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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in chongqing
Free Travel guide Ooaj.com A free travel guide for holidays. Hotels in chongqing, Bed and Breakfast!
Chongqing (??), also spelled Chungking, is one of the most famous cities in China.
Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG; 1 (http://www.cqa.cn/information/navigate/index.asp)) is served by flights from Nagoya, Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Bangkok, Munich, Dusseldorf and and other Chinese cities, as below: Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenzhen, Sanya, Xiamen, Wenzhou, Lhasa, Zhuhai, Haikou, Urumqi, Shenyang, Wuhan, Zhengzhou, Xi'an, Jinan, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Taiyuan, Nanning, Kunming, Ningbo, Panzhihua, Guiyang, Changchun, Jinjiang, Hefei, Chengdu, Yichang.
Trains arrive daily at the Chongqing station, including the daily T9/T10 express train from/to Beijing, a 25-hour ride.
A great deal of time and expense has been spent on the new international airport and infastructure linking it to downtown Chongqing and surrounding areas. The taxi ride to downtown Chongqing should take no longer than 30 minutes and as road/bridge tolls (for this journey anyway) have been abolished, the fare is generally in the region of 50 RMB. Bus to Jiang Bei (northern city centre) or YuZhong (Main city centre) costs no more than Y25.
The first part of Chongqing's spanking new monorail (http://www.cqmetro.cn/) system opened in June 2005. The current system (see map (http://www.cqmetro.cn/dt1.htm)) is only somewhat useful for getting around in the city center, but major expansions are under construction.
The buses 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, simply ask each bus if they go there. There are five city centres, so be sure you know the name of the place you want to go to.
Taxis are relatively cheap 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.
See and Donot finished
While on the surface there may not appear to be much to do, further investigation will uncover a city with its own character and a number of interesting sites worth looking into.
History, Revolution, and War. Chongqing served as the capital of China for 7 years during the later 30's and early 40's. With this political history come a number of historic sights which have unfortunately turned into propoganda sights. If you're a history buff, don't miss these spots. If you're not a history buff, scroll down a bit further.
Za Zi DongThis is one of two Guomingdang prisons located in Shapingba, the other being Bai Gong Guan. Both are located at the base of Ge Le Mountain in Lie Shi Mu. Za Zi Dong offers a unique look at a 1940's 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 Jie Shi's (Chang Kai Shek) elite troops were trained. Unfortunately the attrocities that took place and the American presence are often connected, while it's not universally agreed they are.
Red Crag Village (Hong Yan Cun)Red Crag Village (Hong Yan Cun) is a very important tourism site in Chongqing. At least that is how the Culture Bureau which is located in Hong Yan Cun and the other government propoganda departments see it. This location is where the Chongqing Negotiations between Mao and Jiang (Chang) took place, and the historic aspect of the place is nice. To get to the history, you will have to go through an exhibition center which is worth going to only because it serves as a good reminder of how powerful the Chinese propoganda machine is.
Joseph Stilwell Residence
Not far from Red Crag Village is the former residence of Joseph 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 small grey building that is full of interesting old black and white photos of whatnot.
Song Qing Ling's Residence
Another interesting site to visit (especially if your staying at the Hilton Hotel) is Song Qing Ling's former residence. 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. The house is located about 100 meters south of the main entrance to the Hilton Hotel.
Chongqing Old Town
Located in ShaPingBa, this is a few 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. Several buses go there including 808 and 843. Worth a visit for a couple of hours.
As you walk downhill from the Chung King Hotel towards the river, there's a guitar shop which sells lots of different types of guitars at extremely tempting prices!
Chongqing is a harbor city and with this comes what is called "matou wenhua" or "dockside culture". This culture is blamed for a lot of things from cursing to...Hot Pot.
Hot Pot, called huoguo, or "firepot" in Chinese 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 a choice between three kinds. First, the spicy version called "hong tang" or "red soup". Then there is one without any spices. This is basically a bone soup, and it is tasty. To get this, simply ask for "yuan wei" or tell them "wo bu yao la" which means "I don't want the spicy stuff!" Finally there is a compromise with Yuan Yang Huo Guo (Yuan Yang Hot Pot), 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 don't like it too spicy, it is possible to order "wei la hong tang" which is "red soup without the jolt". It's 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, you'll have to put up with a lot of drinking, you'll be forced 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.
Aside from Hot Pot there are hundreds of dishes worth trying out while you're in the city. Suggested dishes:
At nicer restaurants:
At noodle shops:
There 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. The only places from real Western Food are the Holiday Inn in Nanping where I recommend the shepherd's pie, and Dee Dee's bar nearby where you can get Fish and chips (real chips), and a variety of other dishes which will be what you expect them to be.
There are many bars in Chongqing, but most are underpopulated. Several branches of the Newcastle Arms offer the closest thing to proper beer, but be sure they get your beer from the pump and not the slop tray. A pint of McEwan's will cost you Y25, but during happy hour you can get two for one. The best Bar in Chongqing is Dee Dee's bar located in Nanping south of the Yangtze river near to the Holiday Inn. You will usually find some non Chinese (including me) there most nights. The local bottled beer is Y10, and the variety includes several other local beers and even Guinness on occasions. If you go to one of the small restaurants to eat, you can buy bottles of local beer at Y3 upwards.
There's only one place you want to stay: The Chung King Hotel. Prices aren't over-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 English-language. Even better, Room Service will happily provide you with the best Club Sandwich East of Britain.
Somewhere in the hotel is a western restaurant which will provide you with the biggest Spaghetti Bolognaise you've ever seen. The friendly staff in the lobby can provide you with currency exchange, luggage holding and travel tickets.
There are hundreds of hotels all over the city ranging from dormitary style for Y50 per night, through adequate three star hotels for Y150, up to the top hotels for Y600-800 per night. They are rarely fully booked. Depending on which part of the city you are in, the Southwest Hotel in Nanping is a good 3 star for Y148, and the Grand in ShaPingBa has rooms from Y150 upwards. You can always check the room before you commit.
Long distance buses travel to almost anywhere. To the west Chengdu is 5 hours, and to the east WanZhou is three hours, both on good roads and good buses. Avoid the "sleeper" buses as they must be the most uncomfortable way to travel ever invented. The main bus / rail station is Cai Yuan Ba (pronounced Tai Yuan Ba) and is complete mayhem most of the time. Many hotels will sell rail tickets thus avoiding the madness of the station. People in Chongqing do not queue.