Chongqing is famous for the towering mountains and roaring rivers, which have witnessed the local civilization of over 3000 years.
Over 3000 years in history and local culture,
The youngest municipality of China,
The largest inland city of rivers and mountains on the planet,
The city of miracles,
This is new Chongqing,
The economic center of the upper Yangtze,
Prepared to embrace the rest of the world.
Nature & Geography
Chongqing is situated at 105`17'-110`11' E and 28`10'-32`13' N, at the transitional area between the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the plain on the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River in the sub-tropical climate zone swept by the moist monsoon. The average annual temperature is around 18oC, with the lowest winter temperature averaging between 6oC and 8oC and summer temperature averaging between 27oC and 29oC. It has a total annual sunshine time of 1,000 to 1,200 hours. It has mild winter, hot summers, long frost-free periods and ample rain, as well as warm, wet and cloudy days, with rain and heat occurring in the same season. It has an annual rainfall of 1,000-1,400 mm. It often rains at night in late spring and early summer, and thus the city is famous for its "night rain in the Ba Mountains". The land under Chongqing's jurisdiction is 470 kilometers from east to west, and 450 kilometers from north to south. It borders on Hubei and Hunan provinces in the east, Guizhou in the south, Sichuan in the west and north and Shaanxi Province at its northeast corner.
Chongqing, a famous historical and cultural city in China, has a history of more than 3,000 years and a glorious revolutionary tradition. The local culture was originated in the area centered at Chongqing, the place of the ancient Ba.
Human activities can be dated back to the end of the Old Stone Age about 20,000 to 30,000 years ago. In the 11th century B.C. when the Zhou dynasty replaced the Shang dynasty, the Ba people established the State of Ba with present-day Chongqing as its capital. Later the State of Qin, after conquering the State of Ba, divided China into 36 prefectures, and Ba Prefecture, the previous the State of Ba, was one of them. At its peak time, the State of Ba covered a large area, including present-day eastern Sichuan province, southern Shaanxi province, western Hubei province, northwestern Hunan province, and northern Guizhou province, with its administrative center at the pre-1997 Chongqing. During most of the time from the Qin and Han dynasties, this area remained one unified administrative area, with its administrative center at the pre-1997 Chongqing.
Chongqing was known as Jiangzhou in ancient times, and later was called Ba Prefecture, Chu Prefecture, Yu Prefecture, and Gong prefecture at different times. During the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589), Ba Prefecture was named Chu Prefecture, and it was renamed Yu Prefecture in 581 A.D. by Emperor Wen of the Sui Dynasty (541-604), and since then the area of Chongqing was known as Yu for short. In 1189, before he was enthroned, Emperor Guangzong of the Song Dynasty (1147- 1200) was named Prince Gong. Considering the events a "double happiness" that happened in the same year while he was the ruler of the place, he promoted Gong Prefecture into Chongqing Fu. That is how the city got its present name Chongqing more than 800 years ago.
On March 14, 1997, Chongqing became China's fourth municipality directly under the central government, the only one in west China, when a bill was approved at the Fifth Session of the Eighth National People's Congress, opening a new chapter in the history of Chongqing.
Chongqing, as a famous historic city in China and the cradle of Ba Ethnic culture enjoys a great cultural heritage. It is a component part of the Chinese culture that maintains unique regional features of cultural pattern.
Chongqing is particularly rich in human landscape as well as in cultural relics and historic sites. There are now 49 national, provincial and municipal preservation places of treasured historical relics. In 1999, the UNESCO listed The Dazu Stone Sculptures on World Register of Culture Heritage. In its 12 museums and memorial halls displays and exhibitions are held every year.
The artistic performance of Chongqing flourishes in a great variety, outstanding with strong folk color among the pageant of arts in China. There are 3.000 organizations including 29 professional troupes. The acrobatics of Chongqing is well-known all over the world. "Kicking Bowls on a Balancing Board"performed by the Chongqing Acrobatics Troupe won a Silver Medal at the 9th Festival of Circus Tomorrow and a Golden Lion Medal on the event of National Acrobatics Competition. The Sichuan opera has also built a system of stylized movement and its acting is both exquisite and vivid with a series of stunts including"face- changing". Since the founding of New China, the Chongqing's artistic troops have realized performance tours and cultural exchange in more than 30 countries and regions such as United States, Japan, Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Germany, Peru, Colombia, Denmark, Australia, Mexico, Netherlands, Argentina, Canada, Burma, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan and Macao, etc.
When you come to Chongqing, you will not to be surprised to hear that the Chinese believe in the saying "People make food their Heaven". It would seem that people in Chongqing are never weary of eating. Thousands of restaurants are scattered throughout every corner of the city, fulfiling customers from home and abroad with their different specialties.
As one branch of Sichuan cuisine, Chongqing cuisine is noted for its distinctive spicy and pungent flavors. Different from Chengdu cuisine, Chongqing dishes are spicier and stronger in taste. Chili pepper, sesame, fermented black beans, scallions, ginger, garlic, wine, soy sauce and an array of flavorings are used in almost 40 different cooking methods. These methods include drying, salting, spicing, pickling, frying and smoking. Color, smell, flavor, shape, and nutrition are all carefully balanced in Chongqing dishes - no wonder people say that Chongqing food is not only attractive but nutritious.
Chongqing is the birth place of the hot pot in China. Once upon a time, it was a seasonal food designed to protect against the low temperatures and frigid winds of the winter. People would sit around a table, eat hot pot, and revel in the instant warmth that would flood their bodies. Hot pot has become more and more popular today, and it is widely enjoyed by people and regardless of seasons and regions.
Eating hot pot is a joyful experience. First, you need to choose the pot - spicy, pure or a combination of two - for the soup and dipping sauce. After the spiced soup boils with a hazy steam, fish, meat, bean curds and vegetables can be added. When the soup boils again, you can eat by dipping them in a little bowl of special sauce , be careful of the burning hot soup!
There are three kinds of hot pot. First, the spicy version called 'Hong tang'or 'Red soup'. Then, there is basically a bone soup without any spices and tasty, simply asking for 'Yuan Wei''or telling them 'Wo Bu Yao La'which means 'I don't want the spicy stuff!' Finally, there is a compromise 'Yuan Yang Huo Guo', or called 'mandarin duck hot pot' which originally named 'double taste hot pot'.
In Chongqing, hot pot restaurants can be found everywhere and many have become very popular among the local people. Xiao Tian E (Cygnet Hot-Pot Palace) and Su Da Jie, E Zhang Men are the restaurants most suited for mass consumption. The hot pot restaurants in the Chongqing 5-star Harbour Plaza also serve decent food in a cozy environment.