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72 hours in Chongqing

Updated: Jun 17, 2019 By Tan Yingzi China Daily Print
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Love for hotpot is deeply rooted in the resident community of Chongqing as the spicy and tasty dish isn't just mouthwatering, but also greatly lift one's mood.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Food tips:

Street snacks are available on Haochi, or "foodie's street" in the city's Jiefangbei area. Mouthwatering options include hot and sour rice noodles, small sweet dumplings and the Chongqing noodle. A local favorite, the "flower market noodle with mashed beans and minced pork" near the JW Marriot Hotel is highly recommended.

You could try dinner at Nanbin Road, which runs by the Yangtze. There are dozens of upscale restaurants with a view of the river and the Yuzhong Peninsular. Yuxin Sichuan Dish and Yun Sheng Restaurant are good places to go.

A less glamorous hotpot shop called Big Dragon, down an alley in Shapingba district, is the go-to place for real foodies and is open until 3 am. The shop opened at least 20 years ago and it has not changed since.

If you want a more upmarket restaurant, Bai Le Tian Hotpot might be your place - it is the first known hotpot shop in Chongqing, dating to 1921. The newly-renovated restaurant in downtown Jiefangbei features a 1930s retro-style decor, with a local traditional music played by a live band.

Bars to try:

Sky bar at Niccolo, the tallest in Chongqing, with a live band; Mr Tipsy Whiskey and Cocktail Bar, cross the Hongya Cave, a posh and quiet place to have a drink and enjoy the river view; and River Terrace at Regent Hotel, with a nice outdoor seating and views of the Jialing River and the city.

Visa-free transit

Since November 2013, Chongqing has been offering foreign tourists a 72-hour window to explore the city without a visa, following the introduction of a new policy for transit passengers from 45 countries.

Visitors eligible for visa-free stays must have air tickets to a third country with confirmed dates, and visas where required. A service center for transit passengers operates at the Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport.

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