Young Pioneer Tours

Chongqing: A metropolis with a timeless soul

by Andy Khong

Chongqing, officially known as Chongqing Municipality, is a major city and administrative region in south-western China. It is situated at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers and is one of the country’s four direct-controlled municipalities, along with Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin.

[Chongqing (Pinyin Romanization) is pronounced “Choong-Ching”; it was formerly spelled Chungking (Wade-Giles Romanization). Wade-Giles is the system of Romanization for Mandarin developed from 1867 named after Thomas WADE, Herbert GILES, & Lionel GILES. Pinyin meaning ‘spelled sounds’ was developed by ZHOU Youguang during the 1950ies. Pinyin was adopted as the international standard for Romanization of Mandarin by the International Organization for Standardization (IOS) in 1982, and the United Nations in 1986]. 

Chongqing was once part of Sichuan Province. In the past, Chongqing was administered as a part of Sichuan Province. However, in 1997, it became a direct-controlled municipality, separate from Sichuan Province, under the direct jurisdiction of the central government. This elevated its status to that of a provincial-level administrative region, similar to Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin. Despite the administrative separation, Chongqing maintains close ties with Sichuan Province, both geographically and culturally, and shares historical and cultural connections with the region.

Chongqing: A metropolis with a timeless soul

Chongqing City.

Geography: Chongqing is known for its unique geographical features. The city is built on hilly terrain, with mountains, rivers, and gorges defining its landscape. The Yangtze River, one of China’s major waterways, flows through Chongqing, providing a stunning backdrop and serving as an important transportation route.

Historical Significance: Chongqing has a rich historical background and has been inhabited for over 3,000 years. It served as the capital of the Ba state during the ancient times and later became an important centre for salt and iron production during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Chongqing gained global prominence during World War II when it served as the provisional capital of China and played a vital role in the country’s resistance against Japanese aggression.

Modern Chongqing: Today, Chongqing is a bustling metropolis with a population of over 30 million, making it one of China’s most populous cities. It is an important economic, industrial, and transportation hub, contributing significantly to the country’s rapid development.

Three Gorges and Yangtze River: Chongqing is often referred to as the “Gateway to the Three Gorges.” The Three Gorges region, encompassing Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, and Xiling Gorge, is famous for its breathtaking natural beauty and is a popular destination for river cruises. Visitors can embark on cruises along the Yangtze River, enjoying stunning views of steep cliffs, lush mountains, and serene waters.

Chongqing: A metropolis with a timeless soul

Yangtze River.

Ciqikou Ancient Town: Ciqikou is a well-preserved ancient town located in Chongqing. It dates back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and is known for its charming traditional architecture and narrow streets. Ciqikou offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history, with its teahouses, old-style buildings, and bustling marketplaces.

Chongqing: A metropolis with a timeless soul

Ciqikou Ancient Town.

Delicious Cuisine: Chongqing is renowned for its mouth-watering cuisine, particularly its spicy and flavourful dishes. The city is famous for its hot pot, a communal cooking style where diners cook various meats, vegetables, and other ingredients in a simmering, spicy broth. Chongqing hot pot is known for its numbing and spicy flavours, making it a must-try culinary experience.

Chongqing: A metropolis with a timeless soul

Chongqing Hot Pot. 🌶🌶🌶

Dazu Rock Carvings: Located just outside of Chongqing, the Dazu Rock Carvings are a UNESCO World Heritage site and a remarkable collection of ancient Buddhist and Taoist rock carvings. These carvings, dating back to the 9th century, depict religious scenes, deities, and figures, showcasing exquisite craftsmanship and cultural significance.

Chongqing: A metropolis with a timeless soul

Dazu Rock Carvings.

Chongqing’s blend of historical significance, natural beauty, vibrant city life, and delectable cuisine make it a fascinating destination for travellers seeking an authentic Chinese experience.

{Language Trivia – Hammer & Watermelon: In both Sichuan and Chongqing Provinces, being called a “hammer” [锤子 (chuízi)] is an idiom used to describe someone as being foolish, silly, or stupid. The phrase has a colloquial and informal nature and is often used in a light-hearted or teasing manner among friends or acquaintances. It’s important to note that language, slang, idioms, informal expressions can vary across regions, example in most parts of China, being called “watermelon” [西瓜(xīguā)] is an informal idiom to describe someone as being foolish, silly, or

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