- Yangtze Gorge Brief
- The River's Source
- Getting There
- Facts For The Traveler
- The Yangtze River:An introduction
- The Source to Yichang
- ZhongXian & Shibaozhai
- QuTang Gorge
- The Little Three Gorges
- WuXia Gorges
- Xiling Gorges
- The Middle Reaches
- The Lower Reaches
WHAT TO SEE IN CHONGQING
Chongqing, always a trading city, was never noted for its cultural heritage or architecture. However, unlike most northern Chinese cities, Chongqing and other Yangtze River towns are very lively at night. On summer evenings residents stroll about in the hope of a refreshing breeze. Street markets, sidewalk restaurant stalls,herbalists and calligraphers can be found on Wuyi Lu and Bayi Lu. In formal Sichuanese opera can be heard at the Workers' Park on Saturday evenings.
The narrow streets near Chaotianmen Docks, flanked by clothes and noodle stalls, narrow streets, thread their way down to the harbour. At the waterfront, a busy panorama unfolds--steamers, tugboats, rows of pontoons, even a cable tramway to ease the ascent from shore to street. The Jialing cable car starts its journey from Cangbai Lu to Jinsha Jie on the north bank on (Jiangbei).The five--minute ride is fun on a clear day. Another cable car, at Wanglongmen, spans the Yangtze to the south. The Chongqing Zoo has several pandas, which are native to Sichuan Province.
Located at 72 Pipashan Zhengjie, it houses a good collection of earthenware figurines and brick reliefs from the Eastern Han period (AD 25--220). They came from tombs, most likely of wealthy and important men. As was the custom, the deceased were buried with objects recalling the preoccupations of everyday life--farming, hunting and entertainment. While Han tombs were elaborate affairs, the people of Ba, who roamed the plains of Sichuan 2,000 years ago, disposed of their dead in an even more singular fashion, encasing corpses in canoe-shaped wooden coffins and suspending them from cliffs along the river. Two of these huge coffins and the artifacts found inside them are on display here.
• THE LUOHAN TEMPLE
This 19th-century temple is glimpsed through an ornate passage whose walls are encrusted with rock carvings in the manner of Buddhist grottoes. Luohan are Buddhist saints; they traditionally number 500, although in this temple there are actually 524 statues of them. They are of recent vintage, the last of the originals having been destroyed in the Cultural Revolution (1966--76). The present statues were made by the Sichuan Fine Arts institute in l985.
• PAINTERS' VILLAGE (HUAJIA ZHI CUN)
Both Painters' Village and the Sichuan Fine Arts institute, located in Hualongqiao,are often on tour-group itineraries. However, they are some way out of the city and difficult to reach by public transport. Both establishments maintain galleries and offer pieces for sale.Painters' Village was established in the l950s to nurture artists who would create paintings and lithographs to glorify the Revolution. These state--sponsored artists came from all over China and included members of minority nationalities. They are mostly elderly now and enjoy what, for China, are excellent conditions. They have their own studios and produce an impressive range of work. Since China embarked on economic reforms, however, they have had to become commercial, since the government no longer buys all their work.
• SlCHUAN FlNE ARTS INSTITUTE (SICHUAN MEISHU XUEYUAN)
This is the only residential undergraduate- and graduate--level fine arts college in southwest China, with a student enrolment of around 300 a year. Students come from all over China as well as from abroad. The college was founded in 1950, and has departments of sculpture, painting, crafts (including lacquerware, textile design, packaging design and ceramics) and teacher training. The institute is particularly proud of its gallery which displays the best work of its students. Many of the items are for sale. The institute is located at HuangJiaoping, on the northern bank of the Yangtze, about half an--hour's drive from the centre of the city.
• RENMIN HALL
Built as the administrative offices for southwest China in the early l950s, it is now used as a hotel and venue for performances and meetings as it has an auditorium with seating for 4000. The architectural style is a combination of the Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City. It is certainly the most spectacular building in Chongqing.
• STILWELL MUSEUM
The museum, which was established in conjunction with the Stilwell Foundation in the USA and the Foreign Affairs Bureau in Chongqing, is dedicated to General Joseph Stilwell and the time he served as Commander-in-Chief of the American forces in the 'China-Burma--India theatre', between l941 and l945 when the threat of the Japanese Imperial Army was finally overcome. General Stilwell was instrumental in ridding Asia of that threat.The museum is located at 33 Six in Road in the actual house occupied by General Stilwell during the war. The house is a tribute to his daughters, Alison and Nancy, who devoted so much time and effort in bringing this project to fruition in l992.
• RED CRAG VILLAGE (HONGYAN CUN) AND GUI YUAN
Both these are now memorial museums to the l949 revolutionary activities in the city. In the 1930s and '40s, during the period of co--operation between the Guomin-dang government and the Chinese Communist Party against the aggression of the Japanese, these buildings were the offices of the Communist Party and the Red Army.Mao Zedong stayed in Gui Yuan House during his brief stay in Chongqing in 1945.
• ChongQing Introduction
• What TO See In ChongQing