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Chongqing is a modern port city and the largest municipality in southwest China. Along with Shanghai, Beijing, and Tianjin, it is one of the four municipalities that come directly under the administration of the central government of the People’s Republic of China. It has more than 30 million population making it one of the most populous cities of China. This city shares borders with Hubei, Hunan, and Sichuan.
The city is nicknamed as the “Mountain City” as it is surrounded by mountains and also has a wavy terrain. It has many water reserves, dense forests and mineral resources. The beautiful landscape comprises of abundant fauna and flora. This is where the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers happens. Along with natural beauty, it is economically an important city for China. The city attracts local and international tourists for its natural wonders along with cultural heritage.
Tip: Chongqing is hot and humid most of the times so make sure that you pack accordingly.
Chongqing city has a history dating back at least 3000 years, there is evidence showing human activity during the stone-age almost 20000 years back. At different times throughout history, the city was known by several names including Ba Prefecture, Jiangzhou, Chu Prefecture and many more. Emperor Guangzong named it Chongqing Fu by in 1189. The name literally means double celebration since Emperor Guangzong was promoted from Prince to a ruler of the Zhou area and Emperor of Song Dynasty the same year. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the city saw rapid economic growth as it became a hub for merchants from all over China and the port was opened to the world in 1891. After the second Japanese-Sino war in 1937, the Kuomintang moved its administration from Nanjing to Chongqing and moved back to Nanjing in 1946. Since the time the People’s Republic of China was formed in 1949, the city has remained as the cultural and economic center of southwest China.
Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport is located in Yubei District in Chongqing. It serves Chongqing and the surrounding area. It is the 8th busiest airport in the People’s Republic of China handling more than 8 million passengers every month. There are direct flights to Chongqing from major cities in Asia. There are few direct airlines connecting to countries from other continents. The most popular airlines are Air China Airways & Sichuan Airlines which fly to multiple countries.
Tip: Chongqing is a major tourist destination so make sure that you book tickets 60 to 90 days prior to travel date.
There are many options for stay in Chongqing ranging from low-end to luxury that you can select as per your budget and activities planned. Yuzhong is close to most of the major attractions; here you will get accommodation ranging from budget to high-end. Nanan District is the best area for families as it is quiet and perfect for relaxing.
Chongqing has a rich food culture and is known for using spices in their food. For authentic local food head to Jiangbei, here you will get amazing street food and excellent restaurants serving local cuisine. Yuzhong has trendy restaurants and cafes where you will get the European food of other countries. Jiefangbei has the best pubs and nightclubs in the city to enjoy a colorful nightlife.
Like most cities of China Chongqing will not disappoint you in terms of shopping. The city has many shopping streets from where you can shop for souvenirs, tea and many more. Jiefangbei Pedestrian Street, Guanyinqiao Shopping Street, and Nanping Pedestrian Street are some of the best areas to visit and you will not be disappointed with what they have to offer.
Tip: Make sure that you try the hot pot that the city is known for.
Mandarin is the main language in Chongqing and is spoken with the local dialect. The other language spoken is Cantonese. You will get an English speaking guide in most of the attractions and hotels.
Chongqing has an excellent subway system which is connected to all the major attractions. It is a cheap and fastest way to travel around the city. Make sure that you learn about the routes and time table before your travel date. You can even rent a car or hire a taxi to move around.
Chongqing is full of interesting places to visit and things to do. It has something to offer for people of all ages and you can be sure that you will have a great time there. Visit the Wulong Karst Geological Park it is excellent for hiking and is home to caves, streams, and karst limestone formations. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and has some natural wonders like Furong cave, natural bridges and many more. Learn more about US contribution in this area during WW II in Sitwell Museum which is dedicated to the legacy of General Sitwell who was stationed here during World War II. The museum is housed in the former residence of the General and has some of his personal belongings on display. Do not miss out on the most iconic landmark of the city People’s Liberation Monument that was built in 1945 to commemorate China’s success during World War II. If you love to watch Giant Pandas then make sure that you visit Chongqing Zoo which is also home for other animals like leopard, elephant and many other exotic animals. Visit Three Gorges Museum to learn more about the history of the city and even see the artifacts collections preserved for generations. Admire the Dazu Rock Carving which is another UNESCO world heritage site in the city, the carvings date back to as early as the 9th century and is a treat to watch. Some of the other places to visit are People’s Assembly Hall, Zhang Fei Temple, Eling Park, South Hot Spring Park, and many more.
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