Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chongqing A Gems of Yangtze River Route

OVERVIEW : In 1997, Chongqing became a special municipality under the direct control of central Government in Beijing, affectively marking its birth as a city.  Bringing together three former counties of Sichuan Province, Chongqing has an estimated total population of around 30 million, making it the largest city in China, and one of the world’s most populous urban centres.
Situated on steep slopes over-looking the convergence of the Jialingjiang River and the majestic Yangtse, Chongqing was opened as a treaty port as long ago as 1890, though still has been relatively untouched by foreign influence.  During World War II it became the Kuomintang Capital following their retreat from Nanjing and swelled in size as refugees flooded in.  Throughout the following years, Chongqing’s continued growth was fuelled by its key location on a number of trading routes.

The fascinating recent history of Chongqing makes for some excellent museums, and here is a heady and rich mixture of Chinese cuisines and cultures to enjoy within the narrow alleys of this heaving megalopolis.

Chongqing attracts visitors from home and abroad for its cultural heritage and tourist attractions. Located at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing, these two great rivers define Chongqing as a city. The moutains that surround the city also geographically define Chongqing as a mountain city. This unique geography makes Chongqing a charming city to tour and provides many attractive resorts. Chongqing is well known for her beautiful scenery and delectable delacacies throughout China.

Atractions include: Gold Buddhist Mountain in downtown Chongqing, a rich haven for diverse plants and animals; ancient Ci Qi Kou Village lures tourists to linger in its streets and to buy handicrafts as souvenirs; Northern Hot Springs Park, a national plant garden; Wansheng's beautiful natural scenery ; ChongqingMuseum of Natural History; Chongqing ArhatTemple; and People's Assembly Hall to just name a few. Chongqing at night is a wonderful scene. From a bird's eye view on a high place on the southern bank, the peninsula becomes a sea of lights and the river is dominated by the Dragon Palace.

The outskirts of Chongqing and the surrounding area also boast many famous sites to visit such as: the Ghost City in Fengdu, an ancient town according to Chinese legend; the Dazu Grottoes containing valuable works of art carved during the ninth century; and Fishing Town, one of only three ancient battlefields in China. Chongqing is also the starting point for the Yangtze River Cruise, that explores the stunning scenery of the Three Gorges.

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