Hot pot, transportation and more, in ChongQing 重庆

Two CGTN Travelogue episodes with Megan Zhang.

Megan looks at the history and modernity of ChongQing hot pot and the modern transport links that connect together this city in the mountainous hills ...


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.

ChongQing map

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Mount Hua, or HuaShan, is one of China's Five Great Mountains, renowned for its steep trails, breathtaking views, and significant Taoist history. Located in Shaanxi Province, near the city of Huayin, Huashan attracts adventurers and pilgrims alike. This guide provides an in-depth look at the best attractions, activities, and tips for visiting Huashan. Top Attractions The Five Peaks of Huashan Mount Hua consists of five main peaks, each offering unique scenery and experiences: East Peak (Zhaoyang Peak): Known as the "Sunrise Peak," it is the best spot to watch the sunrise. West Peak (Lianhua Peak): Also called the "Lotus Peak," it is famous for its striking rock formations that resemble a lotus flower. South Peak (Luoyan Peak): The highest of the five peaks at 2,154 meters, offering panoramic views. North Peak (Yuntai Peak): Known as the "Cloud Terrace Peak," it serves as the starting point for many hikes. Central Peak (Yunv Peak): Also known as the "Jade Maiden Peak," it is named after a Taoist legend. Huashan Plank Walk The Huashan Plank Walk is one of the most thrilling attractions on the mountain. The narrow wooden walkway is attached to the sheer cliff face of the South Peak, offering an adrenaline-pumping experience and stunning views. Chess Pavilion Perched on a precarious rock, the Chess Pavilion is a small structure with legendary associations. According to legend, it is where a deity played chess with a mortal. Taoist Temples Mount Hua is home to several ancient Taoist temples, including the Jade Spring Temple at the base of the mountain and the Yuquan Temple. These temples are important pilgrimage sites and offer a glimpse into the mountain's spiritual significance. Geology of Huashan Mount Hua is part of the Qinling Mountain range and is primarily composed of granite. The mountain's distinctive steep slopes and sharp peaks are the result of tectonic uplift and erosion over millions of years. The granite rock faces provide both a dramatic landscape and a challenging environment for climbers. Touring Huashan Planning Your Visit Visiting Huashan requires careful planning due to its challenging terrain and the variety of routes available. A typical visit can take one to two days, depending on the routes and peaks you choose to explore. Here is a suggested itinerary: Day 1: North Peak and the Plank Walk Morning: Take the cable car from the East Gate to the North Peak. Spend the morning exploring the North Peak and its surrounding trails. Afternoon: Head towards the South Peak for the Huashan Plank Walk. Ensure you have the proper safety gear and follow all safety instructions. Evening: Consider spending the night on the mountain at one of the guesthouses or temples to experience the sunrise from one of the peaks. Day 2: The Five Peaks Early Morning: Watch the sunrise from the East Peak. Mid-Morning: Hike to the Central Peak, then continue to the West Peak to see the Lotus Flower Rock. Afternoon: Ascend to the South Peak, the highest peak, for panoramic views. Descend back to the North Peak and take the cable car down. Activities and Experiences Hiking Huashan offers challenging hikes with rewarding views. Trails are steep and can be narrow, requiring a good level of fitness and caution. Popular routes include the ascent from the East Gate to the North Peak and the circular route covering the five peaks. Photography The dramatic landscapes of Huashan provide excellent opportunities for photography. Key spots include the sunrise from the East Peak, the Plank Walk on the South Peak, and the panoramic views from the highest point. Local Cuisine After a day of hiking, try local Shaanxi cuisine, known for its hearty and flavorful dishes. 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Tickets and Passes Purchase entrance tickets at the mountain's gates. There are separate tickets for the cable cars and the Plank Walk. Consider buying a multi-day pass if you plan to explore all five peaks. Guides and Tours Hiring a local guide can enhance your experience by providing insights into the mountain's history, culture, and geology. Many tour operators offer packages that include transportation, tickets, and guided tours.
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