Chongqing is the largest and most populous of the people's republic of China's four provincial...
Chongqing is the largest and most populous of the people's republic of China's four provincial-level municipalities, and the only one in the less densely populated western region of China. Formerly (until 14 March 1997) a sub-provincial city within sichuan province, the municipality of Chongqing has a registered population of 31,442,300 (2005). The boundaries of Chongqing municipality reach much further into the city's hinterland than the boundaries of the other three provincial level municipalities (Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin), and much of the municipality is rural. The population of the urban area of Chongqing proper was 5.09 million (2000).
Chongqing is a modern city, with an ancient history spanning more than 3,000 years. It is the nation's fourth municipality after Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin. It encompasses within its borders, a great wealth of water reserves, mineral resources, dense forests and abundant flora and fauna. Being the focal point of the unique Yangtze three gorges tourist industry, Chongqing is a tourist attraction as well as being a commercial city.
Situated in the upper reaches of the yangtze river - at the confluence of yangtze and jialing rivers, in southwest china, Chongqing is a port city with the largest area and population in China. It has an area of 82,400 square kilometers (31, 800 square miles) and share borders with the provinces of Hubei, Hunan, Guizhou, Sichuan and Shaanxi. Beside the Han people that forms the majority of its total population of 30.9 millions, there are numerous ethnic groups residing in Chongqing, such as Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Qiang, You and Tujia.
Chongqing is the birth place of the hot pot in China. Once upon a time, it was a seasonal food designed to protect against the low temperatures and frigid winds of the winter. People would sit around a table, eat hot pot, and revel in the instant warmth that would flood their bodies. Hot pot has become more and more popular today, and it is widely enjoyed by people and regardless of seasons and regions.
In the fourth century BC, Chongqing (then called Yuzhou) was the capital of the state of Ba, whose men were renowned for their prowess in battle and their military successes. In the southern song dynasty (l127--l279) the city's name was changed to Chongqing--meaning 'double celebration'--to mark the princedom and en-thronement of emperor Zhaodun in l l89. He was himself a native of the city.
Chongqing had always been an important port, bustling with junks from Sichuan's hinterlands and neighbouring provinces, and acting as the collection point for the abundant produce of the region, including hides and furs from Tibet, hemp, salt, silk, rhubarb, copper and iron. Under the Qifu Agreement of l890, Chongqing was opened to foreign trade. This marked the beginning of the exciting history of steamboat navigation from Yichang through the treacherous gorges to Chongqing, a development aimed at opening up the riches of Sichuan to trade with the outside world. By the early part of this century, a massive trade in opium grown in southwest China had sprung up, abetted by warlord factionalism and greed.
Visitors to the city in the 1920s and '30s commented on its 30-metre (l00-foot) high city wall and the rough steps from the river up to the city gates dripping with slime from the endless procession of water carriers'. At that time, Chongqing, with a population of over 600,000, had no other water supply. Between l0,000 and 20,000 coolies carried water daily to shops and houses through the steep and narrow lanes of the city. All porterage was done by coolies as there were no wheeled vehicles in the city, only sedan chairs. The staircase streets are still there, but all that remains of the city wall today is the odd outcrop of masonry that props up a house here, or abuts a path there.
Chongqing has a humid subtropical climate, with the two-season monsoonal variations typical of South Asia.
Chongqing's summers are among the hottest in China. The temperature can be as high as 43°C, with an average high of 35°C in August. Yet even in the hottest weather the wind is often cold, making such high temperatures more bearable.
Winters are fairly mild, but damp and overcast; average January highs are 9°C. Chongqing has one of the lowest sunshine totals annually in China.
Chongqing can get foggy sometimes, and suffers from heavy air pollution. Chongqing is famous for its foggy weather in spring and winter days.This special weather once protected Chongqing from being overrun by the Japanese invaders during the Second World War. However, the city government has been aggressively trying to improve its air quality in recent years.
October to March
Dazu Rock Carvings, The Great Hall of the People, Ciqikou Ancient Town, Loquat Mountain Park, Peoples Liberation Monument, Stillwell Museum, Huguang Guild Hall, Three Gorges Museum
Dazu Rock Carvings:The Dazu Rock Carving is a piece of great work of China's grotto art. It's not only rich in content but also carved with marvelous technique. It skillfully combines the scientific principles of mechanics, optics, and clairvoyance with statues themselves and landform. The Dazu Rock Carving is reputed as "Artistic Palace of the Tang and Song Dynasties".
The Dazu Rock Carving was firstly excavated at the beginning of the Yonghui time of the Tang Dynasty. Experiencing the late Tang Dynasty and the Five Dynasties, it was very popular in the Southern Song and Northern Song Dynasties (A.D.960-1278).
The Great Hall of the People:Great Hall of the People in Chognqing is a fine, unique and neat oriental structure. In 1987, History of comparative architecture, which is a classical works of world's architecture published by Britain, embodied 43 contemporary structures in China. Chongqing People's Hall was placed second.
Chongqing People's Hall was built in June 1951. It was completed in April 1954. It's a building that models ancient buildings. It's also the representative building with special characteristics in Chongqing.
Ciqikou Ancient Town: Perched on a hill overlooking the Jialing River in the west of the city, ciqikou ancient town can dates back to the late Ming Dynasty. The buildings have been restored and well preserved. Along the streets are shops, restaurants selling visitors souvenirs and local snacks. There are several tea houses that feature daily performances of traditional Chinese music.
Loquat Mountain Park: The park is crowned with bamboo trees. Flowers and grass are lush. The air is fresh. It's an oasis in the urban city. The Loquat Mountain Park is a private garden owned by former president of Sichuan province during the period of the National Government, with the name of "Kingdom". In 1955, the name of the park was changed into "Loquat Mountain Park" and it's opened to the public. About the origin of the name of mountain, some people think there were a lot of loquat trees on the mountain many years ago, so it got the name;some people think that's because the shape of the mountain looks like a lute (a string instrument with fretted fingerboard), and the pronunciation is similar with that of "loquat" in Chinese.
Peoples Liberation Monument: Chongqing People's Liberation Monument is regarded as the commercial center of the Yuzhong District in Chongqing. There are a lot of stores, bookstores, theaters, bars, and hotels around it. The largest snacks street of Chongqing city is 300 meters away from here. Tourists can experience the local customs of bayu culture, enjoy local food and buy various kinds of souvenirs. Chongqing People's Liberation Monument is the largest pedestrian street in the western China. So it's called "the first street in the west of China".
Chongqing People's Liberation Monument is located in the crossing of the Mingzhu, Mingquan and Zourong Road in the Yuzhong district. It's 27.5 meters high. There is a revolving ladder, through which travelers can get to the top of the monument.
Stillwell Museum: No.130 of Jian She Xin Cun ( originally No.3 of Jianling Xin Cun) in Chongqing, was once used by the National Government as the house for distinguished guests. After General Joseph W. Stilwell's arrival in Chongqing on March 4, 1942, the place was made his headquarters and residence. Every time when he came to Chongqing during his two-year-and-eight-month service in China Theatre, the general lived here and conducted military conferences, held press meeting and met Chinese and foreign visitors.
Huguang Guild Hall: This grand building complex can be found in East Shuimen Street in the city of Chongqing. The building group was first built in 1759 under the regime of Emperor Qinglong in the Qing Dynasty and was extended around 100 years later. The complex covers around 8500 square kilometres and contains many halls such as Guangdong Hall, Jiangnan Hall, Lianghu Hall, Jiangxi Hall and there are also 4 other towers for opera shows. The wooden building walls, doors and windows were delicately carved. The theme of these carvings includes human figures, and animals and various plants. It's amazing that they were so vividly sculptured.
Three Gorges Museum: The museum is situated opposite the Chongqing People's 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 project and its origins. In addition, there are large-scale reliefs, bronze sculptures and an 'Ecological Corridor' that is one kilometer in length (about 1,094 yards).
Currently, Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG) has 58 domestic and foreign city connections and 70 foreign and domestic airlines operate scheduled flights to Chongqing. Except for Hohhot in Inner Mongolia, all the capital cities of China's provinces have connections to Chongqing. With flights between Chongqing and foreign cities such as Seoul, Tokyo, Nagoya, Bangkok, Munich, and Dusseldorf, tourists can easily reach Chongqing by plane.
To buy plane tickets, it's best to go to the ticket office at No.161, Zhong Shan San Road. They're open from 07:30 to 20:00 each day. Many hotels also offer a ticket booking service.
The main airport Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport is in a northeast suburb of Chongqing, 21kilometers (13 miles) away from the city center. Outside the terminal building you will find airport buses and taxis. All of them shuttle between the airport and the city center every day.
There are now three large railway stations in Chongqing: one is Chongqing Railway Station (Caiyuanba Railway Station) which is close to Jiefangbei downtown area; the second is Shapingba Railway Station which is located in the Shapingba District; the third is Chongqing North Railway Station which is a newly built station located near Longtou Temple in Yubei District.
Chongqing Railway Station is the center of railway transportation in the Chongqingarea. It is only ten minutes' drive from Chaotianmen Dock. It is at the junctionof three main national trunk lines: the Chuan-Qian Railroad (from Chongqing inthe north to Guiyang in the south), the Cheng-Yu Railroad (from Chengdu in thewest to Chongqing in the east) and the Xiang-Yu Railroad (from Xiangfan, Hubeiin the east to Chongqing in the west). On these three lines, travelers can goto most cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Xian and Chengdu.
With the rapid development of economy, the urban transportation system in Chongqing City is becoming perfect. Tourists who visit Chongqing feel very convenient with the varied public means of transportation.
Public transportation in town is very convenient within nearly 300 bus lines operating. Normally, buses run from 05:30 to 21:00 and the ticket fare is CNY1 to CNY2. There are other options such as minibuses, air conditioned buses, and tourist routes. A word of warning: city buses are very crowded during rush hours, so try to avoid them at these times.
In fact, city buses in Chongqing are classified into ordinary, medium-grade and high-grade vehicles. The medium ones correspond to air-conditioned buses in other cities.
Howard Johnson ITC Plaza Hotel, InterContinental Chongqing, Hoi Tak Hotel, Wanyou Conifer Hotel, Jin Jiang Inn, Kinglead Hotel