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Chongqing

Travel Guide Asia China Chongqing

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Introduction

Chongqing

Chongqing

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Chongqing is a city and one of the four province-level municipalities in China officially known as Special Economic Zones (SEZ). The other three are Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin (City).
Although the city itself 'only' has around 6 million inhabitants, the total municipality is one of the largest in the world, with well over 30 million people living here. Although like the other SEZ's most of the area is rural.

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Neighbourhoods

Chongqing municipality stretches over 80,000 square kilometres and has 40 county-level subdivisions, subdivided into 19 districts, 17 countries and 4 autonomous counties.
The city itself can be subdivided into:

  • Yuzhong, the central city area
  • Nan'an (Southern Bank District)
  • Jiangbei (North of the River District)
  • Shapingba
  • Jiulongpo
  • BaNan
  • Dadukou
  • Yubei (the northern district of Chongqing)
  • Beibu (the new district at Northern Chongqing)

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Sights and Activities

  • Dazu Rock Carvings - a Unesco World Heritage Site
  • Zhou Enlai's old residence
  • HongYaDong
  • Great Hall of the People
  • Three Gorges Museum
  • Red Rock Village (Hong Yan Cun)
  • Chongqing Old Town

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Weather

Chongqing has a subtropical climate with humid conditions. Summers last from June to September when temperatures average between 27 and 33 °C during the day and between 20 and 25 °C at night. Temperatures of 40 °C or even more are not uncommon and the humid conditions make this probably the worst time for a visit. Winters are actually better though temperatures are not really great: between December and February it is around 10 °C during the day and a few degrees less at night. Occasionally temperatures drop close to zero but rarely below. It is the driest time of the year with just around 20mm of precipitation a month, against 150-200mm a month between May and July!
Obviously, good months for a visit, are the spring and autumn periods (March-April and September-November).

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max9.5 °C11.6 °C16.8 °C22.2 °C25.9 °C28.1 °C32.2 °C32.8 °C26.5 °C21.3 °C15.7 °C10.9 °C
Avg Min5.6 °C6.9 °C10.9 °C15.1 °C19 °C21.5 °C24.5 °C24.5 °C20.4 °C16.2 °C11.5 °C7.2 °C
Rainfall20 mm21 mm37 mm102 mm159 mm166 mm171 mm138 mm149 mm96 mm53 mm26 mm
Rain Days101011141716131116151411

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Getting There

By Plane

Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG) is about 20 kilometres from the city centre of Chongqing. About a dozen of airlines, among which Air China, China Southern Airlines and Sichuan Airlines offer numerous domestic services. Destinations include Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Beijing, Chengdu, Lhasa, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. International destinations include Bangkok, Hong Kong, Nagoya, Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei and Singapore, mostly with Air China, except Singapore.

By Train

There are three train stations in Chongqing: Caiyuanba (in Yuzhong District), Shapingba (in Shapingba District) and Chongqing Beizhan (in Jiangbei District)
Chongqing can be reached by train from many major and smaller Chinese cities, including Chengdu (just 2.5 hours), Lanzhou and Beijing (about 24 hours).

By Boat

There are quite a few options to travel by boat downriver via the Three Gorges towards Yichang.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

Chongqing Metro offers extensive services in the urban area.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Perfect Time International Youth HostelNo.2 Ci Qi Kou Zheng Jie (Riverside) Sha Ping Ba DistrictHostel78
Sunrise Mingqing HostelNo.23 , Xiahongxue Lane Yuzhong DistrictHostel79
Tina's Hostel ChongqingNo.149 Zhong Xing Road, Jiao Chang Kou Jie Fang BeiHostel68
Yangtze River International Youth HostelNo.80 Chang Bin Road Yu Zhong DistrictHostel84
Urban Trails International Youth HostelNo 115,Xinmin Street Jie Fang BeiHOSTEL-
FX Hotel Technology and Business UniNo.339 SiGongLi Road NanAn DistrictHOTEL-
FX Hotel Third Military Medical UniversityGarden West Road Shapingba DistrictHOTEL-
Deck88 International Youth Hostel1F Hongya Cave, 88 Jiabin Road, Yuzhong DistrictHOSTEL82
Chongqing Greenforest Hostel4F Yuya Bldg, No 7 Zhongxing Road JiaochangkouHOSTEL83

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Keep Connected

Internet

Wangba (联网) means internet bar in Chinese. Almost every town will have an internet bar or gaming center. The best way to spot an internet bar is to look for the 网(ba) character, which means net, and large digitized images of computer game characters. Often, there will be a sign saying Green Power in English at the entrance. Most gaming centers cost about RMB3 an hour. You prepay at the main desk and are then given a plastic card or a piece of paper. Once you are done you return the card or piece of paper and get reimbursed for the money you didn't spend. Be prepared for a place that might be dingy, basic and messy. Internet bars in China tend to get crowded starting in the late afternoon to the late evenings.

Some hotels provide access from the rooms that may or may not be free; others may provide a wireless service or a few desktops in the lounge area.
Also, quite a few cafes provide free wireless Internet service. Some cafes, even provide a machine for customer use.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to China is 86. To make an international call from China, the code is 00.

When making international phone calls it is best to buy an IP card. They typically have a value of ¥100 but sometimes can be had for as little as ¥25. The cards have printed Chinese instructions, but after dialing the number listed on the card English-spoken instructions are available. As a general indication of price, a call from China to Europe lasts around 22 minutes with a ¥100 card. Calls to the U.S. and Canada are advertised to be another 20% cheaper. There is no warning before the card runs out of minutes.

If you already have a GSM 900/1800 cellphone, you can roam onto Chinese networks, but calls will be very expensive (¥12-35/minute is typical). If you're staying for more than a few days, it will usually be cheaper to buy a prepaid Chinese SIM card; this gives you a Chinese phone number with a certain amount of money preloaded. Chinese tend to avoid phone numbers with the bad-luck digit '4', and vendors will often be happy to offload these "unsellable" SIM-cards to foreigners at a discount. If you need a phone as well, prices start around ¥100/200 used/new. Chinese phones, unlike those sold in many Western countries, are never "locked" and will work with any SIM card you put in them. China's two big operators are China Mobile and China Unicom. Most SIMs sold by the two work nationwide, with Unicom allowing Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan usage as well. There is usually a surcharge of about ¥1/min when roaming outside the province you bought the SIM, and there are some cards that work only in a single province, so check when buying.

Post

China Post (中国邮政) is the official postal service of the People's Republic of China, operated by the State Postal Bureau of the People's Republic of China (website in Chinese only), and has more details about price to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. The Chinese postal service is very good. Remember that in more remote places usually only one post office in a city can handle sending international boxes or letters. Also many times it might be worth having the name of the country you are trying to send to in Chinese characters, because small town people might not know what Estonia is in English. Post offices have a striking green logo and can easily be found everywhere in the cities. They are mostly open every day (including weekends!) from 8:00am to 6:00pm, though small offices might have shorter opening times, while the bigger ones in central and touristic areas are sometimes open during evenings as well.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 29.5549144
  • Longitude: 106.548425

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This is version 14. Last edited at 7:50 on Aug 21, 13 by Utrecht. 18 articles link to this page.

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