Chongqing Travel Advice, Information and Directory

Health Care Accessing Money
Book Shops Visa Extensions
Internet Access Postal Services
Phone Services Online Resources

Health, Doctors and Pharmacies in Chengdu

There are plenty of pharmacies around Chongqing and there shouldn’t be any trouble finding one (although communication at pharmacies can be difficult).

If you need medical attention your best bet is the Global Doctor Clinic which has English-speaking staff including an expatriate doctor. Otherwise you can also find English-speaking staff at the reasonably centrally located First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, where many Chongqing expats go for medical attention.

Global Doctor Clinic Chongqing
Address: 139 Zhongshan San Lu, Room 701 (inside the Hilton’s business tower)
Tel: (023) 8903 8837 (24 hours).
Website: www.globaldoctor.com.au
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去中山三路139号重庆希尔顿酒店, 谢谢。

First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University (医科大学附属医院)
Address: 1 Youyi Lu
Tel: (023) 8901 2301
Open: 24 hours.
Website: www.hospital-cqmu.com
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去医科大学附属医院, 谢谢。 地址:友谊路1号。

Accessing Money in Chongqing

ATMs that accept foreign cards are plentiful in Chongqing and ATMs almost always have a choice between English or Chinese operating language. Occasionally you will encounter an ATM that doesn’t accept foreign cards, but you can always rely on Bank of China or ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) ATMs which are plentiful enough. Just look for the logo of your particular card (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, etc) on the ATM. There are several ATMs around the Jiefangbei shopping mall.

The Bank of China can always exchange money. The main branch is at #218 Zhongshan Yi Lu. There is another branch at on Minzu Lu by Jiefangbei.

Western Union Services are offered at many China Post outlets, including the one listed under Post Offices and Courier Services (below).

Book Shops in Chongqing

Xinhua Bookstore, ChongqingThe Xinhua Bookstore, right in the city center, is the best bet in Chongqing for English reading material.

Xinhua Bookstore (新华书店)
This multi-storey bookstore has a decent range of English-language fiction – you might be surprised by what you find here. You can also pick up Chongqing maps with some English on them from this shop. Located one block from the Liberation Monument.
Address: 121 Zourong Lu. Open: 9-21.

Visa Extensions in Chongqing

The Public Security Bureau that handles visa extensions in Chongqing is at #555 Huanglong Lu, Yubei District.
Tel: (023) 6396 1916. Open: 9:00-12:00, 13:30-17:00.
Chongqing PSB Website
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去渝北区黄泥塝黄龙路555号, 谢谢。

Internet Access in Chongqing

All hotels and hostels in Chongqing have some form of internet access. Almost all hotels of 3 star or higher classification have in-room internet access, which can be used if you’re traveling with a laptop. Many hotels provide this service for free while others charge anywhere from $5-$15 per day, depending on the hotel. Hotels will also have a business center with internet access as well as a printer.

Internet cafes are common in Chongqing, however, most have no English signs to identify them. Internet cafe is ‘wangba’ in Chinese and luckily these characters are quite distinctive (网吧). Keep your eye out for those characters when seeking an internet cafe.

Post Offices and Courier Services in Chongqing

The Chinese postal service is generally quite efficient. Postcards or letters sent from Chongqing will usually take around 7 or 8 working days to reach North America, Europe or Australia. Parcels will take a bit longer. If you need things to be sent urgently then you can use one of the international courier services.

There are plenty of post offices around Chongqing. There’s a convenient one at #3 Minquan Lu, just near the Liberation Monument. China Post also offers an Express Mail Service which is a cheaper alternative to using international courier companies. In addition to postal services it is also possible to make Western Union transfers at this branch.

Of the big international courier companies only TNT currently has an office in Chongqing. With a courier service, a letter will take about three or four days to reach North America, Europe or Australasia and cost around $50 to send. Packages will cost more, depending on their weight.

TNT
Address: 1-2 Hongshi Lu
Tel: (023) 6786 9128
Website: www.tnt.com.cn/en/index.asp

Phone Calls To and From Chongqing

The international phone code for China is “86” and the area code for Chongqing is “023”.

If you call to Chongqing from abroad, you should dial the international access number (usually 00 or “+”), then the code for China “86”, then the code for Chongqing without the ‘0’ (23), and then the 8-digit city number.

If you call to Chongqing from inside China, then dial the full Chongqing code (023), and then the 8-digit city number.

If you dial a Chongqing number inside Chongqing, just dial the 8-digit number, without any prefixes. Note that if you call a Chongqing landline from a mobile phone while in Chongqing, you should include the ‘023’ prefix.

For international calls, IP (Internet Phone) international calling cards can be bought at many small shops, newsstands and hotels in Chongqing. Just look for a sign saying “IP”. A card with ¥100 credit actually sells for about ¥35 (some vendors will try to charge you ¥40 or even more). Make sure you it says “IDD” (international direct dialing) on the back and not “DDD”. Call rates vary depending on what country you’re calling, but a card with ¥100 credit will generally buy you about 20-25 minutes talking time when calling to the US, Europe or Australia.

If you plan to stay in Chongqing for a longer period it is reasonably cheap to buy a SIM card with one of the local operators: China Mobile or China Unicom. The cheapest SIM card usually costs around ¥100-120 and generally includes ¥50 credit. You also pay more depending on how ‘lucky’ your phone number is. Average call charges are ¥0.6 per minute and ¥0.15 per SMS. Once you move outside the city where you bought the card you have to pay slightly higher ‘internal roaming’ charges.

If you already have a Chinese SIM card with one of these networks then it will also work in Chongqing, though you will be charged slightly higher ‘internal roaming’ tariffs.

Chongqing Online Resources

The Chonx: Set up by a peace corps volunteer who was based in Chongqing for two years, this is probably the best guide to Chongqing on the internet. Has good information about restaurants, bars, shopping, sightseeing and the practicalities of living in Chongqing.

Chongqing Municipal Government: The official Chongqing government website has some useful, if not comprehensive, information about living, working, studying, visiting and investing in Chongqing.