As one of China’s 4 municipalities, everything is bigger and hotter in Chongqing. Whether it’s the impressive mountainous area where the city is located, the temperatures during summer, or the spiciness of its hotpot.
Formerly spelled Chungking, the city served as the de facto capital of the Republic of China during the Second World War. Since 1997, it officially became a separate municipality from Sichuan Province with a combined population of over 30 million. Sharing the same love for hot and spicy food as is popular in the region, it’s one of the most vibrant areas in West-China. With mountains to please the adventurous hikers, broad rivers and sightseeing spots for a relaxing cruise and a buzzing city at its center for urban explorers, Chongqing has something for everyone. Below, we tell you our 5 recommendations to celebrate the best Chongqing has to offer.
Ciqikou Ancient Town
It feels like being teleported back several hundreds of years when walking around in this part of Chongqing. Originally serving as the porcelain production and transportation center, Ciqikou Ancient Town gives you the chance to experience traditional China with its ancient buildings. You’ll find many tea houses and handicraft stores here, where you can have some authentic food, shop for some nice handicrafts and watch famous Sichuan Opera.
Dazu Rock Carvings
Counting more than 50,000 statues in total, the Dazu Rock Carvings are positively impressive. Spread over multiple rocks and caves in Dazu country, these carvings were mostly created in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and Song Dynasty (960 – 1279). The statues and accompanying inscriptions are mainly Buddhist, but also include Taoist and Confucian figures. Officially marked as Unesco World Heritage, it may take you about 1 hour to reach the carvings from downtown Chongqing, but they are surely worth it.
Being situated right at the Yangtze river means it’s easy to take a boat and explore the neighboring region. You can take the main route along the well-known Three Gorges, or opt for an alternative and go for the Three Little Gorges. Whichever choice you make, you’ll be able to enjoy beautiful nature and a wide range of sightseeing spots next to the river. From ghost towns to pyramid temples, and if you really have the time you can go all the way to the world’s largest hydropower project: The Three Gorges Dam.
Chongqing central has many different places of interest that you should definitely visit. From West-China’s busiest business district Jiefangbei, centered on the People’s Liberation Monument to the city gate where officials would kneel before their emperor at Chaotianmen Dock. Then there’s Hongya Cave, an 11-storey stilt house leaning against a sharp cliff which used to be a military fortress in the past. And lastly, across the Chine Three Gorges Museum is the People’s Assembly Hall which looks familiar to Beijing’s Temple of Heaven, mixed with some Western architecture.
Three Gorges Museum
If you don’t want to spend 4 days cruising the Yangtze river to take a look at the Three Gorges Dam, Chongqing city has the next best thing: the Three Gorges Museum. It has exhibitions on the old Ba culture of Chongqing and showcases more than 100,000 pieces of relics. If you want to know more about the history of Chongqing and the impact of the Three Gorges Dam, then don’t miss this museum.
All interested and enthusiastic to go to Chongqing now? Are you looking to get something more out of a stay in China by learning the language or doing an internship? Then don’t hesitate to visit our new branch of Hutong School that we opened in the city!
Reach out to us now to sign up for Chinese classes or find the perfect internship. Chongqing is a great place to immerse yourself in Chinese culture and experience the local lifestyle. Curious to see what other branches we have? Check out our Qingdao and Zhengzhou branches too!