All About Chongqing
by Roger Allnutt

The most popular section of the great Yangtze River for cruising is the Three Gorges sector that runs from Chongqing downstream to Yichang although some cruise boats continue on to Shanghai. The Chongqing to Yichang trip takes 4 days/3 nights downstream and an extra day and night upstream.

In 1994 construction began on the controversial Three Gorges Dam project which, when completed in 2003, raised the river level about 110 metres. It submerged villages and historical and archaeological sites, resulted in the relocation of people to new villages and towns and is controversial for many environmental reasons.

The Three Gorges Dam has created a 600km long reservoir stretching back to Chongqing and changed the face of many aspects of the cruises that are immensely popular with tourists from all round the world.

 Cruise Port Facilities in Chongqing

There are more than 10 harbors in Chongqing, with Chaotianmen Dock the main pier for Yangtze upstream and downstream Cruise. The dock is located close to the junction of the Yangtze and Jiliang Rivers. Embarkation and disembarkation from ships is by way of pontoons with porters used to move luggage to the shore where bases, taxis and porters await to transport passengers to the city centre perched on a ‘hill’ above the river.

It is fascinating to watch the porters carry large amounts of luggage tied with ropes strung on poles across their shoulders.

It is about 30km from Chongqing International Airport and the best way to the dock is by quick and efficient taxis; the trip only costs about US$15. It is advisable to have the destination written in Chinese characters.

 Cruise Lines Visiting Chongqing

The Yangtze River Three Gorges cruise is very popular and the main companies providing cruises are Victoria Cruises (USA), President, New Centuries, Dragon China, and Regal China.

Most companies carry both Western and Asian passengers and have guides speaking English and Chinese although it is advisable to check before booking. Victoria Cruises which is US based have excellent guides.

 Must See Attractions in Chongqing

Chaotianmen Square
Situated on a promontory overlooking the confluence of the two rivers Chaotianmen Square is a great place to view the river scenery. The large ship-shaped square with statues and vast open space is popular with locals.

Liberation Monument
In the centre of the city on Minzu Road it the 27m high People’s Liberation Monument built to commemorate victory over the Japanese in World War II. The top of the monument contains a large clock and the base is surrounded by colourful flowers and it provides a focal point for your bearings when exploring the city area.

There are a number of excellent museums in Chongqing including the China Three Gorges Museum and a Folk Medicine Museum. The Museum of Natural History contains some dinosaur remains found locally. An unusual museum is the General Joseph W Stilwell Museum located in the residence he operated from for two years from 1942 when commander in chief of the American Army in the China Burma India theatre.

Arhat Temple
Arhat Temple, in the city centre, was originally built over 1000 years ago but the current building dates from 1945. Devotees line up at stalls outside to buy incense and ‘gifts’ for the temple that contains important steles and cliff inscriptions and a Depository of Buddhist Texts.

About one hour from Chongqing is the ancient village of Ciqikou in the western part of Chongqing on the Jialing River. Narrow streets and lanes have been preserved; the town is famous for porcelain although these days it is a popular place to relax and enjoy the local cuisine. Chongqing cuisine like that of the rest of Sichuan is spicy and hot.

 Cruise Ports

• Cape Town – South Africa
• Durban – South Africa
• Las Palmas – Canary Islands
• Mahé – Seychelles
• Port Louis, Mauritius
• Tenerife – Canary Islands


• Bangkok - Thailand

• Chongqing - China
• Hong Kong
• Mumbai - India
• Shanghai – China
• Singapore
• Yichang - China


• Brisbane - Australia
• Melbourne - Australia
• Sydney - Australia

• Quebec City – Quebec
• Montreal – Quebec
• Vancouver – BC
• Victoria – BC

• Barcelona - Spain
• Copenhagen – Denmark
• Lisbon - Portugal
• Nice - Villefranche - France
• Piraeus / Athens – Greece
• Rome (Civitavecchia) - Italy
• Venice – Italy

• Dubai - United Arab Emirates
• Istanbul - Turkey

• Tunis - Tunisia

• Auckland, New Zealand

• Dunedin, New Zealand

• Wellington, New Zealand

• Anchorage - Alaska
• Baltimore - Maryland
• Boston - Massachusetts
• Cape Canaveral - Florida
• Cape Liberty - New Jersey
• Fort Lauderdale - Florida
• Galveston - Texas
• Honolulu - Oahu - Hawaii
• Los Angeles - California
• Miami - Florida
• New Orleans - Louisiana
• New York - Brooklyn
• New York - Manhattan
• Norfolk - Virginia
• San Diego - California
• San Francisco - California
• Seattle - Washington
• Seward - Alaska
• Tampa - Florida
• Whittier - Alaska

These are just a few of the more than 70 ports and cruise terminals to be featured here on the port pages which are being updated daily with more port destinations

 in Chongqing

Best seasons to visit are spring and autumn. The climate is cold in winter and hot and humid in summer (maximum about 95 degrees Fahrenheit).

 in Chongqing

Currency called yuan (or sometimes RMB, renminbi). 1 yuan= 10 jiao = 100 fen. Exchange rate 1US$ = 6.3 yuan.

 of Chongqing

Chinese. Mandarin - locals speak a dialect of Sichuan. Not much English is spoken.

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