A Complete Travel Guide to Chongqing

Chongqing is featured by "Mountain City" and "The City of Fog", which shows the city is located in a mountainous area and is just like a fairyland in a thin mist. It has beautiful scenery, especially the night views, standing alongside the upper Yangtze River in southwest China. This city attracts visitors from home and abroad for its natural scenery and cultural wonders.

Top Attractions

1. Three Gorges

They are grand canyons on the Yangtze River, made up of the Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, and Xiling Gorge. The Three Gorges are beautiful, like a stunning gallery with many notable peaks, cliffs, and rivers. The Three Gorges Cruise along the Yangtze River and cable cars can offer a unique experience to enjoy the panoramic views. The Yangtze Cruise's boarding wharf is located at the Chaotianmen Dock. The cruise also provides natural attractions you can go offshore to explore: Fengdu Ghost City, Shibaozhai, Zhang Fei Temple, etc. Besides, you can visit the impressive Three Gorges Dam, which is one of the world's biggest hydropower complex projects.

Three GorgesThree Gorges

2. Hongya Cave

It's not a cave but a Disney-esque recreation of the old stilt houses. This popular destination is known for its night views and attracts many visitors to experience the unique scenery. This site owns a large-scale stilt on a steep cliff on the bank of the Jialing River. This area mainly contains stilted buildings and an antique commercial street. Visitors can take an elevator to explore the bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and craft stores amid eleven floors. When dusk falls, lanterns and warm-toned lamps light up the Hongya Cave, which is a stunning nightscape. The lit-up complex is spectacular.

Hongya CaveHongya Cave

3. Ciqikou Ancient Town

Ciqikou, which literally means Porcelain Port, is a pedestrian shopping and dining area. It's a great place to buy unique souvenirs and appreciates the local traditional architecture. The main attractions are Baolun Temple, Zhong's Courtyard, Hanlin Academy, and Pedestrian Street. Baolun Temple is the oldest part of the town, with more than 1500 years of history. Zhong's Courtyard contains abundant porcelain and other traditional and ancient household items. There are featured folk houses, temples, and teahouses you can visit, and there are featured local foods you can try. Take your time to enjoy the tea break and watch the unique folk opera. There are nearby attractions you can visit, including the Three Gorges Museum and the Great Hall of the People.

4. Chaotianmen Square

Chaotianmen Square is a prosperous zone situated at the confluence of the Yangtze River and Jialing River. Standing at the square, you can view the gorgeous river scenery and Chaotianmen Bridge. It's a great place to enjoy the night view of Chongqing with the colorful lights of the buildings and ships on the river. Shopping is also available there. It is featured in the prosperous commercial wholesale and retail area of Chongqing. Chaotianmen Dock, nearby, is famous as a water transportation port. Chaotianmen Dock serves all Yangtze River cruise ships. The vital dock shows the thriving economy, growth, and well-developed traffic in Chongqing.

5. Dazu Rock Carvings

It has been designated as a World Cultural Heritage site. There exists an exceptional series of rock carvings on the steep hillside in Dazu County. There are lots of great works of Chinese cave art. The Buddhist statues are the majority among the rock carving groups, and the Confucian as well as the Taoist stone figures can be seen. Dazu is the home of rock carvings and contains over 40 rock carvings and 50,000 statues. This indicates the highest level of grotto art from the 9th to the 13th century during the Tang and Song dynasties in ancient China. These kinds of statues are also called Moya carvings, which is a technique for carving the statues directly into the cliffside. Inscriptions depict history, religious beliefs, historical events, and everyday life in China, as well as showing respect for religious figures. Baodingshan and Beishan are the most famous and largest sites. Baodingshan is the most famous of these sites. The reclining Buddha and the 1000-armed goddess are the highlights of Baodingshan Carvings. The Beishan Carvings are well-preserved and present elaborate craftsmanship. The graceful statue of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, known as Oriental Venus, is placed here. These statues are lifelike, and the ones of Guan Yin, Wen Shu, and Pu Xian are the most gorgeous.

6. Wulong Karst Landscape

Wulong Karst is a natural treasure, showing visitors its bridges, gorges, caves, eroded dolines, and other spectacular sceneries. This karst landscape includes the three main famous sites: Furong Cave, Three Natural Bridges, and Houping Giant Doline. Three Natural Bridges is a unique geological phenomenon. The three natural karst stone arch bridges, with an average height of over 656 feet, comprise the largest natural bridge cluster in Asia. A colorful rainbow appears amid the mist of a waterfall after the rains. You can enjoy the beauty of nature leisurely here when walking through these natural mountains and waterfalls. This area provides some of the settings for Transformers 4: Age of Extinction. A model of Optimus can be seen at the entrance. Furong Cave is well-known as a large limestone cave. It was formed in the carbonate rocks of the Cambrian-Ordovician Period. It has a plethora of speleothems that shape the stunning karst landscapes. The splendid stelae, stalagmites, and stalactites definitely will surprise you, as well as the huge stone curtain and waterfall. The integrated karst ecosystem of Houping Giant Doline includes gorges, shafts, dolines, and underground caves. It consists of five smaller ones. Located in a primitive forest, they are well-preserved of the feature of karst landforms. Viewed from the bottom of the dove, you can see the steep walls extending to heaven, the floating white clouds, and a clear sky.

7. E'ling Park

Because of its narrow shape, it is also known as Goose Neck Park and is located on E'ling Mountain. It offers a splendid view of the Yangtze River and Jialing River, as well as the Chongqing skyline. The park was used as a military sight in 1950. The park presents the typical layout of Suzhou gardens. The architecture of this park is in traditional Chinese style. The park contains many historical buildings, such as the former Australian legation. It's a great place to enjoy the cool since there are lots of trees, pavilions, and various flowers. The beauty of E'ling Park has been the subject of many Chinese poems.

8. Chongqing Zoo

Chongqing Zoo is home to various species of animals and plants, such as giant pandas, golden monkeys, etc. The rare South China Tiger, which used to live in forests in southern China, is now protected here. It is not only a tourist attraction for animals but also a base for wild animal protection and research. In the panda room, you can see the pandas feeding. There are a teahouse, restaurants, and amusement facilities, including an open stage and a roller skating rink. You can wander around the park, visiting the animals. The amusement areas and roller skating should appeal to children.

Things to Do

Take a 4 days and 3 nights Yangtze River cruise running between Chongqing and Yichang.

The great night view of the modern buildings, bridges, and crossing roads can be seen from the board. Other sightseeing cruise ships are also illuminating the river with colorful, gleaming lights. There are some attractions you can go offshore for a visit: the Three Gorges, Shibaozhai Pagoda, and Shennv Stream.

Yangtze CruiseYangtze Cruise

Immerse in the stunning night view of Chongqing.

Hongya Cave is the most popular destination for the night view. Being built along the waterfront cliff makes these restaurants and coffee shops good places to enjoy the splendid night.

Take LRT to experience the unique geography of Chongqing.

Line 2 makes a metro line cross the building reality. Taking the LRT in Chongqing is sort of like riding a roller coaster because of the terrain.

Take the Yangtze River Cableway to overlook the magnificent panoramic beauty of Chongqing.

The cable cars start at Chang'an Temple in Yuzhong District, fly over the Yangtze River, and cut through high-rise buildings. It just takes 4 minutes to send you to the other side of the Yangtze River.

Yangtze River CablewayYangtze River Cableway

Try spicy hot pots and various local food.

The representative food-hot pot that you must not miss. You can order a variety of cuisines to put in a boiling pot of spicy soup with various ingredients. Other local foods such as Xiaomian, Hot, and Sour Rice Noodles, Crispy Fried Meat, and other delicious cuisine. There are many popular food streets in prosperous areas, like Bayi Food Street and Guanyinqiao Food Street.

Tips

Spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit Chongqing. In addition to the unique terrain and climate, it is pretty hot in the summer. While it's a great time to visit Fairy Mountain in Wulong Karst Landscape to see snowy scenery and enjoy a hot spring bath in winter.

Usually, you can get here from other cities in China by air, train, or coach. There is a Jiangbei International Airport.

Make sure you wear suitable shoes due to the mountainous terrain around Chongqing.

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