Perched at the confluence of the Jialing and Yangtze Rivers, Chongqing — one of the largest municipalities in China — has earned a reputation as one of the most important economic engines of the country. Due to its location, Chongqing is an intriguing mix of rustic nature and city bustle, with roads meandering between rivers and mountains to channel goods and resources. It’s also a good jumping off point to explore the Yangtze river via cruise ships, making it a popular tourist attraction. Chongqing is more than just the start of any tour of the Yangtze though. There’s much to explore, so here’s your definitive Chongqing travel guide, brought to you by AUGUSTMAN in conjunction with Singapore Airlines.

Accommodation: Westin Chongqing Liberation Square
Chongqing travel guide: the interior of Westin Chongqing Liberation Square
The interior of Westin Chongqing Liberation Square.

The Westin Chongqing Liberation Square is just a stone’s throw away from shopping and sightseeing sites in Chongqing. This house also covers a central business district called Jiefangbei. Beyond its prime location, the hotel group has also transformed the building into an accommodation with a minimalist aesthetic for weary tourists and visitors to rest in.

Address: 222 Xinhua Rd, Jie Fang Bei Shang Quan, Yuzhong, Chongqing, China

Accommodation: Banyan Tree Chongqing Beibei
By the pool around Banyan Tree Chongqing Beibei.
The view around Banyan Tree Chongqing Beibei.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of Chongqing, so the Banyan Tree Chongqing Beibei welcomes those searching for short respite from the city’s bustling energy. The property boasts 96 peaceful and isolated suites and villas nestled in the foothills of the Jinyun Mountain Natural Reserve, and each comes with a natural hot spring to relax and unwind in. As you venture out of your room, choose from a variety of activities from touring through Hechuan Fishing Town’s historical sites to having a walk around Jinyun Mountain’s lush forests.

Address: 101 Hot Spring Road, Chengjiang, Beibei District, Chongqing, China

Indulgence: Cygnet Hot Pot (Chongqing Xiao Tian E) – Chongqing Yingli Branch
Chongqing travel guide: Dining at Cygnet Hotpot.
Dining at Cygnet Hotpot.

No Chongqing travel guide is complete without a recommendation for a hotpot restaurant. There’s one around every corner street to choose from in the city, but pick Little Swan Hot Pot. Its food is known to be fresh, and its local specialties such as boiled fish and stir-fry dishes are worth a try too. It is also situated on the bank of the Yangtze, so you can dine while enjoying the views of Chongqing.

Address: 6F, Yingli International Financial Mansion, 40 Jiefangbei Minquan Road, Yuzhong District, Chongqing, China

Indulgence: Cuiyun Boiled Fish Restaurant
Chongqing: Dining at Cygnet Hotpot.
Dining at Cuiyun Boiled Fish Restaurant.

Chongqing’s other major water body is the Jialing River, which supplies the city with fresh seafood all year round. Cuiyun Boiled Fish Restaurant is a local favourite that serves a wide array of freshly caught fishes perennially, with flavours on the menu to suit all types of palates. Its signature catfish and snakehead with spicy or tomato-based broths is a must-try.

Address: 5F Saige International Building, 28 Wusi Rd, Yuzhong District, Chongqing, China

Indulgence: Qinyun Laotaipo Tantan Noodle – Main Branch
Chongqing: Two bowls of Qinyun Laotaipo Tantan noodles.
Two bowls of Qinyun Laotaipo Tantan noodles.

If you enjoy spicy dishes, then Chongqing noodles is the one for you. It comprises fresh noodles and a generous amount of red hot chilli oil-based sauce, with various vegetables added in. This is the city’s economical dish which portrays Chongqing’s mountain dwellers’ way of life — simplicity, and is often eaten in the morning by the locals.

Address: Xiejiewan Street, Huarun Ershisi City, Wanxiang Cheng, Wanxian Meishi Street, Jiulongpo District, Chongqing, China

Activities: Dazu Rock Carvings
Chongqing travel guide: A religious sculpture at Dazu Rock Carvings.
A religious sculpture at Dazu Rock Carvings.

The Dazu Rock Carvings comprise a series of religious sculptures and carvings in the Dazu District, and are one of the few UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Chongqing. Its has a history that dates back to the 6th century A.D. Tang Dynasty and tells a story inspired by Buddhism, Taoist and Confucian values. This is one of the Chongqing travel guide’s must-sees.

Address: Beishan Road, Dazu County, Chongqing, China

Activities: South China Karst (Wulong Karst)
Chongqing: The view of South China Karst.
The view of South China Karst.

The South China Karst is considered to be one of the most beautiful representations of karst environments in the world. Its stunning landscape is rarely found elsewhere in China. To have an idea of its grand scale, the site in Chongqing stretches across neighbouring provinces like Yunnan, Guizhou, and Guangxi.

Address: Wulong District, Chongqing, China

Activities: Yangtze River
A shot of Yangtze River
A shot of Yangtze River | Shane Young, Unsplash

The last entry in this Chongqing travel guide is the Yangtze River. There are more than 60 vessels operating alone the water, often sailing through the city’s Three River Gorges. The Yangtze River is the world’s third-longest river and it takes about 10 days to sail down its entire stretch. The cruise journey can also take visitors from Chongqing to Shanghai. If that’s too much for you, there are shorter trips to the Great Wall in Beijing and the Chinese First Emperor’s tomb in Xi’an from Chongqing.

This article was first published in Lifestyle Asia.

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