Chongqing Beckons

After working too hard for too long, I have finally managed to get to another city in the vastness of China. This time it was off to Chongqing, another one of China’s “three furnaces”, so named because of the high temperatures during summer. Unfortunately, when I arrived in Chongqing it was a dreary day with cold temperatures and drizzle. Regardless of the weather, I absolutely loved Chongqing.

After arriving at my hotel, I headed off for a wander around the center of Chongqing. I wandered a few of the back-alleys filled with street vendors before heading off to what was deemed by the internet as Chongqing’s greatest ex-pat pub. I was hoping to find out some details of what to do in Chongqing and how but it turned out that Monday was not a popular night at Dee-Dee’s. Instead, I spent a pleasant few hours chatting in bad English and bad Chinese to the bar staff.

A sign in the hotel bathroom

Chongqing’s Liberation Monument

The next day I headed off to the Chongqing zoo to get a long-awaited view of a panda. They are incredibly fantastic animals and I spent a long-time viewing their eating habits.

I then headed off for Dazu (“the site with some of the most celebrated Buddhist cave sculptures and grotto art”). After a minor problem with Chinese language (apparently there are two places called Dazu that differ only by tones and tourist attractions) I was on a local bus for the three hour drive out of the city. On arrival at Dazu, I jumped onto a motorcycle taxi and headed up the hill to the entrance of Baoding Shan (Treasured Summit Hill).

The drive was definately well worth it as the carvings and sculptures were absolutely amazing. I took plenty of photos but they don’t adequately describe the size of the sculptures and the finesse of the carvings. That said, here are a few pictures so that you can have a look for yourselves.

Headed back to my hotel for a great night’s sleep in my huge bed with every plan to get up early in the morning. For once, I got up early but somehow managed to fiddle around and still only left the hotel at 11. Anyway, the third day saw a trip to the Red Cliff Village, offices and living quarters of the Communist representatives to the Kuomintang. I won’t bore you with too many details but the best part of the (open-air) museum was the offices of the staff at the time.

Office of Chou Enlai

Office of Mao Zedong
(Chairman Mao)

The Radio Room

After this, I headed back into the CBD and went shopping for a few hours until it was time to board the boat for the cruise.

Night view of Chongqing