Chaotianmen and Raffles

Chaotianmen is the famous passenger and commercial port where the Yangtze and Jialing rivers converge, right at the tip of the Yuzhong peninsula. The three character name in Chinese (朝天门) means 'Facing - heaven - gate,' and originates an imperial edict from the Song Dynasty capital of Lin'an, modern day Hangzhou, with instructions to sail … Continue reading Chaotianmen and Raffles

Three Gorges Square

Three Gorges Square三峡广场 is the pedestrianised commercial centre of Shapingba District沙坪坝区, and is a place I retain much affinity with due to the fact I lived here during my first three and half years in China. A four stay in South Korea sandwiched our return, but instead of Shapingba, we chose the newer and better … Continue reading Three Gorges Square

Jiefangbei Liberation Monument

Jiefangbei解放碑 means 'Liberation monument' in Chinese, and this building located on the Yuzhong District peninsula is one of a kind in all of China. Building work first began on October 31st 1946, with the finishing touches in place by August of the following year. Finally, on the first year anniversary of National Day in 1950, … Continue reading Jiefangbei Liberation Monument

Chongqing International Beer Festival

Summer beer festivals have become a ubiquitous event for most cities nationwide, and whilst a far cry from Oktoberfest, the most notable example in Chongqing takes place in early September on Nanbin Lu, the south bank river road of the Yangtze, just as the summer heat begins to subside. Today, I saw the eye catching … Continue reading Chongqing International Beer Festival

Interaction – Beat the Landlord

Today, I want to teach you how to play 'Beat the Landlord,' (斗地主Dou di zhu) the most popular card game in Chongqing, if not the whole country. While some individuals do indeed fritter away countless sums of money in the Macanese casinos, only a tiny majority play the more international games like blackjack or poker. … Continue reading Interaction – Beat the Landlord

Yangshuo Adventure

The famous Chinese saying goes 'Guilin shanshui jia tianxia 桂林山水甲天下,' the scenery of Guilin is unmatched beneath the heavens. Perhaps, that is, except for Yangshuo, an hour's drive further south. Tomorrow, we shall embark on a 5 hour bullet train journey direct to Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, a distance of around 780 kilometres. There, we will … Continue reading Yangshuo Adventure

Interaction – Toasts

Love it or hate it, the culture of toasting repeatedly over banquets is an art form that men should pay attentive care. In Chinese, the term for a toast is 敬酒 (Jing jiu), and the way you propose a toast to somebody is by calling their name or title, followed by 我敬你(Wo jing ni). Other … Continue reading Interaction – Toasts

The Golden Eagle

From any unobscured point in the city, especially on a clear sunny day, it's possible to spot the golden eagle perched upon one of the countless peaks of Nanshan, 'South Mountain.' While tourists might imagine it could be there as a symbol of power and prosperity, it's purpose is really to serve as a viewing … Continue reading The Golden Eagle

Ciqikou Old Town – A Personal Account

Ciqikou is an old town area of Chongqing tucked away in a corner of Shapinba District by the Jialing River. Its most noticeable landmark is the hilltop Buddhist temple Baolunsi 宝轮寺, easily visible when driving in or out of Shapinba across the ringroad bridge. Ciqikou 磁器口 translates as 'Chinaware Mouth' or 'inlet.' Indeed, the area … Continue reading Ciqikou Old Town – A Personal Account

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

A Walk Through History

When people refer to the central district of Chongqing, the long narrow peninsula that runs runs east and west between the two great rivers, there is a lot of overlap between the names of Jiefangbei and Yuzhong. Jiefangbei解放碑 literally means 'Liberation monument,' the clocktower right at the centre of the pedestrian crossroads. It's hard to … Continue reading A Walk Through History

‘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