Chongqing is China’s newest province, split off in 1997 from its over-sized neighbor Sichuan. It is officially a ‘municipality’ rather than a province. Situated on the Yangzi at its rocky confluence with the Jialing River, Chongqing serves as the main port and gateway for trade with Sichuan Province. Chongqing is an ancient place, and it has a heritage reaching back to the Bayu Culture back in the depths of history. Unlike most Chinese cities that are laid out in a grid pattern, the hilly topology has led to many small, meandering streets that give the city its unique charm. Now one of the fastest growing cities in the world, Chongqing is a busy place with a great deal changing every year. A full range of industries are represented in the bustling city.
Average temperature: 7.5°C (45.5°F) in January, 28.6°C (83.48°F) in July.
Places to visit
1. Chongqing figured importantly in modem Chinese history. Vestiges of the War of Resistance period are still there in and around the city. These include the Red Crag Village and Zengjiayan, as well as Chiang Kai-shek‘s mansion, Guiyuan Garden, Linyuan Garden, and the embassies of various countries to China, as well as former residences of important politicians, generals and cultural figures.
2. Located in Dazu District, the Dazu Rock Carvings are a collection of some 50,000 statues begun in 892 AD, the first year of the Jingfu reign of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Carving would continue for the next 250 years. The vividly colorful statues, the most famous of which are the Beishan cliffside and Baoding mountain cliffside statues, have been designated UNESCO World Heritage sites.
3. Located at the entrance to the Qutang Gorge, Baidi Town was the birthplace of the ancient Ba and Shu states over 2,000 years ago. Many poets have visited Baidi Town, which has led to its being coined “Poem Town.” Baidi Town is now a group of temple-like courtyard buildings surrounded by beautiful scenery, making it a lovely place to escape the noise of the city.
4. The most famous attraction in Wushan County is the Little Three Gorges located on the nearby Daning Their total length exceeds 60 kilometers. Little Three features steep mountains, gorgeous clouds, pure springs and mysterious caves, making it a paradise for both people and animals. The famous hanging coffins and local villages offer visitors a glimpse of the local culture and its fascinating history.
5. Chongqing Nature Museum: Local natural history and fauna and flora samples are on display in the Chongqing Nature Museum in Beibei district, which includes a display room for dinosaurs.
6. Fengdu Ghost City located in Fengdu County, is an ancient county with a long history and a rich culture. The various buildings, including Hengha Temple, Baoen Hall, Caishen Palace, Naihe Bridge and Tianzi Palace, are considered part of the netherworld where the spirits of the dead go to rest. Although it is a mysterious and a somewhat macabre place, Fengdu can educate visitors on China’s ‘spirit culture,’ even as it rejuvenates the living with its beautiful forests and mountains acting as a natural oxygen bar.