Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chongqing China

No, these are not pictures of New York City.
No, this is not a bridge in Boston.

These are pictures of Chongqing, China.

Chongqing (pronounced Chungking) is a major city in Southwest China. It is what is known in China as a “direct controlled” city and thus not under the governance of any province.  Neighboring provinces are Hubei (east), Hunan (southeast), Guizhou (south), Sichuan (west), Shaanxi (north) . Located at the northern end of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau and the eastern limits of the Sichuan Basin.

Chongqing is intersected by the Jialing River and the upper reaches of the Yangtze. It contains the Daba Mountains in the north, the Wu Mountains in the east, the Wuling Mountains in the southeast, and the Dalou Mountains in the south. The city is very hilly and as a result is unusual in China for its lack of significant numbers of bicycles. (Wikipedia)

It’s been Open to the world to the world for a long time.

In 1890, the Consulate General of UK was open in Chongqing

In 1891, Chongqing became the first inland commerce port open to foreigners.

In 1896, the French Consulate General was open in Chongqing

In 1896, the Japanese Consulate General was open in Chongqing

In 1896, the US Consulate General was open in Chongqing

In 1904, the German Consulate General was open in Chongqing

Chongqing has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate, and for most of the year experiences very humid conditions. Known as one of the "Three Furnaces" of the Yangtze River, along with Wuhan and Nanjing, its summers are long and among the hottest and most humid in China, with highs of 91 to 93 °F in July and August in the urban area. Winters are short and somewhat mild, but damp and overcast. The city's location in the Sichuan Basin causes it to have one of the lowest sunshine totals annually in China, at only 1055 hours. Chongqing, with over 100 days of fog per year, is also known as the "Fog City", and a thick layer of fog shrouds it for 68 days per year during the spring and autumn.

The municipality has a population of 32.8 million, including 23.3 million farmers. Among them, 8.4 million farmers have become migrant workers, including 3.9 million working and living in urban areas of Chongqing. Chongqing has become urbanized and its industries have now diversified. Unlike eastern China, its export sector is small due to its inland location. Instead, Chongqing factories produce local-oriented consumer goods such as processed food, autos, chemicals, textiles, machinery and electronics are common. In fact, Chongqing is China's third largest centre for motor vehicle production and the largest for motorcycles.

Chongqing is a major transportation hub in southwestern China. The municipality now has 25 bridges across the Yangtze River including half a dozen in the city's urban core. It has a metro rail line and a monorail, as well as a bus system. There are two cable car rides across the Yangtze River.

Chongqing is the biggest inland river port in western China. Historically, most of its transportation, especially to eastern China, is via the Yangtze River. In recent years the amount of trading has increased because of the huge reservior created behind The Three Gorges Dam. Chongqing is also the launching point for scenic boat trips down the Yangtze River through the Three Gorges Dam.

The language is Mandarin.

The city has many historical sites and tourist attractions including:
  • The Dazu Rock Carvings, in Dazu county, are a series of Chinese religious sculptures and carvings, dating back as far as the 7th century A.D., depicting and influenced by Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist beliefs. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Dazu Rock Carvings are made up of 75 protected sites containing some 50,000 statues, with over 100,000 Chinese characters forming inscriptions and epigraphs
  • The Three Natural Bridges and Furong Cave in Wulong Karst National Geology Park, Wulong County are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Ciqikous is a 1000-year-old town in the Shapingba District of Chongqing. It is also known as Little Chongqing. The town was at one time an important source of chinawares. 

    • Fishing City, also called the “Oriental Mecca” and “the Place That Broke God's Whip”, is one of the three great ancient battlefields of China (1127–1279) and the location where the Mongol leader Mongke Khan died in 1259.
    • Xueyu Cave in Fengdu County is the only example of a pure-white, jade-like cave in China.
    • A modern and well stocked zoo exhibits many national and regional animals, including the Giant Panda and the extremely rare South China tiger.

The culinary specialty of Chongqing is Hotpot, and is its claim to fame.  All food is spicy, and there are noodle shops and fine restaurants that serve spicy fish, pork and beef dishes.  Chongqing also has Italian, Indian, and Sushi restaurants.  There are several Starbucks and even a Haagen Dazs Ice Cream.

There are hundreds of hotels as well hostels.

Crown Plaza

New Years in China is from January 22 to February 6 when basically everything is closed and everyone is on the move to go home and visit relatives. The Fireworks are so large and loud, as well as almost constant during the evening of January 22, that you would think you were in a war zone.


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