Written & Photos by (作者, 图片来源): Summer Xia?夏益


Sitting in the Chongqing Monorail, gliding through the mountains high above the streets below, I looked out over this expansive city: mountains encircled a bustling metropolis with high-rises dotting the landscape. Another train passed by us. We shuttled from one station to the next, the city pulsing below our feet. I felt the people of Chongqing must be very brave to take this roller coaster ride to and from work each day! We alighted and found ourselves in an urban area, surrounded by sights, sounds, and smells. The scent of Chongqing hotpot, arguably the spiciest hotpot in China, filled the air with its delicious aroma. We had arrived in an amazing place.

Our first stop was the People’s Liberation Monument, the modern symbol of Chongqing. Built during the height of WWII and on the anniversary of Sun Yat-sen’s death in 1940, the monument is a towering octagon with a smooth white surface. Even if it is dwarfed by the Jiefangbei CBD which has gradually surrounded the monument, it is still a testament to the strength of the city. Near the monument is the entrance to Xinhua Road and the Yangtze River Cableway, spanning the river and connecting Yuzhong and Nan’an District. We recommend going to Nan’an District by bus and then taking the cable car back to Xinhua Road. It is not only fast, but it’s a great way to see the city and Yangtze River from above. Looking at the lights across the river through the misty evening, we were enchanted by the scene. Chongqing is definitely worthy of the nickname “Mini Hong Kong.”


Ten minutes or so from Jiefangbei CBD is the wonderland of Hongyadong. Approaching the place, I saw skyscrapers in the distance. We walked and walked and suddenly it was upon us: a towering amalgamation of traditional Chinese architecture 11 stories high, its eclectic nature like something out of one of Miyazaki’s classic animations. Each floor has distinctive shops, performance areas, food stalls, cafés, viewing decks and more. Hongyadong lights up in the evening, enhancing its fairytale status, as mysterious as the bath house in Spirited Away.

Another stop on our list was Ciqikou, Chongqing’s famous old street. Like Beijing’s Wangfujing, Nanjing’s Confucius Temple Area, Xi’an’s Muslim Street, and Ningbo’s Nantang Old Street, Ciqikou is the place to go for a taste of “old” Chongqing. Once an important ferry terminal for the Jialing River, today it is serves tourists and travelers from all across China. The narrow stone streets are lined with tiny shops and food stalls and great views of the river. There are many tea houses as well, from which you can sit and enjoy the scenes taking place upon the flowing water. Unfortunately, the street was packed for the holidays, and we had to hurry along to other places close by: Zhongshan 4th Road, the Residence of Zhou, Democratic Parties History Museum, Sweetscented Osmanthus Garden, Bayu Cultural Hall, and the Kuomintang Government Site. All of these sites, though heavy in history, gave us a different perspective of Chongqing, which, mixed with the fresh air, helped us enjoy our stay more.

Since our time was limited, we never got the chance to see the Three Natural Bridges of Wulong County and the Dazu Rock Carvings, two highly recommended sites outside the city center. All the more reason to return for more stories and adventures in this beautiful central city. Chongqing is a magnificent city, and we hope to return soon to this amazing metropolis.

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从解放碑步行十来分钟即可到洪崖洞,又是一处神奇之地。一路找寻,当路标指示洪崖洞近在前方,而我视野所及之处并无高楼,正百思不解时,猛然醒悟原来不经意间我已身处洪崖洞的顶层。洪崖洞从最底的沿江路到顶端的沧白路足有11 层,上下临街,依山沿江而建,层层叠叠,是巴渝传统式的木质吊脚楼。咖啡馆、live表演、异国美食风情街、特色小店、观景平台……每一层都别有洞天。当你在沿江路欣赏两江汇流,蓦然回首仰望夜色中的洪崖洞时,一定会感慨千与千寻中的“不可思议之街”仿若矗立眼前,同样的繁华,同样的斑斓,同样的神秘。所以,夜游洪崖洞,方能领略它别样的美丽。

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去磁器口之前,我对它有很深的期盼,“北京的王府井,南京的夫子庙,西安的回民街,每个城市总有一条古街让人神往”,之于重庆就是磁器口。作为古时嘉陵江边重要的水陆码头,当初繁盛的运货场景已经变成了此刻的商旅川流不息。古街的石板路有些窄,沿街店铺林立,顺着古街走到嘉陵江边,江畔有许多茶庄,坐下品一壶茶,好不惬意。遗憾的是,节假日总是游人如织,深有打扰这片宁静之感,于是半途匆匆逃离。还是喜欢中山四路,周公馆、民主党派博物馆、桂园、戴公馆、国民政府总统府旧址,短短的800 米饱经风霜。抛开历史的沉重,在这个号称重庆最美的街区,看着古朴的建筑和街道两边枝叶繁茂的黄葛树,连呼吸都是清新翠绿的。