What is Chongqing famous for?

Chongqing - megacity at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers

The city of Chongqing, which is directly governed by the government, impresses with its extremely dynamic population and economic growth

Chongqing (重慶), one of the largest cities in China and possibly the world, lies spectacularly on hills at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers in southern China within the red basin and near the Three Gorges Dam. The city has a subtropical climate: in summer it is hot and humid, in the winter half of the year it becomes very foggy with mild temperatures. As a "foggy city", Chongqing offered the Chiang Kai-shek government an ideal retreat in order to survive the attacks of the Japanese from the air during World War II. A number of companies were moved from the coastal regions to the Chongqing area, which accelerated economic development during the Second World War until the Communists came to power.

Since Chongqing and the surrounding areas the size of Austria were split off from Sichuan in 1997 and placed directly under the central government, the city has been developing rapidly in the course of gigantic infrastructure expenditures. With currently 4.3 million inhabitants in the core city, about 8 million in the agglomeration and 30 million inhabitants in the entire administrative area the size of Austria, Chongqing is already one of the largest cities in the world. But Chongqing itself still has to cope with an increase of 1000 inhabitants per day, which poses great challenges for the city.

Since the hilly building site does not leave many options open, the city will be built relatively densely with skyscrapers with a height of approx. 250 meters. Houses from 1980 are already being demolished and replaced by newer, multi-storey buildings. However, since some older buildings still line the cityscape, and especially in the particularly steep, hilly area there are still very old houses, there is a strong contrast between different construction methods. Some street scenes therefore seem a bit chaotic, but have a charm of their own that is no longer found in more modern cities in China such as Shanghai and Beijing.

Tourists looking for Chinese and regional tradition will find smaller sights such as the Luohan Temple or the Huguang Guild Hall in the high-rise canyons. In the Three Gorges Museum you can marvel at numerous exhibits that were saved from flooding during the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. In addition, a number of food stalls line the streets, which give off a typical, somewhat pungent smell. The spicy food in particular will pose a challenge for every visitor: seasoned with a few chili peppers per serving, eating becomes a real challenge for western palates. The city is known for the Chongqing hot pot, a Chinese fondue in which everyone cooks their own meat and vegetables in a brew of oil, water, chillies and other spices. "Ciqikou", a more than 1000 year old city that still shines in its old splendor and is known as "Little Chongqing", lets you experience some traditions particularly intensely - precisely because the city is overrun by tourists and is selling souvenirs and focused on culinary specialties.

In contrast to Shanghai, there are significantly fewer foreigners in Chongqing. Nevertheless, if you have a good command of English, you can use the "Chongqing Rail Transit" (CRT) without any problems, as announcements are also made in English and the machines have a language selection. In restaurants you sometimes have to improvise or wait for someone who speaks English to appear in order to make yourself understood. But the people are generally warm and eager, so that the language differences do not appear too great. It is only advisable to have streets and hotel names in Chinese characters in stock for the use of taxis.

Further information and tips can be found on the respective sub-pages! Small stumbling blocks such as organizing a visa, booking a trip and changing money should not prevent anyone from visiting this interesting city!