Twin cities – Leicester

Most are at least familiar with the idea of twin cities, if not actually conscient of its inner workings and substance, as was the case myself. Chongqing is the central focus of my blog, but I would like to explore the city's international reach by introducing each of its sister cities, one by one over … Continue reading Twin cities – Leicester

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

War of Resistance Museum

Blink as you turn the bend, and you'd be forgiven for missing the entire complex! Around halfway between the Golden Eagle and Caribbean Bay (Japanese bath house), a matter of just a few kilometres, you can visit the site of a former Kuomintang (国民党Guo-min-dang) political headquarters in the days when Chongqing was the wartime capital … Continue reading War of Resistance Museum

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

Interaction – Going AA

Going AA is the younger Chinese generation's choice expression when going Dutch, ie; sharing equally the cost of meal, an unspecified number of alcoholic beverages, a karaoke suite, the list goes on! Overall, the culture of hosting and covering the expense personally is still very popular. Outward impressions of generosity aside, people like to develop … Continue reading Interaction – Going AA

Interaction – Have you eaten?

To date, my posts have mainly focused on travel destinations, but there have been readers asking me to cover the topic of social interaction with locals, as this should leave a sizeable impression on the foreign visitor or resident, even on a par with the sights and culinary experiences. Indeed, this topic provides a deep … Continue reading Interaction – Have you eaten?

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