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72 hours in Chongqing

Updated: Jun 17, 2019 By Tan Yingzi China Daily Print
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The lively Ciqikou, an ancient river town in Chongqing is brimming with crowds prior to Spring Festival this year.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Day One: Old Town

The Yuzhong Peninsula, or the Old Town, is where the city started to grow over 3,000 years ago. It is perfect for a walking tour.

In the morning you can visit Chaotianmen Port, literally the "gate that faces heaven". This is where the Jialing River meets the Yangtze River. Near the port is a huge construction site that looks like a sailing ship. It will be a new landmark of Chongqing where the "highest infinity swimming pool in the world" is being planned.

Jiefangbei, or Liberation Monument, is located in downtown Chongqing. There is a saying that if you do not visit the site, your trip to Chongqing is incomplete. It is the equivalent of Times Square in New York, surrounded by giant billboards and name-brand retailers.

The Yangtze River Cable Car, the only one in China now, is a must-go if you want to have a perfect city view from above, especially at night. It was built three decades ago and the 1,166-meter cableway used to be a major means of transport for residents.

Then you can visit the People's Great Hall of Chongqing. Built in 1955, the whole complex is an imitation of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. In front of the building lies the People's Square. From morning to evening, many people practice tai chi, dancing and singing at the square. It is a great place to observe retiree life.

If you want to experience the famous light rail system, you can take Line 2 from Jiefangbei. The route runs by the Jialing River and through mountains, like a roller-coaster. At Liziba station, the train runs through a residential building, a scene that went viral worldwide after it was uploaded online last year.

In the afternoon, you can visit the Three Gorges Museum. As the landmark of Chongqing, the museum is not only the largest monographic museum in China, but also a public undertaking for the preservation, education, scientific research of cultural relics and the natural environment of Chongqing and the Three Gorges Dam area.

A 360-degree film of the river shows the natural scenery of the Three Gorges prior to the construction of the dam.

There are more than 170,000 cultural relics on display at the museum.

At night, you will want to enjoy the spectacular view of the city. The best way to do so is to take a cruise ship at Chaotianmen Port that links the Yangtze to the Jialing. The tour is about one-and-half hours. Keep warm because the river breeze is chilly.

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