Sightseeing in Chongqing
While Chongqing is often seen purely as the starting point for a Three Gorges cruise, it is an interesting city to travel to in its own right. Genuinely first class attractions include the Three Gorges Museum, the Urban Planning Gallery and the atmospheric Kuomintang prisons. But probably the highlight of a visit to Chongqing is simply wandering its streets. The steep alleys and the buildings that cling to the hills are fascinating by their improbability. And, like other southern cities, the heat of Chongqing drives residents onto the streets so that the sidewalks become a flurry of activity – there is almost no pursuit that you won’t see performed on the footpaths of Chongqing.
People’s Liberation Monument (Jiefangbei) (解放碑)
It’s not much of a sight in itself but is useful as a landmark for Chongqing’s commercial center. The 27.5m structure, which sort of resembles a lighthouse, was erected in 1945 as a monument to victory over the Japanese and was originally known as the Monument of Victory in the War of Resistance. Of more interest, however, is the surrounding pedestrian mall… (Read More…)
Arhat Temple (Luohan Si) (罗汉寺)
The Arhat Temple is not worth visiting unless you’re a fundamentalist temple fanatic. Luohansi Jie, an alley in Chongqing’s city center which leads up to the temple, is a gauntlet of beggars… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥10. Open: 8:00-18:00. Address: 1 Luohansi Jie.
Directions: About 5 minutes walk from Jiefangbei.
Chongqing Planning Exhibition Gallery (重庆市规划展览馆)
This fascinating exhibition center lays out a vision for Chongqing for 2020. Standing above the Chaotianmen Docks, this massive gallery is even more amazing than its counterpart in Shanghai… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥20. Open: Tue-Sun 9:30-17:30.
Directions: Directly above the Chaotianmen Docks.
Hongyadong Cultural Center (洪崖洞)
This 11 storey shopping and dining complex built in the traditional Chongqing Diaojiaolou architectural style and clinging to the hill by the Jialing River is an impressive structure… (Read More…)
Address: 56 Cangbai Lu.
Directions: From Jiefangbei, head up Minzu Lu and turn left onto Cangbai Lu.
The Great Hall of the People (人民大会堂)
One of China’s largest assembly halls, the Great Hall of the People in Chongqing is a lovely structure. Completed in 1954, it employs a traditional architectural style, drawing comparisons with Beijing’s Temple of Heaven… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥5. Open: 8:00-18:00
Directions: Take Exit ‘A’ From Zengjiayan monorail station.
Three Gorges Museum (三峡博物馆)
Across the square from the Great Hall of the People stands this imposing museum which houses a mish-mash of artifacts from Chongqing Municipality and exhibits explaining the area’s history… (Read More…)
Admission: Free. Open: Tues-Sun 8:30-17:00.
Directions: From Zengjiayan monorail station take Exit A.
Ciqikou Ancient Town (瓷器口古鎮)
While it probably won’t fascinate anyone who has been to a well-preserved old town in China, such as Lijiang or Pingyao, Ciqikou is nonetheless an interesting little place to while away a few hours… (Read More…)
Directions: Ciqikou is about 14km west of the Chongqing’s commercial center. A taxi fare from the center should come to a little less than ¥30.
A bit of revolutionary history here with a couple of prisons that were used by the Kuomintang (with a touch of US-backing through the Sino-American Cooperation Organisation) to detain and execute communists… (Read More…)
Admission: Free. Open: 9:00-17:00.
Directions: The prison is about a ¥30 taxi fare from the Chongqing center.
Huguang Guild Hall (湖广会馆)
The Huguang Guild Hall is an impressive, recently-renovated complex of halls dating from the late 1700s. It’s not really a must-see attraction, but it is attractive enough to warrant a visit if you have the time… (Read More…)
Admission: ¥30 Open: 9:00-18:00.
Directions: 10-15 mins walk along the Yangtze River from Chaotianmen Docks.
A common activity on any trip to Chongqing is a trip on one of the city’s two cableways. One heads south from the city center across the Yangtze River, while the other crosses the Jialing River to the north. Both trips allow great views. The Yangtze River cable car is just off Jiefang Dong Lu, while you can catch the Jialing River cable car from near Cangbai Lu… (Read More…)
Chongqing River Cruise
With its incredible array of skyscrapers on all sides of the rivers, the night-time skyline of Chongqing is an impressive vista of lights. Cruises start from the Chaotianmen Docks at the convergence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers… (Read More…)