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 km² (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 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.
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 that is not 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 (covered in this article) consists of the following nine districts: Yuzhong, Dadukou, Jiangbei, Shapingba, Jiulongpo, Nan'an, Banan, Yubei, and Beibei.
Chongqing Jiangbei International AirportIt is served by international flights from Asia, Middle East, Europe, Oceania and North America. It also serves most main domestic cities. It has 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 has not been 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 in central Chongqing. There are two stops, so when you stand in line, look carefully.
- A taxi to downtown Chongqing would cost about ¥40-80.
By trainThere are three major train stations in Chongqing:
Chongqing Stationaddress: Cai Yuan Ba Li Jiao Qiao, YuzhongOriginal 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.
Chongqing North Stationaddress: Kunlun Avenue, Yubei District (渝北区昆仑大道)There are two terminals at the Chongqing North Station. The newer North Square (北广场) terminal handles high-speed services to/from Chengdu. Many long-distance high-speed trains to other cities in China also depart and arrive here. The slower K and T series trains continue to depart from the South Square (南广场) terminal. The two terminals are linked via bus no. 663.
Chongqing West StationHuge new station southwest of city center. No metro connection, take bus 213 from Shapingba Station. Serves Guiyang and Kunming.
High speed trains (G series) link to Chongqing North Station to Beijing in about 12 hours, and to Chengdu in about 1½ hours. In addition, there are slow trains that take about twice as long.
The longest railway trip from Chongqing is from Harbin to Chongqing North, a 48-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.
By busLong 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 2½ hours and to the east Wanzhou is 3 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 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, go to the service counter and add value to your card.
Xiaoshizi to Jiandingpo, east-west heavy rail metro line. Handy for visiting Ciqikou, Jiefangbei, or Chaotianmen.
Jiaochangkou to Yudong, monorail line. Convenient for visiting the Zoo, Stilwell Museum, Jiefangbei, Jiulongpo, Peoples Hall and Three Gorges Museum.
Yudong to Jiangbei Airport Terminal 2, monorail line running north-south. Convenient for Chongqing North Railway Station, Guanyinxiao, Chongqing Central Railway Station, EXPO Garden Center, NanPing, and airport.
Min'an Ave. to Tangjiatuo, as of early 2019, it only serves the northeast suburbs.
Expo Garden Center to Dashiba, northeast-southwest, as of early 2018, it only serves the northern suburbs.
Beibei to Chayuan, north-south subway line thru Yuzhong district (near Jeifangbei) in central Chongqing.
Wangiazhaug to Liyuchi, north-south via airport, it only serves the northern suburbs (as of early 2018).
By busBuses 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:
- (Sandplains) NW part of town and is an academic and university centre
- (Northplace) which includes Paradise Walk shopping center - There are two bus stations near the pedestrian street (Guanyinxiao).
- , 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.
By taxiTaxis 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.
Streets and architecture
Chaotianmen Squareaddress: 1 Changjiang Binjiang Road, Yuzhong District (重庆市渝中区长江滨江路1号)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.
Ciqikouaddress: Shapingba District (沙坪坝区)Meaning "Porcelain Port" as porcelain has long been made & transported from here, 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.
Foreigner Streetaddress: Nan'an District (南岸区)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.
Hongyadongaddress: 88 Jialingjiang Binjiang Road, Yuzhong District (渝中区嘉陵江滨江路88号)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.
Great Hall of the PeopleChongqing'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.
Jiefangbei Pedestrian Streetaddress: Yuzhong District (渝中区)The center of downtown Chongqing. Jiefangbei, or the People’s Liberation Monument, formerly known as the Monument of Victory in the War of Resistance (World War II), 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.
Art museums and galleries
phone: +86 23 68274448address: 26 Gongyuan Village, Beibei District (北碚区公园村26号)
phone: +86 23 63000111 818address: Yangtze River Art Square, Nanbin Road, Nan'an District (南岸区南滨路长江艺术广场)
phone: +86 23 63920631address: Guotai Arts Center, 1 Linjiang Road, Yuzhong District (渝中区临江路1号国泰艺术中心)Features works by both local and international artists. Mainly focused on contemporary art.
phone: +86 23 67451993 (enquiries),+86 23 67451306 (reservations)address: 59 Hubin Road East, Huixing Subdistrict, Yubei District (渝北区回兴街道湖滨东路59号)Established in 1995 with the assistance of the director of the National Art Museum of China, the museum is claimed to be the PRC's first privately-owned art museum. The museum features works by contemporary artists from all over China.
phone: +86 23 67961016address: Levels 1-3, Building A, Guohua Finance Center, 9 Juxianyan Plaza, Jiangbei District (江北区聚贤岩广场9号国华金融中心A栋1-3层)A private art museum established by the wealthy collectors Liu Yiqian and his wife Wang Wei. The museum also has two branches in Shanghai. Groups of 26 people or more are required to make a reservation at least 2 days before their visit.
phone: +86 23 65922052address: 56 Daxuecheng Road South, Shapingba District (沙坪坝区大学城南路56号)Situated at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute's Huxi Campus, this is one of Chongqing's largest art museums. The museum is named after Mr Luo Zhongli, a famous oil painter who graduated from the institute.
phone: +86 23 63492828, +86 23 62830825address: Changjiahui Shopping Park, 133 Nanbin Road, Nan'an District (南岸区南滨路133号长嘉汇购物公园内)Opened in September 2016, this is one of Madame Tussauds' newest branches.
TestBed 2address: No. 1 Eling Main Street, Yuzhong District (渝中区鹅岭正街1)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.
Baolin Museumphone: +86 23 63051666address: 99 Longzhan Road, Yubei District (渝北区龙展路99号)A large private museum established by retired PLA general Chen Baolin. The museum's name is incorrectly translated into English as 'Baolin Art Museum'. In fact, this is more than just an art museum. The museum's exhibits pertain to a broad range of subjects, including arts, culture, history and paleontology.
phone: +86 23 63679011, +86 23 63679012address: 236 Renmin Road, Yuzhong District (渝中区人民路236号)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.
address: No.1 Chaodong Road, Yuzhong DistrictA vast model of the city of Chongqing, with each building modelled in 3D.
Culture and history museums
phone: +86 23 68325828address: 77 Yunqing Road, Beibei District (北碚区云清路77号)
phone: +86 23 67821596address: Er Zhi Lane, Shuanglong Avenue, Yubei District (渝北区双龙大道二支巷)
phone: +86 23 63103217, +86 23 63103378address: 1 Chaodong Road, Yuzhong District (渝中区朝东路附1号)
Chongqing Museum of Sichuan Operaphone: +86 23 63011293address: 2 Jinshan Avenue, Renhe, Yubei District (渝北区人和金山大道2号)A small museum devoted to Sichuan Opera.
phone: +86 23 63732777, +86 23 63730777address: 1 Chaodong Road, Yuzhong District (渝中区朝东路1号)Contains exhibitions concerning the history of urban planning in Chongqing, as well as current and future plans for the city.
phone: +86 23 68960111address: No. 1 Fujiagou, Xiejiawan Subdistrict, Jiulongpo District (九龙坡区谢家湾街道付家沟1号)This is the Chongqing branch of the museum group established by the industrialist Fan Jianchuan in Chengdu. It consists of eight separate museums built inside a series of World War II bomb shelters. Museums include the Museum of the No. 1 Ordnance Factory, the Sino-Japanese War Relics Museum, the Weapons Development History Museum, the Ticketing Museum, the Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Chongqing Story Museum, the Museum of Chinese Wedding Customs, and the Museum of Folk Prayers and Blessings.
phone: +86 23 60313777address: 398 Jinhua Road, Beibei District (北碚区金华路398号)One of the largest natural history museums in China. It is particularly noteworthy for its impressive collection of dinosaur skeletons.
phone: +86 23 61863051address: 7 Wenxingmen Street, Jiangbeicheng, JIangbei District (江北区江北城文星门街7号)
Huayan Tourist Parkphone: +86 23 65254808address: 151 Huayan Village, Jiulongpo District (九龙坡区华岩村151号)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.
Luohan Templephone: +86 23 63814089address: 7 Luohan Temple Street, Yuzhong District (渝中区罗汉寺街7号)A Buddhist temple dating from the Song Dynasty, which used to be 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.
Parks and nature
phone: +86 23 63086110address: 1 Longjing Road, Yubei District (渝北区龙景路1号)The park was originally established in 2011 for the 8th China (Chongqing) International Garden Expo and has since become one of the city's most popular parks.
phone: +86 23 68422285address: No. 1 Yangjiaping Xijiao Yi Village, Jiulongpo District (九龙坡区杨家坪西郊一村一号)
Geleshan National Forest Parkphone: +86 23 65505778address: Forest Road, Geleshan Town, Shapingba District (沙坪坝区歌乐山真森林路)
phone: +86 23 68224497address: Jinyun Road, Beibei District (北碚区缙云路)
phone: +86 23 62479135address: 101 Nanshan Botanical Gardens Road, Nan'an District (南岸区南山植物园路101号)
Shengdeng Mountain Forest Parkphone: +86 23 66486664address: Tiaoshi Town, Banan District (巴南区跳石镇)Shengdeng Mountain is 1064 m above sea level. Legend has it that the emperor Jianwen of the Ming Dynasty built a house here and lived here when he took refuge. Hence, the Chinese name of the mountain is sometimes written as '圣登山', which literally means a mountain which was climbed by a sage.
phone: +86 23 67550510address: Jiangbei District (江北区)
Political heritageChongqing 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.
phone: +86 23 62465242address: Mount Huang Scenic Area, Nan'an District (南岸区黄山风景区)When Chongqing was the capital of China during World War II, 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 residence is usually referred to as Chiang Kai-Shek's Mount Huang (or Huangshan) residence in order to distinguish it from Chiang's other official residences (he had no less than four official residences in Chongqing alone). Together with the other buildings in the compound, the residence forms part of the Chongqing Sino-Japanese War Sites Museum (重庆抗战遗址博物馆).
phone: +86 23 63621155, +86 63608077address: 35 Jialingqiaodong Village, Shangqingsi Subdistrict, Yuzhong District (渝中区上清寺街道嘉陵桥东村35号)A museum about the history of China's minor political parties, three of which were founded in Chongqing. The museum incorporates a historic building known as the Teyuan (特园), where in March 1941, Zhang Lan, Liang Shuming, Huang Yanpei and several other individuals established the League of Chinese Democratic Political Groups, the forerunner of what later became known as the China Democratic League.
phone: +86 23 63862467address: 65 Zhongshan Si Road, Shangqingsi, Yuzhong District (渝中区上清寺中山四路65号)The house where the Chongqing negotiations between Mao Zedong and Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-Shek) took place in 1945.
Joseph Stilwell Residencephone: +86 23 63609515address: No. 63 Jialingxin Road, Liziba, Yuzhong District (渝中区李子坝社区嘉陵新路63号)Not far from Red Rock 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.
Liziba Parkaddress: Liziba Zheng Jie, Yuzhong District (渝中区李子坝正街)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.
phone: +86 23 63303457address: No. 52 Red Rock Village, Yuzhong District (渝中区红岩村52号)Incorporates several historical sites and museums spread out along the Jialing River. The main visitor center is located at the Red Rock Village Revolution Memorial Hall (重庆红岩革命纪念馆) where a worthwhile exhibition explains the historical background.
Song Qingling's former residencephone: +86 23 63894317, +86 23 63609997address: 131 Zhongshan San Road, Yuzhong District (渝中区中山三路131号)This was Song Qingling's (Song Qing-ling's) 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 Qingling 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". Qingling 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.
phone: +86 23 65314419, +86 23 65312300address: Shapingba District (沙坪坝区)This is one of two Guomingdang prisons in Shapingba, the other being Baigongguan (白公馆). Both are at the base of Gele Mountain in the Matrys' Cemetery. (A shuttle bus ticket may be purchased for ¥20 in front of the entrances to Zhazidong and Baigongguan, providing transportation between the two prisons and other nearby historical sights.) Zhazidong offers a unique look at a 1940s 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 Jieshi's (Chang Kai Shek's) 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.
phone: +86 23 63862323address: Zhongshan Si Road, Yuzhong District (渝中区中山四路)Zhou Enlai worked as a member of the Communist Party alongside Mao Zedong. 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). It is by the Jialing River north west of Jiefangbei, and is now a museum open to the public. It has been preserved as it was the day it was used.
Other historical sites
Emperor Ming Yuzhen's Tombaddress: Jiangbeizui Central Park, Jiangbei District (江北区江北嘴中央公园)Ming Yuzhen (1331-1336) was a peasant rebel leader who founded the short-lived Xia Empire, officially known as the Great Xia, which controlled parts of modern-day Sichuan and Chongqing from 1362-1371. He is the only emperor known to have been buried in Chongqing. A museum at the site displays artefacts that have been recovered from the tomb. Visitors can also view the inside of the tomb.
phone: +86 23 63914697address: 1 Bajiaoyuan, Changjiang Binjiang Road, Yuzhong District (渝中区长江滨江路芭蕉园1号)Built in 1759 and expanded in 1846, the Huguang Guild Hall is a complex of buildings that were formerly used as meeting centers for merchants from other parts of China.
Old French Naval Barracks Siteaddress: 142 Danzishi Qiantai Lane, Binjiang Road, Nan'an District (南岸区滨江路弹子石谦泰巷142号)It was built in 1903 to serve the French navy. The French Embassy was temporarily based here during the Second World War. The building was reopened to the public in June 2018 after having undergone more than a year of restoration work.
Huangguan Escalatorphone: +86 23 63856688Claimed to be the second 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.
phone: +86 23 63834147address: 151 Xinhua Road, Yuzhong District (渝中区新华路151号)This cableway, which is operated by the Chongqing Passenger Cableway Company Ltd (重庆市客运索道有限公司) takes one across the Yangtze River and provides a great view of the city. The trip covers a distance of 1166 meters and takes about 5 minutes.
phone: +86 23 63108939address: Office address: China Youth Travel Service Chongqing, 7-19/97 Zhongshan Yi Road, Yuzhong District (渝中区中山一路97号7-19重庆中国青年旅行社)A 1-hour trip on the Yangtse (Chang Jiang) and Jialing rivers gives you a night view of Chongqing's modern skyline.
Yangtze River cruisesCruises on the Yangtze River will take you through the cradle of China, while giving you the opportunity to see some spectacular scenery. There are several different companies operating these cruises.
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.
Northern Hot Springs Parkphone: +86 23 68222526 (park), +86 23 68226666 (resort)address: State Highway 212, Beibei District (北碚区212国道旁边)For around 1600 years, this area has been a popular bathing spot as well as an important religious site for followers of Buddhism. In the late 2000s, the hot springs were controversially commercialised and brought under the control of the Bolian Resorts Group (柏联酒店集团). Fortunately, some sections of the old park have been preserved, including the historic Hot Springs Temple (温泉寺).
phone: +86 23 65269999address: 6 Huiquan Road, Shapingba District (沙坪坝汇泉路6号)This resort made the news in 2018 with its 'hot pot springs' - a bathing pool designed to resemble a hot pot, complete with red-coloured water and inflatable chillies.
Southern Hot Springs Parkphone: +86 23 62841666address: 99 Southern Hot Springs Park Road, Banan District (巴南区南温泉公园路99号)
phone: +86 23 65701111, +86 23 65708888address: 1 Tianci Hot Springs Road, Hangu Development Zone, Jiulongpo District (九龙坡区含谷开发区天赐温泉路1号)
Tongjing Hot Springsphone: +86 23 67288333address: 66 Jingquan Road, Tongjing Town, Yubei District (渝北区统景镇景泉路66号)
- 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)
Carpenter TanThis local carpentry shop is worth a visit for its fine wood artwares.
Local foodChongqing 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 potHot 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 "yuán wèi" or tell them "wǒ bú yào là" 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, if your friend is a man you'll have to put up with a lot of drinking, if you're a man too you'll be expected 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 shopsAll 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
Dog meatOverall it is also a good experience to try some dog meat (gourou) in winter.
Western foodThere 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 RestaurantYou can also find loads of street restaurants around this area.
Why NotA Belgian style restaurant owned by a Belgian couple. Authentic fries and an eclectic menu at below the ultra-high Jiefangbei prices.
Noeva VeneziaWestern restaurant.
Susie's Pizzaphone: +86 13696419353address: In Shapingba 3 gorges SquareHas all of the classic flavours and some local Chongqing flavours like hotpot pizza. The restaurant is small and clean.
As a warning, some bars have 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 BarSeveral branches offer the closest thing to proper beer, but be sure they get your beer from the pump and not the slop tray.
Semi underground entertainment centre
Underground arcadeMany bars and restaurants.
Cici Parkaddress: LingjiangmenServe reasonably priced drinks and has a foosball table, good atmosphere and offers some hallucinating material!
Outside beer gardensServe 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.
phone: +86 23-6303-8655address: 9F Hong Ya DongThis 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.
phone: +86 23-63828187address: 9F Hongyadong, Yuzhong District (渝中区洪崖洞9楼)Mexican bar & restaurant. Serves Mexican food & Western food from all over the world
phone: +86 23 63931579address: 重庆市渝中区下洪学巷23号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.
Yangtze River International Youth Hostelphone: +86 23 63104208 (English speaking)address: 80 Changbin Road, Yuzhong District (渝中区长江滨江路80号)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.
Chongqing Grand Hotelphone: +86 23 86299888address: 84 Xiaolongkang New Street, Shapingba District (沙坪坝区小龙坎新街84号)
phone: +86 23 67306666address: No. 6 Xihu Road, Yubei District (渝北区西湖路6号)313 air-conditioned guest rooms.
DLT Hotelphone: +86 23 86527666address: 173 Renmin Road, Yuzhong District (渝中区人民路173号)Completely renovated in 2007.
phone: +86 23 63915598address: 1/1 Wenhua Street, Yuzhong District (重庆市渝中区文化街1号附1号)The hotel is accessible from all directions and very close to CBD area, beside the heritage site park of Song Dynasty. The hotel has more than 50 guests rooms, including various types of suite and commercial guest room.
HomeHome Innaddress: 6 Fenghuangia, NanjimenFriendly English-speaking staff.
Sheng Ming Hotelphone: +86 23 63916666, +86 23 63992700address: 45-47-Xinhua Road, Yuzhong District (渝中区新华路45-47号)Prices are not overly 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 one of the best club sandwiches east of Britain. Somewhere in the hotel is a Western restaurant which will provide you with one of 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.
phone: +86 23 8677-6888address: 9F, Block B Hejing Building, No 108 Minzu Road, Yuzhong District (渝中区民族路108号重庆合景大厦B栋9楼)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.
phone: +86 23 6399 7888address: No. 151 Changjiang Binjiang Road, Yuzhong DistrictOverlooking 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.
Yudu Hotelphone: +86 23 63828888address: 168 Ba Yi Road, Yuzhong District (渝中区八一路168号)Has a rotating restaurant on top.
phone: +86 23 8903 9999address: No 139 Zhong Shan San Lu, Yuzhong District
phone: +86 23 6775 1234address: 11 Paradise Walk, Jiangbei District (江北区北城天街 11 号)New hotel.
phone: +86 23 8906 6888address: 101 Minzu Road, Jeifangbei CBD, Yuzhong District
phone: +86 23 63799999address: 235 Minsheng Road, Yuzhong District (渝中区民生路235号)
phone: +86 23 6508 8888address: Tower 1, Chongqing IFS, No.1 Qingyun Road, Jiangbei District
phone: +86 23 8908 8888address: 66th Jinshamen Road, Jiangbei District
phone: +86 23 6380 6666address: 222 Xin Hua Road, Yuzhong District
Dazu Rock CarvingsThe 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).