ChongQing 重庆 : light rail, urban planning, food and tourism

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Chongqing, often referred to as the 'Mountain City', is a vibrant metropolis located in southwestern China. It's a fascinating destination for tourists, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and modern urban development. Here's a guide for tourists visiting Chongqing:

City Highlights:
Geographical Features: Chongqing is renowned for its dramatic landscape, characterized by steep hills, towering skyscrapers, and the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers. The city's hilly terrain gives it a distinctive skyline and adds to its scenic beauty.

Three Gorges: As a gateway to the Three Gorges region, Chongqing serves as the starting point for Yangtze River cruises. Tourists can embark on cruises that traverse the picturesque Three Gorges, including Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, and Xiling Gorge, while experiencing the breathtaking scenery along the way.

Cultural Heritage: Chongqing boasts a rich cultural heritage with historical sites, temples, and museums that showcase its long history and cultural diversity. Must-visit attractions include the Dazu Rock Carvings, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring intricate Buddhist sculptures, and the Three Gorges Museum, which offers insights into the region's natural and cultural history.

Culinary Delights: Chongqing is famous for its spicy Sichuan cuisine, particularly hotpot, a popular dish enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Tourists can sample authentic Chongqing hotpot at local restaurants and street food stalls, savoring the bold flavors and fiery spices that characterize the region's cuisine.

Attractions and Activities:
Hongya Cave: This iconic riverside complex in downtown Chongqing features traditional architecture, colorful lights, and a bustling marketplace. Visitors can explore the labyrinthine alleyways, shop for souvenirs, and enjoy panoramic views of the Yangtze River from the elevated walkways.

Ciqikou Ancient Town: Nestled along the banks of the Jialing River, Ciqikou Ancient Town is a well-preserved historic district known for its Ming and Qing Dynasty architecture, charming tea houses, and artisan shops. It's a great place to stroll, shop for handicrafts, and sample local snacks.

Jiefangbei Pedestrian Street: As the commercial heart of Chongqing, Jiefangbei Pedestrian Street is a bustling shopping and entertainment district lined with shops, malls, theaters, and restaurants. It's a vibrant area to explore, especially at night when the neon lights illuminate the streets.

Wulong Karst Landscape: Located about 3 hours' drive from Chongqing, the Wulong Karst Landscape is a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its stunning karst formations, natural bridges, and caves. Visitors can hike, explore underground caverns, and admire the breathtaking scenery of this geological wonderland.

Practical Tips:
Transportation: Getting around Chongqing is convenient with its extensive public transportation network, including buses, taxis, and the Chongqing Metro. Cable cars and escalators also provide access to the city's hilly terrain.

Weather: Chongqing has a subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters. Summer temperatures can be sweltering, so it's advisable to dress accordingly and stay hydrated.

Language: Mandarin Chinese is the official language spoken in Chongqing, although the local Chongqing dialect is also prevalent. It's helpful to carry a phrasebook or translator app, especially if you're not fluent in Mandarin.

Chongqing offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and modern urban life, making it an exciting destination for tourists seeking to explore the diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage of southwestern China.

Chinese cuisine is an intricate tapestry of flavors, techniques, and regional specialties that has evolved over thousands of years. From the fiery spices of Sichuan to the delicate dim sum of Cantonese cuisine, every region of China offers its own culinary delights. For visitors to China, exploring the diverse and dynamic world of Chinese food is an essential part of experiencing the country's rich cultural heritage. Here's a more extensive exploration of Chinese cuisine for visitors:

Regional Diversity:
Sichuan Cuisine: Hailing from the southwestern province of Sichuan, this cuisine is famed for its bold, spicy, and numbing flavors. Sichuan peppercorns, chili peppers, and aromatic spices are used liberally in dishes like Mapo Tofu, Dan Dan Noodles, and Sichuan Hot Pot, creating a symphony of flavors that tingles the taste buds.

Cantonese Cuisine: With its emphasis on fresh ingredients and delicate flavors, Cantonese cuisine is highly regarded for its seafood dishes, roasted meats, and dim sum. Steamed fish, Char Siu (barbecue pork), and Har Gow (shrimp dumplings) are just a few examples of the exquisite dishes that showcase Cantonese culinary mastery.

Shanghai Cuisine: Reflecting its coastal location and cosmopolitan history, Shanghai cuisine combines influences from Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui provinces. Sweet and Sour Mandarin Fish, Shanghai Soup Dumplings (Xiaolongbao), and Drunken Chicken are some of the signature dishes that highlight the diverse flavors and textures of this culinary tradition.

Beijing Cuisine: As the capital of China, Beijing boasts a rich culinary heritage deeply rooted in imperial traditions. Peking Duck, a dish with crispy skin and succulent meat served with pancakes and hoisin sauce, is a quintessential Beijing delicacy. Other notable dishes include Zhajiangmian (Beijing Noodles), Mongolian Hot Pot, and Beijing-style meat pies.

Hunan Cuisine: Known for its bold and aromatic flavors, Hunan cuisine features dishes that are spicy, sour, and intensely flavorful. Chairman Mao's Red-Braised Pork, Dong'an Chicken, and Steamed Fish Head with Chopped Chili exemplify the fiery and robust nature of Hunanese cooking, which makes ample use of chili peppers, garlic, and fermented ingredients.

Street Food and Snacks:
Jianbing: This savory Chinese crepe is a popular breakfast option, consisting of a thin pancake filled with eggs, scallions, cilantro, and various fillings such as crispy fried dough, pickled vegetables, or chili sauce.

Baozi: These steamed buns are filled with a variety of savory or sweet fillings, including pork, vegetables, or red bean paste. Baozi are a popular street food snack and can be found in teahouses, markets, and street stalls across China.

Roujiamo: Often referred to as Chinese Hamburgers, roujiamo features savory braised meat stuffed inside a flatbread, offering a hearty and flavorful snack that's perfect for on-the-go eating.

Dining Etiquette and Customs:
Family-Style Dining: Chinese meals are typically served family-style, with multiple dishes shared among diners seated around a table. It's customary to use chopsticks to pick up food from communal dishes and to serve elders before oneself.

Toasting and Ganbei: When dining with Chinese hosts, expect toasts (ganbei) with alcohol, usually baijiu (Chinese liquor). It's polite to reciprocate the toast and drink in moderation, but declining politely is acceptable if you don't drink alcohol.

Tea Culture: Tea is an integral part of Chinese dining culture, with a wide variety of teas available to complement different dishes. Green tea, oolong tea, and pu'er tea are among the most popular choices, and serving tea to guests is a sign of hospitality and respect.

Street Markets and Night Markets:
Wangfujing Snack Street, Beijing: Located near the Forbidden City, this bustling street market offers a wide variety of traditional snacks, street food, and local delicacies. Visitors can sample everything from scorpions on a stick to traditional Beijing snacks like Jianbing and Tanghulu (candied fruit skewers).

Shanghai Old Street, Shanghai: Nestled in the heart of the city's historic district, Shanghai Old Street is a bustling marketplace where visitors can explore narrow alleyways lined with traditional shops, street vendors, and food stalls. From steamed dumplings and stinky tofu to hand-pulled noodles and sugar-coated haws, there's something to satisfy every craving.

Dietary Considerations:
Vegetarian and Vegan Options: While Chinese cuisine traditionally features a wide range of meats and animal products, vegetarian and vegan options are becoming increasingly available, especially in larger cities and tourist destinations. Buddhist restaurants (????, ssh c?nt?ng) often offer meat-free versions of classic dishes, and plant-based ingredients like tofu, mushrooms, and seasonal vegetables are widely used in Chinese cooking.

Exploring the diverse and delicious world of Chinese cuisine is an essential part of any visit to China. From regional specialties and street food snacks to dining etiquette and cultural customs, the culinary landscape of China offers a rich tapestry of flavors, traditions, and experiences that are sure to delight and inspire visitors from around the world. Bon apptit!.

ChongQing map

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Or Tofu, as they say in HK / West. With chick peas, Shiitake mushrooms, chili oil and SiChuan peppercorns ... Chili oil ... Wil Yeung : Ingredients: 4 dried shiitake mushrooms 2 1/2 cups water 3 sticks green onion 1 cup canned chickpeas 1lb soft or medium firm tofu 2 pieces garlic 1 small piece ginger 1-2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns (or black peppercorns) 3 tbsp chili oil (https://youtu.be/DUDKIcYltZA) 1 tsp chili powder 2 tbsp doubanjiang (Chinese broad bean chili paste) 1 tsp cane sugar 1 tbsp soy sauce splash of rice vinegar 1 tbsp potato starch + 1 tbsp water Directions: 1. Place the dried shiitake mushrooms in a small saucepan and add in the water. Cover and bring to a boil 2. Chop the green onion. Roughly crush the chickpeas with a fork 3. When the water comes to a boil, simmer on medium for 10min 4. Drain out the tofu and carefully slice into cubes 5. Pour out and reserve the mushroom water. Cool down the mushrooms with cold water and squeeze out the liquid. Then, remove the stalks from the mushrooms and finely dice 6. Finely chop the garlic and ginger 7. Heat up a sauté pan to medium heat. Toast the peppercorns for 1min. Then, grind down the peppercorn in a pestle and mortar 8. Place the pan back onto medium heat. Add the chili oil 9. Sauté the chickpeas and mushrooms for 1-2min. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for another minute 10. Add in the chili powder, crushed peppercorn, and the doubanjiang. Give the pan a good stir, then add in the reserved mushroom water 11. Add in the cane sugar, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Give the pan a stir 12. Make a slurry by combining the potato starch with 1 tbsp water 13. Slowly pour in the slurry while stirring 14. Add in the tofu and gently stir around them 15. Plate and garnish with the chopped green onion Bonus film - vegan Dan Dan Mian (noodles) ... Ingredients: 4 broccolini 1 large piece garlic small piece ginger 2 sticks green onion 1/2 cup canned chickpeas small bunch canned bamboo 2 tbsp white sesame paste (or tahini) 3 tbsp soy sauce 3 tbsp chili oil (https://youtu.be/DUDKIcYltZA) 1 portion Chinese wheat noodles or udon 1/2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorn drizzle of grapeseed oil 1 tsp liquid smoke 2-3 tbsp crushed roasted peanuts 1 tbsp white sesame seeds Directions: 1. Chop the broccolini into bit sized pieces. Finely chop the garlic and ginger. Chop the green onion separating the white part from the green 2. Roughly mash the chickpeas in a small bowl with a fork. Slice the canned bamboo 3. Bring a small pot of water to boil for the noodles 4. Make the sauce by combining the sesame paste, 2 tbsp soy sauce, chili oil, and the green part of the green onions 5. Boil the noodles to package instructions 6. Heat up a sauté pan on medium heat and toast the peppercorns for 45sec 7. Crush the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar. Place the pan back on the heat and drizzle some grapeseed oil 8. Add the garlic, ginger, and green onion 9. Add the broccolini and sauté for 3-4min 10. Add the chickpeas, bamboo, and liquid smoke. Sauté for 4min 11. Add the crushed peppercorns and 1 tbsp soy sauce. Give it a good stir, then turn off the heat. When the noodles are cooked, strain out the water 12. Pour the prepped sauce into the serving bowl 13. Add the noodles into the sauce and top with the sautéed veggies 14. Top with the crushed peanuts and sesame seeds ORDER YOUR SIGNED VEGAN RAMEN COOKBOOK + GET YOUR FREE E-BOOK + TAKE YOUR VEGAN SUSHI MASTERCLASS HERE: https://www.yeungmancooking.com

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