Scooters and Mango Bikes

A reader asked me whether it's feasible to explore the reaches of Chongqing by scooter, to which I replied it won't happen past your neighourhood limits. Ever since that message, I have awaited the chance to share the vicissitudes of two wheeled transport in Mountain City, from early days to present. In the first decade … Continue reading Scooters and Mango Bikes

A Japanese Style Bath House

Allow me to begin with a brief anecdote or two. Nanshan南山 is the lushly forrested 'South Mountain' ridge that streches roughly north to south along the eastern side of Chongqing, and provides the famous backdrop to the Mountain City skyline. Apart from sitting pretty, the ridge hosts the insanely popular nightviewing platforms of Yikeshu一棵树观景台, and … Continue reading A Japanese Style Bath House

Langzhong Ancient City

阆中古城 It's been a while. For one of the so-called three furnaces of China, the summer so far in Chongqing has been a non-event. For all the humidity, temperatures have only been touching around thirty degrees, the long awaited scorching sunshine under clear blue skies have been usurped by an unshifting blanket of drab cloud, … Continue reading Langzhong Ancient City

‘Jiuli’ Miao Minority Town

The official name for this area of Chongqing is 'Pengshui Self-Governing Prefecture of the Miao and Tujia Ethnic Minorities彭水苗族土家族自治县.' China is home to 56 native ethnic groups, many of whom continue to live in their homelands according to their traditional customs. Some do leave for the major cities, and though they may have certain unique … Continue reading ‘Jiuli’ Miao Minority Town

Road Trip Series – Weizhou Island

Back in 2016, my escape route from the cold overcast skies of the Sichuan Basin took me to Weizhou, a small picturesque volcanic island that rises out of the sea forty kilometres off the coast of Beihai北海 to the south. I first set eyes on Weizhou Island涠洲岛 from a plane window on a flight from … Continue reading Road Trip Series – Weizhou Island

The Dead Sea of China中国死海

The Dead Sea of China is a giant indoor and outdoor water park geared mainly for the busy summer season, as the most of the pools are not heated. The exception is the smaller indoor dead sea pool, where you can lie back and float effortlessly any time of the year. This resort about 200 … Continue reading The Dead Sea of China中国死海

Country Retreats – A Riverside Villa

I'm back tracking a little here, but the locations I want to talk about in this post are one of countless dotted around the mountains and riversides in Chongqing, and I'll focus on an example of both settings, and the events that led me to visit them. Many private villas and mansions are scattered around … Continue reading Country Retreats – A Riverside Villa

Loyalty City – Zhongxian

Chongqing is sometimes erroneously described as being the most populated city in the world at thirty plus million inhabitants. The problem is that the actual city of Chongqing has around 11 million, with the rest shared between other cities in the larger Chongqing Municipality, which covers an area similar in size to England. The municipality … Continue reading Loyalty City – Zhongxian

The Two Faces of Chongqing North Railway Station 奇葩的重庆北站

Study these two photos a moment and answer me one question. Are the two buildings the same place? If your answer is something like 'Of course not! Are you blind?' then you are mistaken, my friend. Vaguely reminiscent of the way Professor Quirrell is possessed by Lord Voldemort in the finale of The Philospher's Stone, … Continue reading The Two Faces of Chongqing North Railway Station 奇葩的重庆北站

Road Trip Series – Xishuangbanna

Thursday, 31st January. It's time for the Spring Festival folks! 春节来啦! Chinese New Year falls on February 5th, so we're packing our gear and getting ready to leave the cold and grey climes behind and enjoy some warmth and sunshine, for a few days at least. The plan is to set off from Chongqing, and … Continue reading Road Trip Series – Xishuangbanna

Duishan Country Resort对山居

An experience that many foreign residents and almost visitors vistors miss out on is the country resort. There are a number of reasons for this, the main ones being that they are well hidden away, little advertised, Chinese orientated, and qenerally quite inacessible without personal transport. Most country resorts are in mountainous areas, where the … Continue reading Duishan Country Resort对山居