Chongqing – Unknown metropolis

Chongqing, also called Chungking, is a large city in the interior of China. The city is located in the middle of China and has approximately 32 million inhabitants, including the suburbs. Just under 8 million people live in the real city center. In this article you will read information and travel tips about this vibrant and very fast-growing city.

General information

  • Inhabitants of the city province (2003): 31,070,000
  • City inhabitants (2007): 7,480,000
  • Area: 82,300 km²
  • Meaning of the name Chongqing: double celebration


The city of Chongqing

Chongqing is a bustling, neat and well-maintained large city in the middle of China and located between two rivers, the Yangtze and Jailing River. This metropolis has just under 8 million inhabitants, almost exclusively Chinese. As a non-Chinese you will be looked at strangely in the city because there are few foreign tourists. Furthermore, there are quite a few Chinese tourists in the city. The city center is full of skyscrapers that have risen from the ground and therefore looks quite modern. This metropolis is the 17th largest in Asia in terms of inhabitants and therefore also the 4th largest in China.

Sights in Chongqing

The sights of Chongqing are shown point by point below.

  • Eling park: city park with a beautiful view of the city center
  • Nanshan Viewpoint: just outside the real center of the city you will find the ‘south mountain’. From here you have an impressive view of the Chongqing skyline.
  • Freedom Monument: In the middle of JieFangBei is the Freedom Monument which is seen as a sightseeing attraction. Expensive shops such as Cartier, Rolex and Louis Vuitton are located around this monument.
  • Cable car over the river: an old-fashioned cable car goes over the river which gives a beautiful view of the city.
  • Boat trip on both rivers: in the evening there is a boat trip of about 2 hours on both rivers, so you can really see what kind of metropolis Chongqing is.
  • Old district / ancient town: like many Chinese cities, Chongqing has a popularly visited area called ancient town: Ciqikou. This is definitely fun to visit if you have just arrived in China.
  • Chongqing Zoo: beautiful zoo and also very cheap (entrance fee is about €3). You will also find pandas in this zoo.


Ancient town

Ancient town In the middle of the modern skyscrapers is a beautiful attraction that makes you feel like you are in traditional China. Ancient town is a place where you will find old traditional Chinese streets with real Chinese houses. This is highly recommended for tourists. It can be very busy here on Saturdays and Sundays as many Chinese tourists come there

Center of Chongqing: JieFangbei

The real city center can be found at JieFangBei. Here you will find a large number of expensive shops with many food stalls on the street selling the craziest things. There is also a freedom monument of Chongqing in JieFangBei.

Going out in Chongqing

Skyline with smog JieFangBei has a number of large clubs where there is something to do every night. Many wealthy Chinese come to the clubs for a few drinks. A large number of them leave some time later in a drunken state. It is also said that the Chinese do not have to drink that much before they are in this condition. Perhaps that is also the reason why the price of drinks is so high in this city center. By the way, the Chinese, provided they are not shy, are not afraid to treat you to a drink. In addition, it should be mentioned that it is customary in clubs to buy a table for the entire evening upon arrival. The clubs are full of tables where Chinese people are drinking drinks.

Nanping shopping district

Nanping is a very busy place, where people walk together like ants. There are many shops in Nanping, including most well-known Western shops. Fountain in Nanping Shopping in China can be very cheap, but if you are looking for real brand clothing, the prices are often comparable to Dutch prices. The central location of Nanping is a huge square surrounded by skyscrapers with shops. A small park next to this square is beautifully lit at night and there is also an illuminated water show with music. There is also plenty to see and do on this square in Nanping, for example, there are regularly groups of women dancing in the street, in which everyone is welcome to participate, and there are large LED screens displaying live television.

Counterfeit clothing and products

For counterfeit and fake Chinese clothing and products, it is best to go to the underground in Nanping. This is an underground shopping street where many fake and counterfeit products and clothing are sold. It must be said that it is not a very good 1-on-1 imitation.

Eating in Chongqing

Like many places in China, there are many food stalls on the streets in Chongqing. The strangest food products for foreigners are sold here. For example, pig noses, cow feet and cockscombs are for sale. These food stalls are often very cheap. In addition to the many food stalls, there are also many restaurants in China and Chungking. The restaurants are very cheap by Western standards. There are of course also more expensive restaurants, but on average you pay about 3 euros for a meal per person, including two drinks. You can get a hearty meal in a cheaper restaurant for one euro. The food in Chungking mainly consists of rice (with sauce), many types of meat and fish and hotpot. Yet the food certainly does not resemble the food you eat in the Netherlands, nor does it resemble the food you can get from the Chinese in the Netherlands. Chungking is also called Hot City because its residents really enjoy spicy food.

Chongqing specialty: Hotpot

Hotpot is a traditional Chinese meal where people sit at the table with a pot in the middle of the table. This pot contains two types of broth-like liquids. One type is very spicy and the other has a more neutral taste. Raw meat, sea animals and plants are thrown into this pot to cook it. The food is then removed using Chinese chopsticks.

Prices in the metropolis of China

In China payment is made with the Yuan. Prices are indicated in RMB. At the time of writing this article (April 2013), 1 is equal to 8.06RMB. It is common to haggle on the street and in shops where there are no price tags. Since Chinese prices differ quite a bit per area and are also completely different compared to Dutch prices, here is a list of price indications of products in Chongqing.

Eat Drink

Price indication

Hot meal in a restaurant

1 to 4

McDonald’s menu


Soft serve at McDonalds


Hot food on a school/campus


Canned beer Chongqing pilsner (33cl) in a shop


Bottle of Heineken 0.4L on the terrace in JieFangBei


Beer in the clubs in JieFangBei




Unbranded backpack


Original All-Star shoes


Low quality counterfeit All-Star shoes




Taxi ride of 20 minutes with a maximum of 4 people

5 in total

Single Chongqing Monorail/metro ticket


Diesel price per litre


* This price indication is based on data dating from 2013.

Location of Chongqing

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