Despite popular belief, Chongqing is more than a river cruise to the Three Gorges. Tucked away between the twisting alleys and towering skyscrapers is a Buddhist temple. Upon the foothills of a mountain there are civil war era prison camps. As the sun sets over the river, the red lanterns of an ancient port town glow to life. Underground shopping malls snake beneath the city replacing the bomb shelters that protected locals during the Japanese invasions of World War II. The landscape and history of this place have created a culture that is in your face and makes no apologies. In Chongqing, China rushes up at you from every corner and has not lost itself yet to a wave of globalism or commercialization.
Currently there is not a single English guide in print that does Chongqing justice when it comes to tourism. One particularly heavily relied upon guide only lists about four sites in the city and the “city map” used cuts out 75% of the city proper. This is no doubt largely due to the fact that many sites are not actually geared towards foreign tourists. Few have English names and even fewer have English resources or translations available inside once you manage to find them. In the last few years, however, many sites have been renovated and improved to make them more tourist friendly. Take advantage of the fact that Chongqing is not yet a hotbed for tourism. Entrance fees are still reasonable (compare some of the following to the steep prices you’ll encounter in Xi’an and Beijing) and few places have souvenir hawkers shadowing you at every corner. People talk about tiny, undiscovered villages, isn’t it about time people discovered this city of millions?Hours & Admission Fees: Unless otherwise specified most tourist sites open around 9 am and close around 5-6 pm. Ticket prices are subject to change (there has been a gradual increase on entrance fees in recent years). Prices listed here are current as of 2007.
The following places of interest are grouped by city district, just click on one below to jump directly to that section.