A PROFILE OF CHONGQING
Chongqing is one of four municipalities directly under the central government. Located at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers, it is also an industrial city with an active port. Chongqing has lots of picturesque scenery since there are so many mountains. With the improved economy, and so many scenic spots, Chongqing has become an important tourist destination. There have been many ancient poems written about her natural beauty.
Lying in a subtropical monsoon climate zone, Chongqing is warm in winter and hot in summer. It is famous as a “foggy city,” with ten more foggy days per annum than London. The best time to come to Chongqing is between March and June, or from September to November.
Different from flourishing Shanghai and traditional Beijing, Chongqing has its own character. Life here is slower and more leisurely. Every day, many people can be seen drinking tea with friends along the riverbank, or playing Mahjong. Strangely, many people who live in this city have hot tempers, and a straight forward, open character. While they often speak loudly, they are very warm-hearted and are always happy to help others. The character of the locals probably has something to do with the spicy Chongqing food. From hotpot to snacks, it can be said that Chongqing people cannot eat a meal without chili.
Chongqing is a big international city, with more and more foreign companies setting up here. Life in Chongqing is very convenient, as you can buy everything you need, and you go anywhere you want by subway, bus or taxis. At night you can enjoy the amazing nightlife, with bars, street barbeques and snack markets busy until dawn.
Climate & Topography
Chongqing is warm in winter and hot in summer and is regarded as one of three famous “Furnace” cities along the Yangtze River with maximum temperatures reaching as high as 43℃. However, lying in a subtropical monsoon climate zone, Chongqing is still a good place to live with its year-round average temperature of 18℃. Rainfall in Chongqing is ample but mal-distributed. It rains heavily at nights during spring and summer but becomes overcast with showers during fall. In winter, foggy days come frequently and limit sunshine, making Chongqing one of those famous “fog cities”.
Chongqing could also be called “City of Rivers” for at least six rivers run through the city. As a consequence, Chongqing has lots of riverside roads which are ideal for leisure and dining. When darkness falls, lights stretch along the rivers for kilometers making for fabulous night views.
The confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers is called Chaotianmen Harbor where you can see these two different colored rivers join together. The world's greatest water control project, the Three Gorges Dam, is located downstream.
Chongqing is also a “Mountain City” with as much as 70% of the city built on the slopes surrounding the river junction creating very unique living conditions. For instance, one Chongqing’s light rail lines passes through buildings and much of the system is underground like a subway. Roads are often narrow, steep and very windy with one or two 360° and more looping up the steep slopes of Nanshan.
Because Chongqing is built on the hillsides, many buildings can be entered from multiple floors other than the ground floors. And many apartments boast views of eye-level passing traffic on flyovers and skyways all over the city.
Owing to Chongqing’s unique topography, local people are not so good at using north, south, east and west when giving directions. In fact, the direction of river flow might be the first thought for a local's sense of direction. So, when meeting your Chongqing friends or asking for directions, don’t forget to take your Chongqing Expat Guide, find a landmark building as a reference and think about the directions using up, down, left and right. It could be tough at first, but it's also a good start of experiencing this amazing city.
Chongqing people are tough, building tunnels through the mountains, constructing bridges and sophisticated overpasses. They contend with the mountains and rivers as well as live on them. Because of the extremely hot summers and cold, wet winters, they invented hot pot, love chili, and now they can’t live without them. Chongqing people are very proud of their food and it is hard for them to embrace food from other places.
Influenced by the “Paoge” culture, Chongqing people are open-hearted and straightforward. They are renowned for their lack of patience, speaking loudly and fiery tempers. However, their bad temper is like a torrential downpour in the summer; very powerful but coming and going fast. Chongqing people are loyal to their friends, even when friends have let them down. Despite their bad tempers, they still have lots of friends.
So, don’t miss your opportunities to make friends with Chongqing people, they can make your time here richer and exciting.
The Economy of Chongqing
Chongqing is the only megalopolis and national central city in the West of China. It is municipality directly under the central government and plays an important role as the center of economy, politics and culture in the upstream area of the Yangtze River. It also well developed in fields such as education, art, technology and innovation, etc.
Chongqing is one of China's five national central cities, with many geographical advantages and owns the strategic position. It is an important fulcrum to the western development and also a junction point to the “One Belt One Road" strategy. Plus, it is a key city along Yangtze River economic belt. The city’s infrastructure includes the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe international railway in the west, Yangtze River Golden Waterway in the east, and airlines covering more than 120 cities on five continents. The western city of Chongqing is China's youngest municipality and has emerged as an important inland development center for China.
Chongqing has a continuous GDP growth that maintains more than 10% growth rate. It is the fastest growing city in the first ten consecutive quarters in China. The city has pillar industry development, state of modern manufacturing base, domestic functional financial center, and the National Center for Urban Construction in West innovation centers. In addition, urban and rural development takes shape, including automobiles, digital information, equipment manufacturing, consumer products and other expansion, notebook computers and other strategic emerging the rapid rise of modern service industry, financial industry and other booming new growth emerging. The city attracted nearly 300 "Fortune 500" companies to establish bases and under larger world economic pressures, presented positive economic development trends.
Shopping in Chongqing - 5 Primary Urban Districts
Being an international city, Chongqing has five primary urban districts.
Yuzhong, the oldest downtown area in Chongqing, resembles a strip, a peninsula between two rivers. Jiefangbei, the busiest commercial center in Yuzhong, features the Jiefangbei Memorial, which stands in the center of the Times Square pedestrian area, which has Ole, an imported commodity retailer, and many other international brands. Also, Westin, Somerset, and other five star hotels located in Jiefangbei, which is a must-see attraction on a trip to Chongqing. Take Line 2 and get off at Linjiangmen station, and you will exit into the center of Jiefangbei. It is near Chaotianmen and the Guild Hall, Food Street and Hongyadong is a short walk away.
Another popular shopping area is Longhu Times Paradise Walk. It is newly opened, has 4 blocks, and covers a large area. Most of the merchants here offer nice prices. Longhu has become the most popular shopping center in Yuzhong. Blocks C & D are newly opened in 2016. They have many distinct restaurants, cafés, and bars, as well as an indoor Karting court, and an ice rink. It a good place for hanging out on weekends.
The「TESTBED2貳廠」is a new attraction in the Yuzhong District. Within The TESTBED2, there are some modern business operations and other entertaining places. Built with the intention of protecting historic industrial sites, not only will you find TESTBED elements from the west, but also traditional and original Chongqing cultural sites here as well. We would like to introduce some shops that represent the spirit of TESTBED2.
Jiangbei District is located in the north side of the Jialing River. Guanyinqiao is the busiest shopping center in Jiangbei, with more than 10 shopping malls. Among them, North Paradise Walk and Mic City are the most popular with young people. North Paradise walk is well-known for Dawang (People Watching), because fashionable young women and men are frequently found there. North Paradise Walk is very close to Jiujie, known for its night life, with many bars and lounges. Hyatt Regency Chongqing is the best five star hotel in Quanyinqiao. Another newer shopping center is Jiangbeizhui CBD. There are currently only a few malls, including IFS, Casin Plaza, and Oriental Mall, but this will be a prosperous place in future.
Nanan, on the other bank of the Yangtze River, across from Yuzhong, remains popular despite its dense population. Nanping, the oldest shopping center in Nanan, has Wanda, Bailian, and Starlight shopping malls. The Wanda pedestrian street has lots of authentic, local, and affordable eateries, and many people can be found strolling and walking their dogs at night. Starlight is the newest and biggest shopping mall in Nanan. The five star Kempinski Hotel and Le Meridien Chongqing are located in Nanan.
In Danzishi area, the newly opened two commercial centers are Dongyuan 1891 and Landmark Mall ChangJia hui. Dongyuan 1891 divided into four blocks, which stand in lined with the river’s bank. Many dining places located there boasting a good view of the river. The golden twin tower Sheraton Hotel is near Dongyuan 1891.Landmark Mall ChangJia Hui features Madame Tussauds and sea world and many good restaurants with large open balcony. Across the Danzishi area, there is Nanbin Rd. Park.
Sha Ping Ba
The Shapingba District has a dense population and, with its many top-rated high schools and universities, is the center of Chongqing’s education. Sanxia Square, a wide pedestrian street with several old shopping malls, is the main shopping center in Shapingba. There also have authentic CQ snacks, like Suanlafen. The underground shopping street there specializes in women’s clothes and accessories, with lower prices and a good selection.
Yangjiaping is one of the oldest commercial centers in Chongqing. Line2 pass through Yangjiaping pedestrian, which feature a special view of the street. There are lots of snack shops and old malls. Longhu paradise walk is relatively new here. Sofitel Forebase Chongqing is a famous five star hotel in Jiulongpo.
Another commercial center in Jiulongpo is Mic City, which is Yangjiaping’s next stop in line2. Mic City is built in 2014; the exterior wall is designed for symbol of Chongqing’s mountains, rivers and stilted houses. Within the mall, there are various international brand costume, gourmet and entertainment.