Chongqing

Chongqing 2024: Your Ultimate Guide to the Top 21 Activities

Chongqing, where you’ll find the most authentic and mouthwatering Chongqing hot pot, the most intriguing landscapes, and the friendliest locals. Your trip here is bound to be one for the books, unforgettable and all!

Just returned from a fantastic 7-day trip to Chongqing with my buddies, and let me tell you, it didn’t break the bank. I’ve explored many cities, but when it comes to a blend of fun, delicious eats, and budget-friendliness, Chongqing takes the cake!

In this blog, I’ve listed 21 fun activities, accommodation options, and all the lip-smacking food I devoured in Chongqing, with the hope that it’ll be super useful for future travelers checking out this awesome city!

You might also be interested in:
Top 22 Local Chongqing Hot Pot Restaurants for 2023

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can learn more about this in my disclosure policy.

🌟Chongqing Travel Planning Guide

Considering a last-minute trip to Chongqing?

🇨🇳 Top Activities and Tours in Chongqing:

1. Chongqing Wulong National Park Private Tour
2. Dazu Ancient Rock Carvings Private Tour Extension
3. All-In-One Chongqing Trendy Spots Private Tour
4. Yangtze River Cruise from Chongqing to Yichang in 4 Days 3 Nights


🏨Top Hotels in Chongqing:

Niccolo Chongqing (⭐️ 4.8 luxury)
Regent Chongqing (⭐️ 4.8 luxury)
InterContinental Chongqing Raffles City (⭐️ 4.8 luxury)
Qianhe Zhixuan Gaokong Hotel (⭐️ 4.8 budget-friendly)

🌐Make sure to install ExpressVPN in advance for unrestricted internet access during your stay in China!

🌏 Where is Chongqing Located

Chongqing is a major city located in the southwestern part of China. It is situated in the Sichuan Basin at the confluence of the Yangtze River and the Jialing River. Known for its unique geography, Chongqing is surrounded by hills and mountains, making it a city with dramatic landscapes. It serves as a gateway to the Three Gorges region and is an important economic and transportation hub in western China.

👑 Top Must-Visit Places in Chongqing

1. Hongya Cave (洪崖洞)

Hongya Cave

Hongya Cave stands as Chongqing’s most acclaimed attraction, earning its place as the top “must-see” spot due to its distinctive architecture and breathtaking nighttime scenery. Nighttime at Hongya Cave is especially enchanting, with vibrant lights adorning the 11-story edifice and offering a prime destination for savoring Chongqing’s cuisine and exploring its nightlife.

Despite its name, “Hongya Cave” is far from an actual cave; rather, it is an extensive stilted housing complex perched on the steep cliff along the Jialing River. This ancient structure, with a history spanning over two millennia, bears a striking resemblance to the bathhouse featured in the film “Spirited Away.”

Notably, Hongya Cave spans 11 floors, and what’s intriguing is that it features substantial walkways connecting the first and eleventh floors, adding to its sense of wonder. Serving as a shopping mall, Hongya Cave not only provides access to Chongqing’s local cuisine and souvenirs but also serves as an excellent place to immerse oneself in Chongqing’s Old Street ambiance and relish the picturesque views of the Yangtze River and the Jialing River.

📌Exploring the 11th Level of Hongya Cave

1st Floor: You’ll find this spot on Binjiang Road, offering a panoramic view of Hongya Cave that’s perfect for photography.

2nd Floor: Here, you can explore antique calligraphy and paintings for sale. It’s a quieter spot, but a hidden gem for collectors and literature enthusiasts.

3rd Floor: Stroll through an old-style street selling souvenirs and various interesting items.

4th Floor: Your taste buds are in for a treat. This floor houses a food court with a variety of local snacks, including the famous hot pot base. Prices might be a tad higher than elsewhere, though.

5th-8th Floors: The four floors are dedicated to restaurants. You’ll find options ranging from hot pot to international cuisine and Chongqing’s unique culinary offerings.

9th-10th Floors: If you’re into a lively atmosphere or prefer a quiet escape, head to the bar and coffee street. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the city’s beautiful scenery.

11th Floor: The Hongyadong Hotel, a top spot for capturing panoramic views of Hongya Cave from above.

📷Best Spots for Viewing Hongya Cave

A fantastic spot for viewing Hongya Cave is situated just across the road from the first floor of the cave. This location offers a broad perspective and easy mobility. From here, you can capture Hongya Cave in great detail under the bright lights while exploring various angles.

Adjacent to Hongya Cave stands the Qiansimen Bridge, which provides the ideal position for taking a panoramic view of the cave. This perspective involves capturing Hongya Cave from an elevated diagonal angle, showcasing the brilliance of the building lights against the lively cityscape in the background.

By crossing the Jialing River from the Qiansimen Bridge and positioning yourself on the opposite side of Hongya Cave, you can include the brightly illuminated Hongya Cave, the bustling core of Chongqing in the background, the stunning Qianjiamen Bridge, and the Jialing River in the foreground. Even though Hongya Cave only occupies a small portion of the frame from this angle, its illuminated silhouette forms a striking contrast with the modern buildings behind it.

💡Tips for Visiting Hongya Cave

  • The nightscape is typically from 18:00 to 22:00, but please note that the timing may vary occasionally.
  • Hongya Cave is conveniently located near the Jiefangbei CBD and is easily accessible on foot.
  • Keep in mind that Hongya Cave tends to get quite crowded at night, so be prepared for the crowds.

🚗How to get there: Take metro line 1 or line 6 and get off at Xiaoshizi Station; use Exit 6 and walk about 700 meters to arrive.

2. Ciqikou Ancient Town (磁器口古镇)

Ciqikou Ancient Town

In every city, you’ll find a commercial street that showcases local flavors – like Wangfujing Street in Beijing, Broad and Narrow Alley in Chengdu, Hubu Alley in Wuhan, and, of course, Chongqing’s very own Ciqikou.

Ciqikou is renowned for its bustling atmosphere, and you’ll sense it as soon as you step off the subway. The place is always bustling, with both out-of-towners and locals eager to explore.

The sidewalks at the town’s entrance are remarkably narrow. Don’t assume that entering the ancient town will grant you solitude; it’s a constant flow of people.

Upon entering, you’ll spot a popular Chen Mahua shop. As you delve deeper, you’ll encounter various snack vendors and stores selling handmade silver jewelry and paper-cutting crafts. Some alleys feature art studios and teahouses.

Food options are abundant, ranging from Chinese doughnuts and roasted glutinous rice cakes to roasted pork knuckles and even roti canai. Don’t forget the famous Ancient Town Chicken Offal Shop. If you’re feeling peckish, indulge in these delightful snacks.

You’ll also find numerous quaint teahouses with similar pricing. If you come across one that suits your taste and offers a pleasant atmosphere, it’s an ideal spot to rest.

The labyrinthine streets reveal charming surprises at every turn. Perhaps you’ll stumble upon a hidden ancient courtyard or a street-side music bar where singers strum guitars and sing their hearts out. Countless unique treasures quietly await discovery on various shop counters.

🚗How to get there: Take metro line 1 and get off at Ciqikou Station.

3. Jiefangbei CBD (解放碑)

Jiefangbei CBD

Jiefangbei CBD, also known as Jiefangbei Pedestrian Street or Jiefangbei Square, stands as one of Chongqing’s most renowned landmarks. It’s widely recognized as the city’s most bustling area, truly earning its status as a thriving commercial hub.

Jiefangbei Square is consistently teeming with people, attracting countless tourists daily who flock here to capture the essence of this place through photographs. During the day, Jiefangbei Square is characterized by its modern high-rise buildings, imparting a contemporary vibe. By nightfall, it transforms into the epicenter of nightlife for both Chongqing residents and tourists.

Here’s why it’s a top choice:

Accommodation: For first-time visitors to Chongqing, we recommend staying in Jiefangbei CBD. It offers a diverse range of lodging options, from five-star hotels to budget-friendly hostels.

Transportation: Jiefangbei CBD enjoys close proximity to multiple subway stations, such as Linjiangmen, Jiaochangkou, and Xiaoshizi. These stations are just a short walk from Jiefangbei CBD, ensuring convenient access.

Shopping: The area is replete with shopping centers like Zhongbai Building, Chongqing Times Square, and New World Department Store. You’ll find a comprehensive selection of brand-name stores for your shopping needs.

Dining: Bayilu Road Food Street and Jiaochangkou Night Market are situated a brief stroll away from Jiefangbei CBD. These culinary hubs bring together an extensive array of Chongqing’s iconic dishes, including hot and sour rice noodles, hot pot, iced powder, and more.

🚗How to get there: Take the metro line 1 and get off at Jiaochangkou Station and get out from Exit 3.

4. Nanshan Tree Viewing Platform (南山一棵树)

Nanshan Tree Viewing Platform

The Nanshan Tree Viewing Platform, situated around an ancient ficus virens in Chongqing, takes its name from this very tree. This deck provides the finest vantage point for admiring the city’s nighttime panorama, offering sweeping views of Chongqing’s mountains, waters, the river weaving amidst towering structures, and the bustling bridge scenes.

When compared to other nocturnal cityscapes in Chongqing, the Nanshan Tree Viewing Platform boasts a broader, unobstructed perspective. From a distance, the city, encircled by the river, resembles a glittering treasure island in the heart of the night, presenting a truly stunning sight.

Within the scenic area, you have the option to enjoy the nighttime view either on the open-air platform or inside the observation hall, both offering exceptional views.

💡Tips for Visiting Nanshan Tree Viewing Platform

🚗Getting to the Nanshan Tree Viewing Platform can be somewhat challenging due to the winding mountain roads. Taking a taxi is the recommended mode of transportation.

It’s advisable to visit in the evening, although this is when it tends to be crowded with tourists.

Keep in mind that foggy weather can diminish the scenic views, so it’s best to plan your visit on clear days.

🎫Admission ticket: CNY 30
📍Location: Longhuang Road, Nan’an District

5. Yangtze River Cableway (长江索道)

Yangtze River Cableway

If you’re looking for a cool way to experience Chongqing, make sure to put the Yangtze River Cableway on your to-do list. This cable car, which spans the Yangtze River running through the city, is pretty unique.

Local Chongqing folks see it as just another mode of transportation, no different from buses or trains. But for many visitors from outside the city, hopping on this ropeway is like a crash course in Chongqing culture.

It’s like getting into a giant flying box that can fit loads of people. You’re soaring over the Yangtze River, taking in the clear views of the scenery on either side, and as you move along, the scenery changes, like you’re on a magical time-traveling adventure.

Now, there are two entrances to the cableway, one in the north and one in the south. Here’s the deal with each:

🔴North Entrance:

  • Pros: It’s right next to Jiefangbei CBD and Hongya Cave, so you won’t have trouble finding it. Plus, getting there is a breeze.
  • Cons: Be ready for longer lines compared to the south entrance.

🚗How to get there: Take Chongqing Rail Transit Line 1 to Xiaoshizi Station, leave through Exit 5B, and follow the path to Xinhua Road to reach the Cableway North Entrance.

🔴South Entrance:

  • Pros: Fewer folks in line here, which is nice.
  • Cons: It’s not as convenient when it comes to traffic, and finding it might be a bit tricky.

🚗How to get there: Take metro line 6 to Shangxinjie Station, use Exit 2, and head down Shangxin Street to arrive at the Cableway South Station.

🎫Admission ticket: CNY20 for one way, CNY 30 for round trip
⏰Opening hours: 7:30-22:30 (3.1-10.31) / 7:30-21:30 (11.1-2.28)

6. Mountain City Footpath (山城步道)

Mountain City Footpath

When I first set foot on the Mountain City Footpath, it took me by surprise in the best way. It had that authentic old Chongqing charm I’d been searching for.

As for the third path, it’s pretty much deserted these days, except for the occasional visitor. There’s this cool elevated boardwalk clinging to a steep cliff – the only one of its kind in Chongqing. On the other side, you’ve got the Yangtze River, making it a sweet spot for river-gazing.

Most of the buildings along the route used to be homes, but they’ve been mostly torn down, and only a handful of families still reside there. Even though it’s pretty quiet with not many tourists around, you can almost transport yourself back to the lively vibes of this trail from decades ago.

As you walk along Chongqing’s ancient city wall, snaking up the mountainside, and glance back, you’re treated to breathtaking views of the Yangtze River’s southern bank. It’s all so stunning, a feast for the eyes. And below, there’s this precipice with a road, where you can watch the world go by – it’s just a different kind of relaxation.

🚗How to get there: Take Line 1 or Line 2 to Jiaochangkou Station, use exit 4. Take a right and walk about 400 meters to get there.

7. Huguang Guild Hall (湖广会馆)

Huguang Guild Hall

Step back in time and explore Huguang Guild Hall, a historical gem from the Qing Dynasty, with a rich past of over 300 years. Nestled within the bustling city of Chongqing, this place is like a poetic escape. The entire complex is adorned with intricate carvings and paintings, showcasing the remarkable craftsmanship of China’s Ming and Qing dynasties. Most of the buildings here follow the courtyard layout typical of that era, making it a real architectural and artistic treasure.

Now, for the must-see places:

Yuwang Temple: This is Huguang Guild Hall’s grand old structure, where you’ll find a colossal 5-meter-high bronze statue of King Yu, weighing a whopping 2 tons. It’s a vivid showcase of the Qing Dynasty architectural style.

Huguang Repopulation of Sichuan Migration Movement Museum: It’s China’s pioneering immigration-themed museum, housing a treasure trove of daily items from the migration era. If you’re curious about the Huguang Migration Movement and its legendary tales, don’t skip this museum.

Guangdong House: This is where you’ll discover the largest theater in the guild hall. It’s a wooden beauty with a light green and yellow glazed tile roof. The stage railings are meticulously carved with traditional Chinese opera stories like “Journey to the West” and “Romance of the Western Chamber.”

Qi’an House: Built by folks from Hubei Province during the Qing Dynasty, this is the best-preserved building in the Chongqing Huguang Guild Hall complex. Among the intricate wood carvings surrounding the theater, “Xinghua Village” is a standout and definitely worth a visit.

🎫Admission ticket: CNY 25
⏰Opening hours: 09:00-18:30
🚗How to get there: Take Metro Line 1 to Xiaoshizi Station, use exit 8.

8. Longmenhao Old Street (龙门浩老街)

Longmenhao Old Street

Longmenhao Old Street used to be the original embassy hotspot in Chongqing, home to the Italian and American embassies, plus a bunch of foreign companies. That mix gives the place a cool, exotic vibe. It’s like part old-school courtyard style, part European town chic. Most cities keep these styles in separate zip codes, but not Chongqing – it’s got that special magic!

There’s this awesome viewing platform where you can catch the best view in town – the stunning Dongshuimen Bridge and the whole city panorama.

When hunger strikes, the snack street in Old Street has all the Chongqing goodies you could want. And if you’re into stylish joints, the restaurants, tea houses, cafes, and bookstores here have got it going on. They even flipped the old US Embassy into a café, a prime spot to kick back and soak in the vibes.

Here’s a tip from the locals: the Old Street’s got two totally different vibes during the day and at night. Generally, once the sun goes down, from 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM, it lights up and becomes the perfect spot to snap some killer night shots.

🚗How to get there: Take Metro Line 6 to Shangxinjie Station.

9. Eling No. 2 Factory (鹅岭二厂)

Eling No. 2 Factory

In China, nearly every major city boasts its own cultural and creative industrial art zone, like Beijing’s 798 Art Zone, Guangzhou’s Redtory, and Chongqing’s Eling No. 2 Factory. They each have a distinctive artistic flair.

Eling No. 2 Factory, once the central banknote printing machine factory during the Republic of China era, and later transformed into the Chongqing printing factory, was responsible for Chongqing’s color printing from the 1950s to the 1970s. As time marched on, the factory closed its doors. But a few years back, it underwent a remarkable transformation while preserving its nostalgic factory charm, morphing into a vibrant hub for young artists.

Today, it’s a bustling amalgamation of art spaces, featuring not only a myriad of quaint shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants but also regularly hosting various exhibitions and events.

Eling No. 2 Factory proudly retains its industrial roots. These old factory buildings keep the authentic look of single-family old structures while incorporating a touch of modern design and artistic style. This fusion of the old and the new gives the place a unique character.

Whether you’re browsing a designer’s boutique, sipping tea in an artist’s teahouse, or indulging in Chongqing’s special snacks, each place here offers its own charm, making it a magnet for tourists.

🎫Admission ticket: Free
🚗How to get there: Take No. 829/3201 bus to Yinshua Erchuang Station and walk about 36 meters to get there.

10. Jiaotong Teahouse (交通茶馆)

Jiaotong Teahouse

The teahouse is incredibly rustic. Stepping inside, it’s a world apart from the exterior. You’ll find weathered beams, aged tables, floors of uneven concrete, and even tea leaves and melon peels left uncleared for some time. In the center of this cozy chaos are the teahouse’s local artists, animatedly sharing amusing Chongqing dialect jokes with guests who may not fully grasp the punchlines.

By all accounts, the place might seem a bit run-down, but that’s the charm of this authentic old teahouse. It’s not trying to be some overly polished antique or a mishmash of styles. Instead, it exudes a robust vibe of everyday life.

For a mere CNY 10, you can order some Pu’er tea, and it’s refillable for as long as you like. The teahouse’s patrons are mostly regulars, a mix of folks at different stages of life. Some are engrossed in newspapers, some are locked in intense card games, some are deep into mahjong battles, and you’ll also spot curious tourists. It’s a genuinely fascinating spot to soak in local culture and atmosphere.

⏰Opening hours: 07:00-19:00
🚗How to get there: Take bus line 223/233 and get off at Huangjueping Zhengjie Station.

11. Sichuan Fine Arts Institute (四川美术学院)

Sichuan Fine Arts Institute

The Sichuan Fine Arts Institute boasts two campuses, and the old one, located in Huangjueping, a place brimming with art in every nook and cranny. As you wander around the campus, you’ll come across a myriad of vibrant sculptures, many of them crafted by the students themselves, leaving no doubt that you’re in an art school.

Don’t miss out on the Chongqing Art Museum and the Tank Loft Arts Center, right there on campus. Apart from the rich artistic ambiance, you’ll frequently find a diverse range of exhibitions happening.

Outside the school, there’s a graffiti street that’s hard to overlook. This short stretch is like one massive 3D graffiti masterpiece, with buildings, walls, and shops all covered in colorful graffiti.

You’ll also find an abundance of snacks in the area, and the prices are budget-friendly. Most of the patrons are students, so it’s definitely worth trying some of the local treats.

🚗How to get there: Take bus 223/233/441 to Huangjueping Station and walk about 300 meters to get there.

12. Liziba Station (李子坝)

Liziba Station

Liziba? It’s this cool monorail stop on Line 2 of Chongqing Rail Transit. You won’t believe it, but this station isn’t your typical stop – it’s actually inside a 19-story residential building, nestled between the sixth and eighth floors, with stores below and homes above.

It all started back in 2014, Liziba was just a regular stop back then, but because Chongqing has some seriously crazy terrain – like, big ups and downs – it gave birth to this wild cityscape. Especially for folks from flat areas, watching the light rail zoom through a building is like, “Whoa, that’s insane!”

Chongqing locals were already used to this daily spectacle, but in 2018, it blew up on Chinese TikTok. Suddenly, tourists started flooding in, and the locals had an idea – let’s give ’em a spot to snap photos of this mind-blowing sight. So they put together a cool viewing platform for all the visitors to capture this amazing scene.

🚗How to get there: Take bus 829/3201 to Fotuguan Park Bus Stop and walk about 200 meters to get there.

13. Zhongshan Fourth Road (中山四路)

Zhongshan Fourth Road

Zhongshan Fourth Road is often hailed as Chongqing’s most picturesque street, a historical gem steeped in culture. It’s a treasure trove of historical sites, such as Guiyuan Garden, Zhou Enlai’s Former Residence, and the Democratic Parties History Museum of China, making it Chongqing’s ultimate cultural hub.

All these attractions are free for you to explore and capture in photos, letting you soak up a unique historical vibe. Unlike the bustling Hongya Cave and Jiefangbei CBD, this street offers a more authentic taste of Chongqing’s culture, despite its mere 800-meter length.

The road isn’t crowded, and it’s adorned with lush ficus virens trees, creating a tranquil, green oasis. You can easily complete your visit in about half an hour. P.S. This is the only road in Chongqing that doesn’t have bus access 🚌.

🚗How to get there: Take Bus No. 114, 118, 124, and 138 and get off at Shangqingsi Station.

14. Chaotianmen (朝天门)

Chaotianmen

Chaotianmen is situated at the confluence of the Jialing River and the Yangtze River, representing one of Chongqing’s seventeen ancient city gates. It bears the weight of Chongqing’s extensive and profound historical culture. Today, Chaotianmen has been complemented by Raffles Square, featuring a 250-meter-high aerial observation deck, making it one of Chongqing’s new iconic structures.

As a crucial water transport dock, Chaotianmen has played a significant role both in the past and present. Today, it remains a bustling departure point for river cruises. Visitors often choose to commence their journeys from this historical site.

Chongqing locals have a penchant for shopping, and while various commercial districts are appealing, Chaotianmen hold a distinctive status. Along Shaanxi Road leading to Chaotianmen, numerous wholesalers are scattered, offering nearly every imaginable product. Wholesale market prices are more budget-friendly, attracting many vendors for supplies and simultaneously drawing a substantial number of ordinary individuals to browse and select their preferred items.

🚗How to get there: Take Metro Line 1 to Chaotianmen Station.

15. Chongqing Yangtze River Night Cruise Tour

Chongqing Yangtze River Night Cruise Tour

If you’re running short on time and want a convenient way to experience Chongqing, a Night Cruise Tour remains the top pick.

Just grab a night ticket, take a seat on the cruise with a cold beer in hand, and witness Chongqing’s vibrant night scene unfolding before your eyes.

Typically, the cruise journey begins by heading upstream along the Jialing River. It passes landmarks like the Qianjiamen Bridge and the Huanghuayuan Bridge, then circles back to the Chaotianmen Wharf. From there, it sails along the Yangtze River, crosses the Chongqing Yangtze River Bridge, and returns to the wharf. This entire route skirts the liveliest parts of Chongqing, offering a glimpse of nearly all of the city’s iconic night vistas in just an hour.

Whether you’re taking in Chongqing’s night view from the water or land, it’s the bridges that steal the spotlight. These bridges boast sleek, elegant designs and exude a radiant charm under the evening lights. For those aboard the cruise, these glittering bridges fill the night panorama, becoming the most brilliant streaks of light against the dark backdrop.

And don’t miss out on Hongya Cave, a definite must-see. While modern construction techniques no longer necessitate stilt buildings like these, it’s great to see our city’s builders saving and reviving a few of these structures that capture Chongqing’s traditional style amid our modern city.

👉 Book Your Yangtze River Night Cruise Tour on VIATOR

🌼 Top Must-Visit Places Around Chongqing

16. Dazu Rock Carvings (大足石刻)

Dazu Rock Carvings

Dazu Rock Carvings, the sole World Cultural Heritage site in Chongqing and a prominent member of the world’s eight major grottoes, exude a rich historical and cultural allure.

The term “Dazu Rock Carvings” encompasses a cluster of rock carvings across five distinct mountains: Baodingshan, Beishan, Nanshan, Shimenshan, and Shizhuanshan. Of this collection, Baodingshan Rock Carving takes the spotlight as the most renowned and frequently visited. This is thanks to its impressive scale and its role as the quintessential embodiment of Dazu Rock Carvings.

Baodingshan Rock Carving

Baoding Mountain’s stone carvings are primarily focused on Buddha statues, and you’ll find nearly ten thousand Buddha statues etched onto a cliff wall that stretches over 500 meters. What’s remarkable is that no two of these carvings are the same. This extensive display essentially unfolds like a colossal comic strip, narrating almost all the tales documented in Buddhist scriptures.

Among these, you’ll discover the rock carvings of The Eighteenth Hell, where vivid depictions of people enduring harrowing trials in the depths of hell serve as a stark reminder to maintain good intentions.

Other highlights include a stone carving portraying Sakyamuni’s transition into a Buddha, a striking depiction of a reclining Buddha.

Yet, the true gem of Baoding Mountain is the Thousand-Hand Kwan-yin, considered the ultimate national treasure. This statue is a masterpiece that seamlessly blends sculpture, colorful painting, and gilded art. Every hand and the objects they hold are meticulously detailed. To truly appreciate it, it’s recommended to view the statue from both the front and the side.

Beishan Rock Carving

Beishan Rock Carving spotlights Bodhisattva statues, boasting the longest history and preserving a more authentic stone carving art. The statues themselves exhibit distinct personalities, graceful postures, and stunning attire.

According to our tour guide, regular folks carved these Beishan Rock Carvings to express their needs and wishes during their prayers to Buddha. Wealthy individuals carved larger statues, while those with fewer means created smaller ones. These carvings may appear fragmented and unplanned, but they break free from the constraints of traditional Buddhism.

However, these rock carvings are older than those at Baoding Mountain, some have suffered significant damage, and consequently, the site attracts fewer tourists. It’s a relatively small attraction, and you can comfortably explore it in just half an hour.

🎫Admission ticket: CNY 115 for Baodingshan / CNY 70 for Beishan
⏰Opening hours: 08:30-18:00

👉 Book Dazu Rock Carvings Full Day Tour on VIATOR

17. Three Natural Bridges (天生三桥)

Three Natural Bridges

The Three Natural Bridges are situated approximately 2.5 to 3 hours’ drive away from Chongqing’s city center, specifically in the Wulong district. This area is renowned for its three stunning natural stone arch bridges, which go by the names of Tianlong (Sky Dragon) Bridge, Qinglong (Green Dragon) Bridge, and Heilong (Black Dragon) Bridge. It’s an ideal destination for appreciating the breathtaking natural scenery and the characteristic karst landforms.

Tianlong Bridge

The Tianlong Bridge stands out among the three bridges, and it boasts the widest span. Legend has it that these bridges were once malevolent dragons that, with time, melded into the surrounding mountains.

This bridge is distinctive as it’s the sole double-arch bridge among the trio, characterized by one pier and two bridge openings. It appears almost man-made, which showcases nature’s incredible ability to shape itself through the persistent force of flowing water.

There is a labyrinthine cave, rumored to be a hideout for bandits. The main cavern stretches over 400 meters, surrounded by numerous interconnected passages, creating an intricate network of caves within caves.

Tianlong Bridge stands tall, broad, and majestic, set within a complex terrain. It’s conveniently located closest to the scenic area’s entrance, making it a popular spot for visitors to explore and enjoy.

Qinglong Bridge

Climb those wet rock stairs and step into the Qinglong Bridge. When you gaze at the bridge hole in the distance, it appears like a massive knife. This place, where the sky often brings light drizzles, is teeming with thick greenery. The landscape opens up much more, and water gradually collects from the mountaintop, streaming down the rocks to create a small river. This river gently hydrates the surrounding grass and supports the tall trees, presenting a truly enchanting and mesmerizing beauty!

Heilong Bridge

The third bridge, Heilong Bridge, sets itself apart from the first two. It’s not as roomy and well-lit; instead, it’s relatively narrow and long. The bridge’s cave is tall and slender, casting dim lighting inside, giving it the appearance of a black dragon coiled at the cave’s pinnacle, hence its name.

Before this scenic spot was developed, every evening in this area took on a rather gloomy atmosphere. When you add in the peculiar cliffs, eerie mountain silhouettes, and mysterious creatures, it’s no wonder that local villagers would avoid passing through here between 4 and 5 o’clock in the afternoon.

👉 Book Wulong National Park Private Tour on VIATOR

18. Longshui Gorge (龙水峡地缝)

Longshui Gorge

Longshui Gorge is just a ten-minute drive from the Three Natural Bridges Scenic Area. It was formed millions of years ago due to geological movements, showcasing a classic karst landscape.

The gorge features a single road that stretches throughout its length, covering a total of 5 kilometers. Of this, approximately 2 kilometers are open for exploration. To explore, you begin at the entrance, wind your way through, and eventually exit.

The entire adventure takes you along a narrow boardwalk, and as you venture deeper, the rushing water below fills the air with its deafening roar. In the narrowest part of the canyon, only a sliver of sky is visible, making for a truly awe-inspiring and thrilling experience.

Upon completing the trek through the deep gorge and taking an elevator 80 meters above the ground, the doors open to reveal a breathtaking sight: a magnificent waterfall cascading down the cliff wall.

19. Furong Cave (芙蓉洞)

Furong Cave

A mere hour’s drive from Wulong County, roughly 190 kilometers away from downtown Chongqing, lies the breathtaking Furong River. Nestled amidst several lush green mountains, you’ll discover the captivating “Furong Cave” perched atop one of these peaks.

This cave, born more than 1.2 million years ago from Cambrian dolomitic limestone, feels like an otherworldly realm, with its peculiar and astounding sights. The primary cave within this scenic wonderland stretches for 2,700 meters, covering a sprawling 37,000 square meters.

Furong Cave showcases an incredible range of sedimentary features, incorporating elements from over 30 cave types found across the globe. From stone stalactites, stalagmites, and rock waterfalls to hydromagnesite, prehnite, aragonite, and more, this subterranean realm transforms into a vibrant underground art gallery.

The cave’s interior landscape left an indelible mark on me. It offers both the delicate charm of an ancient palace and the traces of time’s relentless erosion. In particular, the colossal stone stalactites, each spanning 15 meters in width and rising 21 meters high, appear as smooth as water streaming down. Yet, right in their midst, a striking crack reveals itself, a result of geological forces.

👉 Book Fairy Mountain Private Tour on Trip

20. Fairy Mountain (仙女山)

Fairy Mountain

Fairy Mountain National Forest Park has a rare alpine grassland scenery in the south. Its grassland, rare immense forest, white snow plateau, verdant grass are called the “four unique” of Fairy Mountain by tourists.

The scenic area is surrounded by trees, hills are connected, and many cattle, sheep and horses are raised. The average temperature of Fairy Mountain is 15°C lower than that of the main city of Chongqing, so it enjoys the reputation of “summer palace of mountain city“.

The boundless forest and grassland form the first pasture in the south, and in the summer, there is a racecourse; in the winter, it is snowy, making it a natural ski resort, and the thick snow hangs on the branches, you can enjoy the wonders of the rime.

And the supporting facilities are enough to standard, we also see that there are four- and five-star hotels, various villa groups and style wooden houses in the scenic area, and many such as horseback riding, skiing, racing, paintball, paragliding, barbecue, camping and other amusement projects are available.

👉 Book Fairy Mountain Private Tour on VIATOR

21. Yangtze River Cruise: Chongqing to Yichang

Yangtze River Cruise

China’s largest river, the Yangtze River, begins its journey on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and flows from west to east through the heart of the country, stretching for over 6,300 kilometers. As it winds its way eastward, it carves through mountains and carves valleys along the eastern edge of the Sichuan Basin, ultimately giving rise to the awe-inspiring and unparalleled natural wonder—the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River.

The Three Gorges constitute a captivating array of natural and cultural wonders between Chongqing and Yichang in the middle reaches of the Yangtze. This stretch spans 193 kilometers and comprises the Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge, and Xiling Gorge, with both sides adorned by towering mountains, sheer cliffs, and breathtaking landscapes.

With the advent of the Three Gorges Dam, this area has become a renowned global tourist destination. Within the Three Gorges region, you’ll find numerous scenic spots, including well-known attractions like the Fengdu Ghost City, Shibaozhai, White Emperor City, Zhang Fei Temple, Shennong Stream, and more.

Navigating by car or bus is impractical due to the rugged terrain, making a cruise tour the ideal way to explore the Yangtze River’s Three Gorges. With this approach, you won’t need to worry about food, lodging, or transportation. Instead, you can savor daily changing scenery from your cabin window and even have onboard guides to provide insightful commentary.

👉 Book Yangtze River Cruise Tour on VIATOR

😋 What to Eat in Chongqing

Chongqing cuisine doesn’t hold back with its spicy hot pot, mala dishes (that tingle your taste buds), zesty Chongqing noodles, and mouthwatering street eats. And of course, you can’t miss out on the scrumptious Chongqing chicken. Check out this list of Chongqing’s must-try delights!

Hot Pot

Chongqing hot pot

When it comes to Chongqing food, the first thing that comes to mind is hot pot. If you are a visitor, the go-to meal when you step into Chongqing is hitting a hot pot joint and immersing yourself in the aromatic haze of beef tallow hot pot.

Chongqing hot pot is all about that rich, red beef tallow broth, delivering a rich and spicy flavor.

As for the dipping sauce, Chongqing hot pot keeps it simple with just a dash of garlic paste mixed into sesame oil.

You’ll find Chongqing hot pots in two styles – either divided into nine-patch or a single, undivided pot, depending on the restaurant’s vibe.

Now, for the must-try items on my hot pot list, the meaty delights include tripe, cow throat, duck gizzard, duck blood, duck intestines, goose intestines, beef slices, and beef balls. If you’re into plant-based options, go for bamboo shoots, Gong Cai, Batata starch, and more.

Chongqing Noodles

Chongqing locals have a deep affection for Chongqing noodles, which rivals their love for hot pot and, in some cases, surpasses it.

Chongqing noodles, locally known as “xiaomian” or 小面, consist of plain noodles adorned with scallions, garlic sauce, red oil, vinegar, and chili peppers. As you’re served, the noodles are bathed in red oil, delivering an initial burst of spicy pepper aroma with each bite, followed by the soothing savor of the broth when you swallow.

These noodles may come topped with braised beef, braised beans, braised pig’s large intestines, or fried meat sauce.

Much like many Chongqing dishes, Chongqing noodles pack a punch with their robust and spicy flavors. Some may wonder why one would indulge in such a fiery dish for breakfast, but Chongqing locals understand that only a bowl of these noodles can kickstart their day with warmth and excitement.

Hot and Sour Rice Noodles

Chongqing’s Hot and Sour Rice Noodles typically feature handmade sweet potato powder, a mixture of sweet potatoes and pea starch as the key ingredients. Usually priced at around CNY 10 per bowl, these noodles are not only affordable but also offer a unique and delectable experience.

The noodles have a distinct combination of slippery, silky, and crunchy textures, and they are served in a broth that’s a complex interplay of spicy, numbing, sour, and umami flavors.

Boiled Fish

In Chongqing, boiled fish is often referred to as spicy fish, and Chongqing-style boiled fish is renowned for its smooth and tender texture, as well as its deliciously pungent and addictive flavor. This dish has the remarkable ability to eliminate any unwanted fishy odors while maintaining the fish’s tender qualities.

Chongqing boiled fish relies on a special dried red pepper native to Chongqing. These peppers are long, and thick, and possess a fresh, less seedy, spicy-sweet flavor of the highest quality. Even when boiled in high-temperature red oil, they retain their vibrant color and do not become burnt.

Lately, I’ve noticed that many restaurants are serving a variation called “Boiled Fish with Pickled Cabbage and Chili,” which might offer some improvements, including a reduction in oil content.

Fried Chicken Giblets

Chicken giblets consist of the internal organs of chickens, specifically the hearts, gizzards, intestines, and livers. These raw chicken giblets can have an unpleasant odor, but when they are stir-fried with chili peppers, pickled peppers, green onions, ginger, and garlic, not only is the distinct smell eliminated, but they also become tender, fragrant, spicy, and highly appetizing.

Some of the most renowned restaurants specializing in fried chicken giblets can be found in Ciqikou, including places like “古镇鸡杂,” “茂庄第一家古镇鸡杂,” and “胖姐鸡杂,” all known for their unique and delicious preparations of this dish.

Mao Xue Wang

Chongqing-style boiled blood curd (Mao Xue Wang, 毛血旺) is another renowned dish in Ciqikou. Originally, it involved making a soup from pork bones and then adding pig blood, pork lung leaves, and fatty intestines, seasoned with ginger, peppercorns, and chili peppers.

Nowadays, this dish has evolved to include a broader range of ingredients like duck blood, cattle throat, tripe, eel, soybean sprouts, pork luncheon meat, and fungus, among others. The result is a dish that’s spicy and fragrant, bursting with juiciness, rich in flavor, and incredibly appetizing. You can find this delectable dish on the menu of many Chongqing restaurants throughout the area.

Chongqing Mala Chicken

Chongqing Mala Chicken, originating from the Geleshan area in Chongqing, has two different theories surrounding its creation. One suggests that it was invented in the early 20th century by a master and apprentice working in a small restaurant in Geleshan. The other theory claims that it was simultaneously created by an old lady in the same region. Regardless of which theory is accurate, what truly matters is the dish itself.

In its authentic preparation, Sichuan or Guizhou peppers are used for the chili component, and the chicken is sourced locally from Geleshan, which naturally imparts a superior flavor compared to the commonly available large-scale farmed chicken. The chicken pieces are stir-fried until they achieve a charred, crispy exterior and then combined with Sichuan pepper and dried chili pepper. The final dish boasts a vibrant color, a spicy and aromatic flavor, and a delightful crispiness.

To capture the authentic essence of the dish, it’s best to ensure that the chili peppers completely cover the chicken, rather than having only a few peppers and peppercorns sporadically present in the chicken pieces.

Douhua

Douhua is made using the same recipe as tofu but results in a distinct texture. It has a long-standing popularity in China, and various regions have their unique Douhua cuisine. In Chongqing, Douhua holds a special place as one of the favorite breakfast options. Starting the day with a warm and tender bowl of Douhua is a delightful way to begin.

When noon arrives, Douhua Rice is a common meal option in Chongqing. It’s served as a set, which includes a bowl of Douhua, a bowl of rice, a dipping sauce, and a bowl of meat (often steamed meat or ribs). The dipping sauce can be selected as spicy or non-spicy, making it a simple and delicious meal choice.

Mahua

Mahua, also known as Fried Dough Twist (麻花), is a type of Chinese snack made by frying dough in peanut oil, giving it a shiny, golden appearance.

When you’re in Ciqikou Ancient Town, you can’t miss the local favorite – the “mahua” snack. You’ll spot Chen-Mahua all over Ciqikou. The top flavors include sweet, pepper salt, spicy, honey, seaweed, black sesame, and more. The spicy Mahua is a real Chongqing specialty.

Two of the most famous Mahua spots are Chen Jianping and Chen Changyin. Chen Jianping’s place usually has a longer line, while you can get your Mahua fix without waiting at Chen Changyin’s. Chen Jianping’s Mahua is a bit cheaper, and Chen Changyin’s seaweed-flavored Mahua is seriously tasty. There’s a bit of a debate about which one is the original Chen Mahua, and prices won’t break the bank; the plain version is as low as CNY 15 to CNY 18.

Spring Water Chicken

Spring Water Chicken, as the name implies, is a chicken dish prepared with spring water. However, don’t expect a light meal here; it’s just as bold and spicy as Laziji, making it a fresh and fiery dish that once enjoyed significant popularity.

The cooking process involves cutting the chicken into small pieces and frying it. Then, a combination of peppercorns, dried peppers, garlic, fermented soybeans, and more is added and stir-fried. Finally, a spoonful of soul mountain spring water is incorporated to create the Spring Water Chicken.

You’ll find most restaurants serving this delectable dish clustered around the Nanshan Tree Viewing Platform. As part of your tourist route, you can start by indulging in Spring Water Chicken at one of these establishments and then proceed to the observation deck to enjoy a panoramic view of the Chongqing night.

🛫 How Do I Travel to Chongqing

By Plane

Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG)

If you’re flying into Chongqing, you’ll touch down at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG). From there, you’ve got a few options. You can grab a taxi, hop on an airport shuttle, or ride the Metro Line 3 or 10 to reach downtown Chongqing. The airport sits about 25-30 kilometers (15-18 miles) from the city center.

By Train

Chongqing North Railway Station (Chongqingbei)

Chongqing boasts several train stations, but the central hub is Chongqing North Railway Station (Chongqingbei). For the easiest way to navigate, consider taking the metro from Chongqing North Railway Station. It’ll get you to roughly 90% of the top attractions in the primary urban area. Oh, and a word of caution: steer clear of unauthorized transportation near airports and train stations.

🚖 How to Get Around Chongqing

Metro

Chongqing’s metro system is quite extensive and covers most parts of downtown and the nearby areas. Trains run from 6:30 in the morning until 10:30 at night. During busy hours and holidays, the trains can get pretty crowded, but they’re a great way to reach about 90% of the popular spots in the city.

Bus

Chongqing also has a comprehensive bus network that reaches all corners of the city. Buses can take you to places that the metro doesn’t cover directly. The bus routes are easy to follow, and you pay your fare when you get on the bus.

Taxi

You can easily find a taxi on the street or use a ride-hailing app like Didi for convenience. Just make sure the taxi driver uses the meter or agrees on a fare with you before you start your trip. The starting fare is CNY 10 during the day and CNY 12 at night.

When you’re exploring downtown Chongqing, it’s smart to have a transportation app or a translation app handy, especially if you don’t speak Chinese. Chongqing’s terrain can be a bit tricky, so you might think you’re on a high floor when you’re actually on the ground level. Also, relying solely on a navigation app might lead to confusion.

☀️ Best Time to Visit Chongqing

The best time to visit Chongqing falls between March and June, or from after the Mid-Autumn Festival in September to the end of October🌞. Chongqing enjoys a subtropical monsoon climate during these periods, providing a comfortable atmosphere that’s not too hot or cold, making it the prime time to explore the city.

The second choice would be from November to February. Chongqing transitions into its winter season during this time, which means it’s not scorching hot but quite rainy and chilly. However, this is an ideal time to savor a hot pot meal or relax in hot springs comfortably. Plus, most tourist spots are less crowded.

Lastly, from July to September, Chongqing experiences its hottest summer weather, with temperatures soaring up to 40°C, creating a bit of a “fire city” feel. Yet, during this period, the city’s notorious fog is relatively light, providing crystal clear night views. Many locals and tourists opt for a summer retreat to Wulong during this time.

🏨 Where to Stay in Chongqing

The data reveals that 48% of tourists visiting Chongqing opt for the Jiefangbei CBD & Hongya Cave area. Here are the area’s key features:

  • It serves as both the symbol of Chongqing and its most bustling hub.
  • With numerous bus and rail transit stations, it offers convenient transportation.
  • It boasts an array of amenities, including dining, lodging, entertainment, shopping, and more. Notable attractions include Jiefangbei Square, Hongya Cave, Chaotianmen Square, and others.

In essence, this area provides everything you need for a great time out.

Niccolo Chongqing

Niccolo Chongqing
⭐️ Rating: 4.8/5 | 🤑 Cost: from $160 USD | 🏩 View on Trip | Photos: Booking

Niccolo Chongqing claimed the city’s highest point the moment it set foot in Chongqing, creating another fantastic spot to soak in the city’s skyline. The hotel spans from the 52nd to the 62nd floor of IFS Chongqing, where you’ll find the lobby on the 62nd floor. After checking in, you’ll make your way down to your room.

The Premier – River-View room, where I stayed, features full-length windows in both the bedroom and shower area. These windows treat you to stunning views of Chaotianmen Wharf, Hongya Cave, and other iconic landmarks, not to mention the confluence of the Yangtze River and Jialing River.

The room’s overall interior style centers around warm earthy tones, making the bedroom cozy and inviting. From the tastefully designed furniture to the top-notch bedding, it ensures a highly comfortable stay.

Additionally, you’ll find the sky swimming pool on the 52nd floor, complete with numerous floor-to-ceiling windows. This unique setup allows you to swim while taking in the surrounding scenery without any hindrances, delivering a delightful surprise.

ProsCons
Unrivaled high-altitude views.
Close proximity to popular attractions.
Delicious breakfast.
Attentive and warm service.
The minibar’s food options are rather ordinary.
It’s on the pricey side.

Regent Chongqing

Regent Chongqing
⭐️ Rating: 4.8/5 | 🤑 Cost: from $161 USD | 🏩 View on Trip | Photos: Booking

Regent Chongqing indisputably stands as a front-runner in the luxury hotel scene in Chongqing and even across the entire southwest of China. Luxury hotels can be defined in various ways, but in my book, Regent Chongqing takes the crown as the crème de la crème of luxury hotels in China.

As you step through the hotel’s entrance, you’ll be greeted by a striking expanse of glass tiles, inspired by the Ciqikou and stilted buildings of old Chongqing. The fusion of these elements creates a visually opulent atmosphere. The circular diamond-hole interlocking decor found in the corridors and rooms showcases a blend of classical and modern Chinese aesthetics.

When it comes to room amenities, bedding, and welcome gifts, you’ll be charmed by the attention to detail. What’s most astonishing is the hotel’s offering of three bath options: bubble bath, rose bath, and lemon bath, available with a simple 30-minute advance call to your room’s housekeeper.

And let’s not forget the captivating night view. The River Terrace at Regent Chongqing ranks among the finest vantage points for enjoying the city’s nighttime splendor.

ProsCons
Luxurious Chinese design style.
Exceptional top-notch service.
First-rate facilities.
Outstanding location for taking in the cityscape.
It leans towards the pricey side.

InterContinental Chongqing Raffles City

InterContinental Chongqing Raffles City
⭐️ Rating: 4.8/5 | 🤑 Cost: from $191 USD | 🏩 View on Trip | Photos: Booking

The architectural design of InterContinental Chongqing Raffles City is truly unique. Have you ever seen a building complex shaped like a sailboat? It is made up of eight skyscrapers, at the top of one of the masts is the InterContinental Chongqing Raffles City.

The hotel lobby is located on the 42nd floor of the covered bridge, where there is a hotel symbol landscape – a horizontal frame of high altitude crystal corridor collection of five different styles of restaurants and bars, each style is very distinctive, overlooking the scenery is also excellent.

The 380 rooms and suites, situated on floors 44-65, feature a contemporary and youthful design. Their floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows effortlessly frame picturesque views of Chongqing.

ProsCons
Modern architectural art.
State-of-the-art room amenities.
High sky crystal corridor viewing spot.
Service could use some improvement.
A few rooms are on the smaller side.

Banyan Tree Chongqing Beibei

Banyan Tree Chongqing Beibei
⭐️ Rating: 4.8/5 | 🤑 Cost: from $281 USD | 🏩 View on Trip | Photos: Booking

Banyan Tree Chongqing Beibei easily takes the crown as Chongqing’s top hot spring hotel. Nestled amidst lush green surroundings, this place is like a natural oxygen haven, radiating elegance and a touch of antiquity.

In every room, you’ll find a hot spring pool, and some villas even sweeten the deal with a private pool. The room décor follows a traditional Chinese style, exuding a graceful aesthetic.

When you check-in, you’ll discover the hot spring pool already filled, set at the perfect 39 degrees. The generously spacious 2-meter by 2-meter pool ensures that even a family of four can unwind without feeling cramped.

ProsCons
Exceptional hot spring facilities.
A well-regarded luxury brand.
Surrounded by a natural and culturally rich landscape.
A tranquil and peaceful environment.
It tends to be on the pricey side.
The hotel is somewhat distant from the downtown area.

Chongqing Jixiashan SUNYATA Resort Hotel

Chongqing Jixiashan SUNYATA Resort Hotel
⭐️ Rating: 4.8/5 | 🤑 Cost: from $167 USD | 🏩 View on Trip | Photos: Trip

If you’ve ever had the chance to scale a skyscraper, taking in the entire city from cloud-level heights, then imagine descending to ground level and immersing yourself in the Chongqing Jixiashan SUNYATA Resort Hotel, where you’ll experience the more secluded and humanistic side of this enchanting mountain city.

As you step into the hotel’s interior, you’ll be welcomed by a brilliantly designed space that feels like a serene escape from the bustling modern world outside—a realm that exudes unique tranquility and gentle charm.

The 16 rooms come in various configurations and boast generous expanses of white space. They were crafted by the designer’s instinctive moment, resulting in every detail radiating a distinct sense of refinement.

ProsCons
An urban haven.
An exceptional river view.
A tranquil and rejuvenating environment.
The amenities are not as cutting-edge.
It leans toward the pricier side.

Westin Chongqing Liberation Square

Westin Chongqing Liberation Square
⭐️ Rating: 4.6/5 | 🤑 Cost: from $144 USD | 🏩 View on Trip | Photos: Booking

In contrast to the formal, serious business style found in other Westin hotels across China, The Westin Chongqing Liberation Square stands out with its fashionable decor and distinctive spatial layout.

For instance, the 51st-floor cloud lobby soars to a height of 10 meters, and a unique, hollowed-out log spiral staircase traverses floors 50 through 52. The hotel also boasts a panoramic swimming pool on the 54th floor, framing a backdrop with the Jiefangbei tower complex and the Yangtze River view behind it. These inventive elements and designs have propelled The Westin Chongqing Liberation Square into the ranks of Chongqing’s most sought-after hotels.

On the 53rd floor, JinYaoXuan seafood restaurant is a local favorite, celebrated for its signature seafood hot pot.

ProsCons
Ideal for capturing stunning photos.
Proximity to renowned scenic spots.
A generous breakfast spread.
Some rooms are compact in size.

Qianhe Zhixuan Gaokong Hotel

Qianhe Zhixuan Gaokong Hotel
⭐️ Rating: 4.8/5 | 🤑 Cost: from $40 USD | 🏩 View on Trip | Photos: Trip

The hotel leverages its high-altitude river view to craft rooms in various thematic styles, including New Chinese, refined Japanese, minimalistic Nordic, and more. Each room features its own spacious window viewing area, granting a splendid view of Chongqing’s beautiful river.

ProsCons
Close to the business district.
Diverse themed room options.
Spectacular Chongqing River views.
Budget-friendly pricing.
Room amenities are average.
Sound insulation could be enhanced.

🌸Final Tips on Traveling to Chongqing

  • To avoid the crowds at Hongya Cave, go to the other side of the river for a panoramic view.
  • For the best Chongqing hot pot experience, opt for local alleys or street restaurants with long queues, as they offer tasty and affordable options.
  • Chongqing is known as the “fog city,” experiencing over 100 foggy days each year, which is a distinctive characteristic of the city.
  • Beware of anyone promising a shortcut to Hongya Cave. The only way to reach it is via the elevator.
  • At Ciqikou Ancient Town, some people dress as cartoon characters and may ask for money if you want a photo. Be cautious.
  • If you want to try the Yangtze River Cableway, it’s advisable to book ahead and consider a one-way journey.
  • You can find delicious Chongqing small noodle restaurants in any alley throughout the city.
  • Experience Chongqing’s metro and iconic yellow taxis for a thrilling ride through buildings, like a road-based roller coaster.
  • Chongqing locals love their spicy food, so dishes like hot pot, noodles, spicy chicken, and barbecue often pack a punch. If you can’t handle the heat, inform the waitstaff in advance.
  • Wear comfy sneakers and consider renting a car if possible. Bicycles aren’t recommended due to the hilly terrain that can lead to leg cramps.
  • Avoid the metro during rush hours, typically from 7-8 a.m. and 5-6 p.m.
  • When navigating Chongqing, rely on road signs and local advice rather than navigation apps.
  • Don’t miss Wulong, a must-visit destination with enchanting karst caves and a serene grand canyon.

China Travel Planning Guide&FAQ

🎫Do I need a visa for China?

Yes. Most visitors to China will need a visa to enter the country. The type of visa you need will depend on the purpose and duration of your trip, as well as your nationality. If you are a resident of the US, you must apply for a Chinese visa at the Consular Office in the country. On the other hand, inhabitants of countries like Japan, Canada, and the UK can request a visa through the Chinese Visa Application Service Center.

🤔Why is it necessary to install a VPN in China?

In China, the government has strict regulations on internet access, leading to the blocking of popular websites and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube. To access these sites, a VPN is suggested as a means of bypassing the restrictions. It is important to choose a reputable VPN provider and use caution while doing so. ExpressVPN has been historically deemed the most reliable VPN for this purpose, despite being heavily targeted by China’s censors. Nevertheless, it is still a widely preferred option owing to its ease of installation and user-friendliness.

📲Is it necessary to have a Chinese SIM card while in China?

Yes. It is crucial to acknowledge that accessing the internet in China may pose limitations due to certain websites being prohibited or filtered. To ensure uninterrupted connectivity while staying in China, purchasing a local SIM card is advisable. For optimum results, acquiring SIM cards from either China Unicom or China Mobile is recommended. While China Mobile has the most comprehensive coverage in China and is a market leader, China Unicom is more compatible with foreign phones, enabling 3G and 4G services. Or you can purchase a SIM card online.

🔮Should I buy China travel insurance?

Yes. Although China is generally a safe country for travel, it is still possible to encounter accidents or other unexpected occurrences. Therefore, obtaining travel insurance can provide a sense of security and financial protection. In my research, I have found that World Nomads is a reputable travel insurance provider that covers a wide range of activities and is recommended for the average traveler. Nevertheless, I advise you to compare insurance quotes from various providers before making a decision.

🚙Can you rent a car in China?

Unfeasible. Obtaining a Chinese driver’s license to rent a car and self-drive may seem like an option, but it is not a practical choice for most foreigners. Therefore, many prefer to opt for a driver or public transportation when navigating China, as it proves to be more convenient.

✈️What’s the best site to purchase flight tickets for China?

I suggest using Trip for affordable flights to China. As a China-based company, they often offer lower prices compared to foreign companies. Additionally, they offer English-speaking phone support in case of any issues.

🏡What is the best way to book hotels in China?

Not only does Trip offer a wider range of flight options, but it also provides a greater selection of hotels to choose from. Moreover, Agoda is a reliable resource for hotels throughout Asia.

🎒What do I pack for China?

Travel adapter and converter: China uses a different electrical system than many other countries, so it’s important to bring a travel adapter and converter if you plan to use electronic devices such as phones, cameras, and laptops.  
Sunscreen: The UV index in China can be high, particularly during the summer months, and prolonged exposure to the sun without protection can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.
Deodorant: It should be noted that finding deodorant in China may not be a simple task.

📚Can a guidebook for traveling to China be useful?

Yes. If you’re planning to travel to China for the first time, a travel guidebook can be a valuable resource, and Lonely Planet is one of the most reputable guides available globally. Its comprehensive itineraries and recommendations take into account your personal preferences and can save you both time and money. The insider tips are also extremely helpful in navigating China’s unique cultural landscape like a local.

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