus. Allow extra 30 mins. Recently developed station handling high speed services to/from Chengdu. Many long distance trains to many other cities in China depart and arrive here.
- 5 Chongqing West Station (Chongqing Xi Zhan 重庆西站), Sha Ping Ba Zhan Dong Lu ShaPingBa Qu, Chongqing, China (CRT Line 1 Shapingba Metro Station). Originally called Shapingba Station. Limited services to local destinations and eastern Sichuan province. Useful for trips to nearby destinations such as Guiyang or Dazhou.
The longest railway trip from Chongqing is from Harbin to Chongqing North, a 48.15-hour, 3,535 km ride. The price of hard ticket is ¥344 and hard berth is ¥599.
Most train tickets can be purchased through the help of the hotel your are staying. The tickets are then delivered to the hotel for you to pick up.
Long distance buses travel to Chongqing from almost anywhere. There are numerous buses into Chongqing, most notably is the hourly service to and from Chengdu, Nanchong, and Xi'an. From the west Chengdu is 2.5 hours and to the east Wanzhou is three hours, both on good highways and good buses. Avoid the "sleeper" buses as they must be the most uncomfortable way to travel ever invented.
The main bus station is at Cai Yuan Ba (pronounced Tsai Yuan Ba, is the old station), next to the Chongqing train station. It is complete mayhem most of the time - people in Chongqing do not queue. Many hotels will sell rail tickets thus avoiding the madness of the station.
Other major bus stations include:
- Chaotianmen Station, Buses to points eastward (Fuling, Pengshui, Yunyang, etc.)
- Chen Jiaping Station, Buses to the west and in particular towards Sichuan Province
The metro and bus systems are advised as the best forms of transportation and are very cheap and efficient.
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, just go to the service counter and add value to your card.
Line 1 Chaotianmen to Shapingba, Daxuecheng, east-west heavy rail metro line. Handy for visiting Ciqikou, Jiefangbei, or Chaotianmen.
Line 2 Jiaochangkou to Yudong, monorail line. Convenient for visiting the Zoo, Stilwell Museum, Jiefangbei, Jiulongpo, Peoples Hall and Three Gorges Museum.
Line 3 Ertang to Jiangbei Airport, monorail line running north-south. Convenient for Chongqing North Railway Station, Guanyinxiao, Chongqing Central Railway Station, EXPO Garden Center, NanPing, and airport.
Line 5, EXPO Garden Center to Dalongshan, northeast-southwest, currently (early 2018) only serves the northern suburbs.
Line 6 Beibei/Yuelai to Chayuan, north-south subway line thru Yuzhong district (near Jeifangbei) in central Chongqing.
Line 10, Wangiazhaug to Liyuchi, north-south via airport, currently (early 2018) only serves the northern suburbs.
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. There are four city centres, so be sure you know the name of the place you want to go to:
- 6 Shapingba bus station (Sandplains) NW part of town and is an academic and university centre
- 7 Jiangbei (Northplace) which includes Paradise Walk shopping center - There are two bus stations near the pedestrian street (Guanyinxiao).
- 8 Nanping (Southernplains)
- 9 Jiefangbei, the primary centre of Chongqing, contains a pedestrian mall with a major shopping and entertainment centre and a series of supertall skyscrapers around the Jeifangbei monument. There are two bus stations in Jiefangbei, south and west of the monument.
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.
Caution: Empty taxis are hard to find on extremely hot days. It is advisable to seek alternative transportation or stay indoors. This is because most taxis have A/C running, thus requiring more frequent natural gas refills. There aren't enough natural gas stations around and the pump pressure is frequently inadequate, so many taxis will be stranded lining up for gas.
Biking is the worst way to get around Chongqing. The mountains are difficult to climb, it is very easy to get lost (due to the many hills and valleys and the two rivers), and it is incredibly dangerous to bike on city streets.
Chongqing has the largest population in West China and is the focus of China's "Go West" development strategy. As a result, it is a very lively and rapidly modernizing city, although it does get a bit too hectic most of the time. On the surface, the city appears rough around the edges and a bit gritty and thus there may appear to be not much to do in the daytime, but further investigation will uncover a city with truly its own character and a number of interesting sites actually worth looking into.
- 1 HongYaDong (洪崖洞). 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. Free.
- 2 Foreigner Street (美心洋人街). 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.
- 3 Jiefangbei Pedestrian Street (重庆解放碑步行街, Jiefangbei Shangye Buxingjie). The center of downtown Chongqing. Jiefangbei, or the People’s Liberation Monument, formerly known as the Monument of Victory in the War of Resistance (WW2), 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.
- 4 TestBed 2 (二厂文创园). A renovation project partnered with Harvard University transformed this Republic era banknote printing factory into an artsy space that has gained nationwide popularity. Located at a hilltop in Yuzhong District, TestBed 2 is not just another spot for enjoying the mountainous cityscape, but also a great stop for the best restaurants, bars, cafes and designer shops in the city. From here, a short hike up to Eling Park will take you to the highest viewpoint on the Yuzhong peninsula.
- 5 Great Hall of the People (重庆人民大会堂) (Access through pedestrian tunnel from Zengjiayan metro station on line 2.). 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. The buiding is to be seen from the outside, no need to pay the admission fee. ¥10.
- 6 Three Gorges Museum (三峡博物馆). 0900-1700 (last admission at 1600) every day of the year. Across the People's Square is Three Gorges Museum, well worth a visit for its exhibits on the Ba culture and the area of the three gorges downriver from Chongqing. Also noteworthy are a series of exhibits on life in Chongqing during the Qing dynasty, the early republic, and the World War II era. Free.
- 7 Ciqikou (磁器口 Chongqing Ancient Town), Ci Tong Lu, Shapingba Qu (Ciqikou Metro station, line 1). Meaning "Porcelain Port" as porcelain has long been made & transported from here, located 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.
- Chongqing Hua Yan Tourist Spot (重庆华岩旅游景点). A temple complex including a Buddhist monastery and a large golden Buddha overlooking the whole place. Tucked in a green valley on a small lake, surprisingly in the middle of an urban built up area of Chongqing City. ¥10.
- 8 Chaotianmen (朝天门), Chang Jiang Bin Jiang Lu, Yuzhong Qu (Many bus routes terminate here). 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. Free.
- Qixia Temple. The original name of Qixia Palace is Yunsheng Palace. It is located 5 km northwest of Yunyang Town. It was built in the Han Dynasty, but repaired many times in the Northern and Southern Dynasties.
- Forest Park Shengdeng (圣灯山森林公园). Shengdeng Mountain is located in Tiaoshi Town, Banan District, Chongqing City, 1064m high above the sea. Legend has it that the emperor Jianwen of Ming Dynasty had built house and lived here when he took refuge, so it is also called "Shengdeng Mountain (means mountain which was climbed up by sage)".
- 9 Huguang Guild Hall (湖广会馆), 1 Bajiaoyuan, Changjiang Binjiang Road, Yuzhong District (渝中区长江滨江路芭蕉园1号) (Metro Line 1, Xiaoshizi Station, Exit 8), ☎ . 9AM-5PM. Built in 1759 and expanded in 1846, the Huguang Guild Hall is a complex of buildings that were originally used as meeting centers for merchants from other parts of China. ¥30.
- 10 Luohan Temple (Arhat Temple; 罗汉寺), 7 Luohan Temple Street, Yuzhong District (渝中区罗汉寺街7号) (Metro Line 1, Xiaoshizi Station, Exit 6), ☎ . 8AM-5PM. A Buddhist temple dating from the Song Dynasty, which was originally known as Zhiping Temple (治平寺). During the Qing Dynasty, the temple was extensively renovated and it was during this time that it was renamed Luohan Temple. Luohan (罗汉) is the Chinese word for the Sanskrit term 'arhat', which in the Chinese Buddhist tradition basically means a person who has reached a certain stage along the path of enlightenment. Not suprisingly, the temple is filled with statues of arhats, though these are fairly new, as all the original statues were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. ¥10.
- 11 Chongqing Natural History Museum (重庆自然博物馆), 398 Jinhua Road, Beibei District (北碚区金华路398号) (Bus routes 560, 580, 583, 590 and 592. You may catch bus 560 or 583 from the Zhuangyuanbei Metro Station on Line 6), ☎ . 9AM-5PM, no entry after 4PM, closed on Mondays. One of the largest natural history museums in China. It is particularly noteworthy for its impressive collection of dinosaur skeletons. Free.
Chongqing served as the capital of the Republic of China for seven years during the late 1930s and early 1940s during the Anti-Japanese War (World War II). It was also the site of important events during the Chinese Civil War (ended 1950). With this political history comes a number of historic sights which are worth visiting.
- 12 Zhou Enlai's old residence (周恩来故居). Zhou Enlai worked as a member of the Communist Party alongside Mao Zedong. Unlike Mao, Zhou was well-liked by the Chinese people and his death led to the Tiananmen Incident in the 1970s (not to be confused with the more famous incident in 1989). Located by the Jialing river north west of Jiefangbei, and now a museum and open to the public for a small fee. It has been preserved as it was the day it was used.
- Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-Shek) old military headquarters (蒋介石旧军事总部). When Chongqing was the capital of China during WWII, Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-Shek) established his military headquarters up in the mountains above Chongqing. As a result the Japanese bombers never found it, and it is now a museum, preserved as it was during the war. There are many buildings in the beautiful compound and you can visit his work room with the motto over his desk "all officials must serve the people" (in free translation), his bedroom, and his meeting room, and sit in his chair where he negotiated with the American advisers, with his American educated wife usually to his left. The location is a bit out of town and a taxi is the easiest transport.
- 13 Zha Zi Dong (渣滓洞). This is one of two Guomingdang prisons located in Shapingba, the other being Bai Gong Guan. Both are located at the base of Ge Le Mountain in Lie Shi Mu. (A shuttle bus ticket may be purchased for ¥10 in front of the entrances to Zha Zi Dong and Bai Gong Guan, providing transportation between the two prisons and other nearby historical sights.) Za Zi Dong offers a unique look at a 1940's era prison and the horrors that took place there when nearly 300 communist political prisoners were massacred at the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. The entire area was also once the location of the Sino-American Cooperative Organization (SACO), a camp where Jiang Jie Shi's (Chang Kai Shek) elite troops were trained. Unfortunately the atrocities that took place and the American presence are often connected, while it's not universally agreed that they were. Free for foreigners and local residents.
- Red Rock Village (红岩村, Hong Yan Cun) (Near Shapingba centre on the road following the river). The location where the Chongqing negotiations between Mao Zedong and Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-Shek) took place. A worthwhile exhibition center explains the historical background.
- 14 Joseph Stilwell Residence (史迪威故居), No. 63 Jialingxin Road, Liziba, Yuzhong District, Chongqing. (200m from Fotuguan Station (Line 2)). Not far from Red Crag Village is the former residence and office of General Joseph W. ("Vinegar Joe") Stilwell, who headed American operations in China during the Anti-Japanese War. Stilwell is an impressive person, not only for his leadership ability but also for his understanding of China and Chinese culture (he could write in Chinese with a brush). His former residence is a 1930s modernist house with great views overlooking the Yangtze river. The main level is set up as it was during Stilwell's tenure. The lower level is filled with photos and bilingual descriptions of the Chinese front during the Second World War. ¥5.
- 15 Liziba Park, Li Zi Ba Zheng Jie, Yuzhong Qu (Between Fotuguan & Liziba Metro Stations (Line 2) downhill from Stilwell Museum). On the banks of the Jialing River, this is a newly developed park housing many original and relocated historical buildings when Chongqing was China's wartime capital. It includes old bank buildings, government offices and the residences of local warlords. Some military pillboxes are also preserved here. Free.
- 16 Song Qing Ling's Residence (宋庆龄故居). Song Qing Ling's former residence, from the period of the Second World War when Japan occupied much of China and Chongqing was the temporary capital. There were three Song (also spelled Soong) sisters. The eldest married a businessman. Middle sister Qing Ling married Sun Yat Sen, the founder of modern China. She was herself an important political figure, especially after his death. The youngest married Chiang Kai Shek. A saying about them is "One loved money, one loved power, and one loved China". Qing Ling is the one who loved China. There is an interesting movie with an English soundtrack, and a book ("The Soong Dynasty") about the family. This house wedged in between tall, ugly buildings is a nice German design (the original owner was an engineer who studied in Germany) that is not unlike many of the pre-liberation colonial architecture that can be found here and there in and around Chongqing. The house is located about 100 meters south of the main entrance to the Hilton Hotel, just north of Lianglukou station on Metro lines 1/3.
The following sites are located outside the Chongqing urban area:
- Dafo Temple. Located about two hours north of Chongqing City is the city of Tongnan. Just north of downtown on the Fuijiang River is the Dafo Temple. It is located 30 min. outside the downtown area along the winding river banks. The highlight is a large several meter high Buddha carved into the rock. Tourists are a rare occurrence at the temple and in this town you will be greeted with wonderful interest and excitement on the part of the locals as is common in rural China. Tongnan can be reached by the long distance bus station in Chongqing (Chen Jiaping) for about ¥38.
- Fengdu Ghost Town. A river town on the banks of the Yangtse (Chang Jiang) River, about three hours north-east of Chongqing City. Across the river from the city is the Ghost Town which can be reached by ferry. Highlights include the authentic Buddhist Temple on Mt. Ming. The admission price is expensive. Bus service is provided via the Chaotianmen bus station.
- 17 Wanzhou Qinglong Waterfall. In the middle of Wanzhou District. The most amazing spot is the waterfall, width 115m, height 64.5m. Because it is wider than Guizhou Huangguoshu Waterfall, it is called the first waterfall in Asia. The waterfall flows year-round. Behind the waterfall, there are two natural grottos. It takes about 4 hours from Chongqing to Wanzhou by bus. The bus price is ¥120.
- 18 Three Natural Bridges (天生三桥) (Direct buses to the Xiannüshan Tourist Reception Center (仙女山镇游客接待中心) are available from both the Sigongli Tourist Transportation Center (四公里旅游集散中心) and the Longtou Temple Tourist Transportation Center (龙头寺旅游集散中心). The Xiannüshan Tourist Reception Center is the departure point for buses to the Three Natural Bridges and other destinations within the park.), ☎ . 8AM-5PM. A series of natural limestone bridges in Xiannüshan Town (仙女山镇), Wulong County. They lie within the Wulong Karst National Geology Park, itself a part of the South China Karst-Wulong Karst UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Chinese, the bridges are all named after dragons, namely the Tianglong (天龙桥, Sky Dragon), Qinglong (Azure Dragon) and Heilong (黑龙桥, Black Dragon) bridges. ¥95 during slack season (November to March), ¥135 during peak season (April to October).
- 19 Black Mountain Valley (Black Valley, Heishan Valley; 黑山谷), Heishan Town, Qijiang County (綦江区黑山镇) (Direct buses to Black Mountain Valley depart from Chongqing's Longtou Temple Tourist Transportation Center (重庆龙头寺旅游集散中心), which is located on Kunlun Avenue (昆仑大道), to the east of the South Square of Chongqing North Station (重庆北站南广场). Be careful not to get mixed up with the long-distance bus station to the west. The bus departs daily at 8:00 and returns to Chongqing at 17:30. The fare is ¥45.), ☎ . Black Mountain Valley, sometimes translated as Black Valley or Heishan Valley, is a hundred-square kilometer nature reserve and geopark. It features gorges, caves, waterfalls, dense forests and interesting rock formations. ¥60 during slack season, ¥100 during peak season.
- 20 816 Nuclear Military Plant (816地下核工厂), Baitao Town, Fuling District (涪陵区白涛镇) (Catch a high-speed train from Chongqing North to Fuling North. From there, take bus no. 101 to Luojia Gardens (罗家花园) and then transfer to bus no. 208A or 208C to get to the destination.). 09:00-17:30. An immense underground facility that was originally intended to be used for the production of nuclear weapons. Construction began in 1966 and was almost completed at the time the project was cancelled in 1984. Since no plutonium or other radioactive materials were actually processed here, it is therefore safe for visitors. Unlike other nuclear sites in China, the 816 Nuclear Military Plant is open to both Chinese and foreign visitors. ¥60.
- 21 Baiheliang Underwater Museum (White Crane Ridge Underwater Museum; 白鹤梁水下博物馆), 185 Binjiang Avenue 2nd Section, Fuling District (涪陵区滨江大道二段185号) (Catch a high-speed train from Chongqing North to Fuling North, then take bus no. 119 to get to the destination.), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 9AM-5PM. This museum preserves an important archaeological site on the Yangtze River, a rock outcrop known as Baiheliang (literally translated as White Crane Ridge), which was used from the Tang Dynasty onward to record the river's water levels, but which is now fully submerged due to the completion of the Three Gorges Dam. ¥60.
- 22 JInfo Mountain (Gold Buddha Mountain; Mount Jinfo; JInfoshan; 金佛山), Nancheng Sub-District, Nanchuan District (南川区南城街道) (Direct buses to Jinfo Mountain depart daily at 07:30 from the InterContinental Chongqing. The fare is ¥40 one-way or ¥78 return and the journey time is probably about two hours.), toll-free: . 08:00-17:00. Large scenic mountain that is part of the South China Karst World Heritage Site and also a popular skiing destination. ¥190 (including cable car and sightseeing bus), extra charges apply for use of the ski field.
- Yangtze River Cruise. Yangtze River Cruise will take you through the cradle of China, while giving you the opportunity to see some spectacular scenery.
- Tour Boat. A 1 hour trip on Jialing and Yangtse (Chang Jiang) rivers for ¥58-88 or more depending on class) give you a night view of Chongqing's modern skyline. All the boats depart from the Chaotianmen dock, which is located at the north east extremity of the Yuzhong district.
- 1 Cable car ride. There is a cable car ride over the Yangtze River (another over the Jialing river is no longer in operation). A ¥5 one-way 5-minute trip over the river gives a great view of the city.
- Hot Springs. Chongqing is recognised as a renowned area for hot springs. There are dozens of options ranging from large complexes with their own hotels, ornate gardens and spa treatments, to smaller community based hot springs. Northern Hot Springs Park, Tianci Hot Springs and Southern Hot Springs Park are the largest of these facilities. There are special tourist buses available to these sites.
- 2 Caiyuanba Escalator (Next to Chongqing Railway Station & Lianglukou Metro Station). Claimed to be the longest single escalator in Asia, it saves travelers having to climb the steep steps, hundreds of metres up or down between the train station & Chang Jiang Yi Road. Curiously it is a paid service in both directions. ¥2.
- Preserved Dried Beef (Niu Rou Gan)
- Spicy Fine Beef Threads (Deng Ying Niu Rou)
- Curiously Flavoured Horsebean (Guai Wei Hu Dou)
- Pulverous Nuby Peach (He chuang Tao Pian)
- Hot Pot ( Chongqing huo guo )
- Chongqing Strange Taste Horse Beans (Guài wèi cándòu)
- Noodle (Chongqing XiaoMian, in addition there's also Dan-Dan Mian)
- [dead link]Carpenter Tan (Tan Mu Jiang). This local carpentry shop is worth a visit for its fine wood artwares.
Chongqing is a harbor city and with this comes what is called dockside culture (matou wenhua). This culture is blamed for a lot of things from cursing profusely to...Hot Pot. While many great restaurants abound in the city, memorable dining is best along Nanbin Lu with incredible night views back across the Yangtze River with the Jeifangbei city skyline lit-up. Here are some examples of the city's many offerings.
Hot Pot (火锅 huǒguō, lit.: firepot) 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.
For those who can not speak Chinese, it would be best to grab a Chinese friend to take you, though be warned, you will have to put up with a lot of drinking, you will be forced to smoke more than you normally would, and some of the things they go slipping into the pot might not be your cup of tea. You will also have to be aware that you will be fed with a lot of dishes from your Chinese friends because they like to see your bowl is full of food. You might feel a little uncomfortable being fed like a child, but that is the way Chinese people show concern and enthusiasm towards their friends, especially when eating hot pot.
Suggested dishes at nicer restaurants
- Twice cooked spicy pork slices 回锅肉 (huiguorou)
- Fish slices in sour and spicy pickled vegetable soup 酸菜鱼 (suancaiyu)
- Fried pork fillet slices in sweet and sour sauce 糖醋里脊(tangculiji)
- Steamed fatty pork with preserved vegetables (shaobai)
- Fish flavoured aubergine 鱼香茄子 (yuxiangqiezi)
- Onions and parsleys in spicy mustard (laohucai)
- Fish with tofu (doufuyu)
- Fish flavoured pork shreads 鱼香肉丝 (yuxiangrousi)
- Chinese bouilli (hongshaorou)
- Gongpao Chicken (gongpaojiding)
- Black agaric and pork slice stir-fries (muerroupian)
- Pork/beef slices in hot and spicy soup 水煮肉片 (shuizhuroupian) (very spicy)
- Numbing and spicy tofu 麻婆豆腐 (mapodoufu) (spicy)
Suggested dishes at noodle shops
All dishes served in the noodle shops can be either spicy flavoured or plain flavoured.
- Noodle with no toppings (Chongqing xiaomian) ¥3.0
- Beef noodle (niuroumian) ¥6.0
- Cold noodle (liangmian) ¥2.5
- Rice/soybean pudding slices (liangfen'r (fer)) ¥2.5
- Szechuan dumplings (hundun (T'sao sou)) ¥4
Overall it is also a good experience to try some dog meat (gourou) in winter.
There are many "Western Restaurants", but it is very difficult to find any real western food in them. Many smallish restaurants will have a reasonable stab at spaghetti bolognaise, and some will have menus in "Chinglish" and even pictures of dishes. However as an exception, you can find quite nice fusion dishes (ranging from Japanese Sushi and Tempura to American Sirloin Steak
- Friendship Restaurant (Next to the Maison Mode Plaza in Jeifangbei). You can also find loads of street restaurants around this area.
- Ali&Ade (On the second floor of the Pacific Department Store, inside the Metropolitan Plaza (Daduhui) right next to the Harbour View Hotel in the downtown area of Jiefangbei).
- Casablanca (In Dekang Department Store, in the downtown area). Western restaurant. Less than ¥50 for a decent meal served with a nice drink, salad and dessert.
- Why Not (Shapingba). A Belgian style restaurant owned by a Belgian couple. Authentic fries and an eclectic menu at below the ultra-high Jiefangbei prices.
- Noeva Venezia (In Wanda Plaza, Nanping, Nan'an, upstairs on the outside arcade near WEB English, opposite the Kiberlite Diamonds store on the ground floor of the plaza.). Western restaurant. Less than ¥50 for a decent authentic Italian Pizza..
- Susie's Pizza, In Shapingba 3 gorges Square (on the 12th floor above the McDonalds in the Centre of Shapingba), ☎ . 11AM-9:30PM. Has all of the classic flavours as well as some local Chongqing flavours like hotpot pizza. The restaurant is small and clean. ¥50+.
There are many bars in Chongqing, but most are underpopulated. Generally the local bottled beer is ¥10, and the variety includes several local beers and even Guinness (expensive) on occasions. If you go to one of the small restaurants to eat, you can buy bottles of local beer at ¥3 upwards.
As a warning, some bars have recently adopted a less pleasant method to send pretty girls to accompany and entertain you, and then ask for huge additional sums when you leave. Take care.
- Marriot Sports Bar. Several branches offer the closest thing to proper beer, but be sure they get your beer from the pump and not the slop tray. A pint of Guinness will cost you ¥58, but during happy hour you can get two for one. Foosball, Pool and Darts available.
- 1 Semi underground entertainment centre (Just west of Jiefangbei War Memorial, at the same place as the CRT Jiaochangkou Station.).
- 2 Underground arcade (In Jiangbei (north), the entrance is across from the big hotel near McDonalds). Many bars and restaurants.
- Cici Park, Lingjiangmen (Next to the nr. 2 hospital on the square after climbing the stairs). Serve reasonably priced drinks and has a foosball table, good atmosphere and offers some hallucinating material! 12 for a pint.
- Outside beer gardens (Above the underground arcade). Serve reasonably priced drinks and is always crowded with good atmosphere and live premiership matches on big screens, do not eat here though!
- Shapingba (west). A young people and university place and have many places for entertainment.
- The Harp Irish Pub, 9F Hong Ya Dong (near Carrefour, downtown Chongqing), ☎ . 11am-4am. This is where all the expats in Chongqing now hang out. It is the only real western bar experience in the city, just opened in 2010. It has sports TV, 6 beers on tap, and 36 imported beers, 16 single malt scotches, 15 vodkas, 8 gins, etc. Great food, and English speaking staff make this a winner in Chongqing.
- Cactus Tex-Mex Bar & Grill (Cactus Tex-Mex), 9F Hong Ya Dong, ☎ . 11am-4am. Mexican Bar & Restaurant. Serves Mexican food & Western food from all over the world
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 currently under construction. Most hotels are rarely fully booked. You can always check the room before you commit.
- Yangtze River Youth Hostel (玺院国际青年旅舍), 重庆市渝中区长江滨江路80号 (80 Changbin Road, Yuzhong District), ☎ (English speaking). Possibly the best option for budget accommodation in Chongqing. Centrally located, exceptionally clean and has great and helpful staff. Offers a range of rooms. Also offers a range of budget tours. ¥30-180.
- Sunrise Mingqing Hostel (尚悦明清客棧), 重庆市渝中区下洪学巷23号 (棧解东路26中对面), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hidden on the stairways between ChangBin Lu and ZhanJieDong Lu this hostel provides 6 beds in a dark dorm and 14 rooms from ¥140 in a very quiet and CQ courtyard-style building. 45-150+.
- Chongqing Jinjiang Oriental Hotel, No. 6 Xihu Road, Yubei District, ☎ . 313 air-conditioned guest rooms. ¥457.81+.
- Chung King Hotel. Prices are not over-expensive, rooms are slightly on the small side but on the whole well decorated and furnished. Rooms come with pay-per-view and regular satellite TV. A couple of the channels are in English. Even better, room service will happily provide you with the best club sandwich east of Britain. Somewhere in the hotel is a Western restaurant which will provide you with the biggest spaghetti bolognaise you have ever seen. The friendly staff in the lobby can provide you with currency exchange, luggage holding and travel tickets.
- DLT Hotel, 173 Renmin Road (Just behind the Great Hall of the People). Completely renovated in 2007. From about ¥320.
- Golden River Motel (金江商务宾馆), NO.1 Wen Hua ST,Yuzhong District 重庆市渝中区文化街1号 (药材市场与朝天门市场中间), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. The hotel is accessible from all directions and very close to CBD area. also，hotel is allocated beside the heritage site park of Song Dynasty, it is an unlike and rarely scenic sight.The hotel owns more than 50 guests rooms, including various types suite and commercial guest room with deluxe and graceful decoration. From ¥150.
- The Grand (Shapingba). From ¥150.
- HomeHome Inn, 6 Fenghuangia, Nanjimen. Friendly English speaking staff. ¥280 for a double with Chinese/Western breakfast.
- Railway Guesthouse (At the Chongqing Train Station (there are two train stations in Chongqing, the old station and the new northern station in Jiangbei)). 4-bed ¥100, 2-bed ensuite with a/c ¥160.
- Somerset JieFangBei Chongqing (重庆盛捷解放碑服务公寓), Block B Hejing Building, No 108 Minzu Road, Yuzhong district, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Each of its studios to two-bedrooms apartments features separate living and dining areas, an ensuite bathroom, a kitchen, home entertainment system, scenic views and Wi-Fi access. Daily rates starts from ¥350.
- Yudu Hotel, 168 BaYi Road YuZhong District ChongQing (50m. south of Jiefangbei square), ☎ . has a rotating restaurant on top. ¥180+single/¥280+double.
- 1 Somerset Yangtze River Chongqing, No. 151 Changjiang Binjiang Road, Yuzhong District, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Overlooking the Yangtze River, the property offers studio, one, two and three bedroom serviced apartments. Each apartment is equipped with a home entertainment system and living areas.
- Regent Chongqing, 66th Jinshamen Road, Jiangbei District, Chongqing, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Niccolo Chongqing, Tower 1, Chongqing IFS, No.1 Qingyun Road, Jiangbei District, Chongqing, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com.
- The Westin Chongqing Liberation Square, 222 Xin Hua Road, Yuzhong District, Chongqing, ☎ .
- Hilton Chongqing (No 139 Zhong Shan San Lu, Yuzhong District, Chongqing), ☎ .
- InterContinental Chongqing, 101 Minzu Road, Jeifangbei CBD, Yuzhong District, Chongqing, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. in the central square
- JW Marriott Chongqing, 77 Qing Nian Road, Jeifangbei CBD, Yuzhong District, Chongqing, ☎ .
- Hyatt Regency Chongqing, 11 Paradise Walk, Jiangbei District, Chongqing, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. New hotel.
Upon arrival, foreign travelers are required to complete entry registry within 24 hours at your staying hotel or at the nearest immigration office, aka Public Security Bureau (PSB).
- Dazu Rock Carvings (Three hours' drive west of Chongqing city). The spectacular Buddhist carvings date from the 9th to the 13th century and are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. There is also a fascinating temple complex on the grounds. The caves can be reached by bus from the main long distance bus station in Chongqing (Chen Jiaping).