It was my first trip to the city of Chongqing, in the Sichuan province. Chongqing is a port city situated in the south-east of the Sichuan Basin between the Yangtze and Jialing River.The municipality, one of four directly administered by the central government, has some 33 million inhabitants. The place is known for its hot & spicy food (especially the famous Chongqing Hot Pot) and for being the place where those intending to take a cruise down the Yangtze River and see the Three Gorges Dam, usually begin their journey.
We were most fortunate to have had Fiona Liu, a Chongqing local, as our tour guide. She spoke perfect (and I really mean PERFECT !) English, and was very knowledgable about the city. She brought us to many interesting places and educated us with many facts about the city. I thoroughly recommend her as a guide to anyone wishing to visit Chongqing. You can email me for her contact.
Historically, Chongqing was the wartime capital of China during the Second Sino-Japanese war (1937-1945). Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek made it his base, and the city was heavily bombed by the Japanese planes. Fortunately, due to its mountainous environment, many people were saved from the bombing. One can still see some old air-raid shelters in the hillside. In late November 1949, the Nationalist KMT government led by Chiang Kai-shek, under attack by the Communist forces, fled the city and went over to Taiwan.
Recent statistics reveal that Chongqing is one of the fastest growing cities in China, and indeed everywhere in the city, one can see huge construction projects being carried out. The China central government is also trying to develop Chongqing as a major financial centre.
We visited the China Three Gorges Museum, which was right across from the Great Hall of the People, separated by a huge square where residents were exercising, strolling about or socialising with one another..