General Introduction to Chongqing
Chongqing is called Yu for short. It is situated in the southeast of the Sichuan Basin and the confluence between the Yangtze River and the Jialing River. It is the largest and most densely populated municipality directly under the Central Government. Efforts are being made to turn Chongqing into a modern metropolis with the largest foreign market oriented industrial base in West China. On March 14, 1997, Chongqing was officially proclaimed the fourth municipality directly under the jurisdiction of the Central Government.
Chongqing abounds in biological resources, ore and waterpower as well as the Three Gorges tourist resources. Being the largest industrial and commercial center in southwest China, Chongqing boasts comprehensive industries of advanced iron and steel, chemicals, electric power, automobile manufacturing, machine-building, shipbuilding, construction materials, textiles, and foodstuff. Chongqing is also the land and water communication hub in southwest China. The port of Chongqing is the biggest in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.
Known as a "Mountain City", Chongqing was constructed on the mountain slopes and along the riversides. It has a long history and numerous scenic spots and historic sites. Because the city is very hilly it is the only major metropolitan area in China without significant numbers of bicycles. It is renowned in particular for gardens with unique beauty. Famous tourist sites include the stone carvings in Dazu County, the Three Gorges scenery, the South Hot Spring Park, the North Hot Spring Park, and Red Crag Memorial Museum.
Chongqing is one one of the largest cities in the world and is the economic center; hub of waterways, land, and air transportation in Southwest China with busy rivers and highways radiating in all directions; and an inland river port with foreign trade in the west of China; an integrated industrial city with balance developed agriculture
Chongqing is also referred to as "Yu", the "Mountain City", the "River City"; the "Foggy City"; the "Furnace City"; the "Gateway to the West".
Chongqing is located at the upper reaches of the Yangtze River - at the confluence of Yangtze River and Jialing River and at the joint of central China and the southwest China. Chongqing is situated between 10517' - 110 1' east longitude and 280' - 323' north latitude. Chongqing's neighboring areas are: Qinghai, Gansu, Shaanxi, Hubei, Hunan, Guizhou, and Yunnan Provinces, and the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Chongqing measures 470km from east to west and 450km from north to south. Chongqing neighbors Hubei and Hunan in the east, and Guizhou in the south, it neighbors Sichuan in the west and Shanxi in the north. The terrain slopes down to the Yangtze River valley from south to north, and is therefore quite undulating. Chongqing is situated on the edge of the Yungui Plateau, with hills in the northwest and central areas. In the southeast are Dabashan and Wulingshan mountains. Major rivers are the Yangtze River, Jialing River, Wujiang River, Fujiang River, Qijiang River and Daninghe River.Located at the head of the reservoir behind the Three Gorges Dam, Chongqing is the starting-point of the development of the western provinces.
Chongqing is a famous cultural city with a history of 3,000 years and a glorious revolutionary tradition. It is the birthplace of Bayu culture. Towards the end of the Old Stone Age approximately 20,000-30,000 years ago, mankind began to live in Chongqing. In Shang Dynasty (1600-1027 or 1766-1122 BC) and Zhou Dynasty (1027 or 1022 - 221 BC) Ba people founded Kingdom Ba and made Chongqing their capital. Domain of Ba in its most flourishing period was "to Yufu (present Fengjie) in the east, to Dao in the west, to Hanzhong in the north and to Qianfu in the south". Original Chongqing was the center to juristic East Sichuan, South Shanxi, West Hubei, Northwest of Hunan and North Guizhou. In all dynasties since Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 AD) and Han this region was for most of the time a unified administrative region with Chongqing as the center. In the old times Chongqing was called Jiangzhou. Then it was called Bajun, Chuzhou, Yuzhou and Gongzhou. In 581 AD, Emperor Wendi of Sui Dynasty (581-618 AD) changed Chuzhou to Yuzhou, thus coming the short form Yu for Chongqing. In 1189 Emperor Guang Zhong of Sung Dynasty (960-1279 AD) was first conferred on prince and then ascended the throne. In 1102, the first year of the reign of Emperor Chongning of the Northern Sung Dynasty, it was renamed Gong Prefecture. Zhao Chun of the Southern Sung Dynasty (1127-1279) became prince of the Gong Prefecture and later became emperor. Zhao regarded his two ascensions as a double cause for celebration and changed the name of Gong Prefecture to Chongqing, or "Double Celebration." Although protected by a wall since 250 BC, Chongqing was plundered during the rebellion of Zhang Xianzhong (Chang Hsien-chung) in the 1630s. When the wall was subsequently repaired, eight of the 17 gates were left closed on the advice of feng shui experts. In 1891, Chongqing became an open port. In 1929, Chongqing was formally made a city. During the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945), Chongqing was made an alternate capital after the fall of Nanjing, which was then the capital of the Kuomintang government. During this period, Chongqing developed into the center of politics, economy, and culture in China. When the Nationalist government returned to Nanjing, Chongqing remained a municipality directly under the central government. In the years following the founding of New China, Chongqing was the location of CPC Southwest Bureau and Southwest Civil & Military Commission, it was the political, economic and cultural center in the southwest and a city of municipality status. In 1954, Chongqing became a city under the jurisdiction of Sichuan provincial government. In 1983, Chongqing took the lead in experimenting on comprehensive economic structural reforms and was granted provincial jurisdiction over economy. Eight counties of Yongchuan merged into Chongqing. In 1992, Chongqing was made an open city along the Yangtze River. In 1994, Chongqing was designated as an experimental city at provincial level for the comprehensive reform of the marketing economic system. In September 1996, the Central Government approved Chongqing to administer Wanxian, Fuling and Qianjiang Region on behalf of the province. In 1997, Chongqing became the fourth municipality under the direct jurisdiction of the Central Government, the other three being Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin. Chongqing includes Chongqing City, Wanxian City, Fuling City, and Qianjiang Prefecture. It covers an area of 82,400 sq. km, 14% of Sichuan's total area, and has a population of 30.05 million, 27% of Sichuan's total.
Origin of name
For the city itself, it came into being three thousand years ago and got its name 800 years ago. On December 8, 1986, it was appointed one of the Historical and Cultural Cities of China by the State Council.
"Chongqing (pronounced as Ch'ung-ch'ing), also known as Chungking, is the largest city of the four municipalities directly under the central government (MDUCG) of China.
Chongqing's history extends back at least 3,000 years, endowing it with much historical and cultural significance. Traces of man's presence have been found from as far back as the end of the Old Stone Age 20,000 to 30,000 years ago. From the beginning of the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th century B.C.) to the close of the Warring States Period (221 B.C.), it was the capital of the state of Ba. From the Qin Dynasty through the Eastern Han Dynasty (221 B.C.-220 A.D.), it was a prefecture also known as Ba. During the Sui and Tang dynasties, (581-907 A.D.), it was known as the sub-prefecture of Yuzhou, hence its standard byname "Yu.'' Subsequently, during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127 A.D.), it was renamed Gongzhou. In 1189, during the Southern Song Dynasty, Zhao Dun, later the Guangzong Emperor, was given the title Prince of Gong. Regarding this as an exceedingly joyous event, he upgraded its status to that of a prefecture and renamed it as "Chongqing'' or "redoubled celebration,'' the name it carries to this day.
The Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911) saw goods spin in and out of the city as merchants from the four corners gathered. In 1891 Chongqing became an open port and a customs house was established there. Shipping and trade and the financial and processing industries grew steadily more prosperous as the city came to link southwestern China and the upper reaches of the Yangtze River with the rest of the world. In 1929 Chongqing was formally declared a city. Following the outbreak of the War of Resistance Against Japan in 1937, the Kuomintang (KMT) moved the government from Nanjing to Chongqing. In 1939 the city was elevated to a municipality under the Executive Yuan. Beginning in 1940 it served as the wartime ``provisional capital'' for the KMT government, becoming China's political, economic, financial, commercial, transportation, cultural and diplomatic center. After the KMT government returned to the formerly occupied capital Nanjing in 1946, Chongqing returned to its status as a municipality under the Executive Yuan.
After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the Southwestern Sub-bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Southwestern Military and Political Commission were set up in Chongqing. The city was made a municipality directly under the central government and continued as the political, economic and cultural center of southwestern China. After the system whereby the nation was organized into large administrative zones was rescinded in 1954, Chongqing's status was changed to that of a city under the jurisdiction of Sichuan Province. In 1983 the central government decided to include Chongqing in the first group of cities where pilot reforms of the economic system could be tried out, its economic planning being directly supervised by the State Council. The state also gave the city provincial-level administrative powers over its economy and formally made it a foreign trade port. Since entering the 1990s China has been effecting its strategy of opening and developing the Yangtze River. Chongqing was listed as an open city. In September 1996, with the approval of the State Council, Sichuan passed administration over the cities of Wanxian and Fuling and Qianjiang Prefecture to Chongqing to govern on the province's behalf. In March 1997, the Fifth Session of the Eighth NPC discussed and approved a resolution rescinding Chongqing's then current status of city, declaring Chongqing a MDUCG.
Since its founding 3,000 years ago, Chongqing has been called Jiangzhou, Yuzhou, and Gongzhou, before getting its present name nearly 800 years ago. Since the Qin Dynasty (221 BC-206 BC), many dynasties have set up administrative institutions that have endowed the city with brilliant cultures. Perched beside the Yangtze, the "Golden River," Chongqing symbolizes Yangtze River civilizations and is the cradle of Bayu culture.
In 1997 March, during the Eighth National People's Congress (NPC), Chongqing was removed from Sichuan province and merged with Wanxian, Fuling and Qianjing. It was promoted to the status of one new Municipality like Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai.
Chongqing (Simplified Chinese: 重庆; Traditional Chinese: 重慶; pinyin: Chóngqìng; Postal map spelling: Chungching, also Chungking). Formerly (until March 14, 1997) a provincial city within Sichuan Province, the municipality of Chongqing.
Chongqing is said to be the semi-mythical State of Ba that the Ba people supposedly established during the eleventh century BC. By 316 BC, however, it had been overrun by the State of Qin. The Qin emperor ordered a new city to be constructed, called Jiang (江州) and Chu Prefecture (楚州).
Chongqing was subsequently renamed in 581 AD (Sui Dynasty) and 1102, to Yu Prefecture (渝州) and then Gong Prefecture. It received its current name in 1189, after Prince Zhao Dun of the Southern Song Dynasty described his crowning as king and then Emperor Guangzong as a "double/repeated happy celebration" (Simplified Chinese: 双重喜庆; Traditional Chinese: 雙重喜慶; pinyin: shuāngchóng xǐqìng). Hence Yu Prefecture became Chongqing subprefecture to mark the occasion.
In 1362 (Yuan Dynasty), Ming Yuzhen, a peasant rebel leader, established Daxia Kingdom at Chongqing for a short time.
In 1621, another short-lived kingdom of Daliang was established there.
In 1891, Chongqing became the first inland commerce port open to foreigners.
From 1929, Chongqing became a municipality of the Republic of China. During the Second Chinese-Japanese War (1937-1945), it was Chiang Kai-shek's provisional capital and was heavily bombed by the Japanese Air Force. It holds the distinction of being the most bombed city in history. Many factories and universities were moved from eastern China to Chongqing during the war, transforming it from inland port to a heavy-industrial city.
In 1954, the municipality was reduced to a provincial city within the Sichuan Province of the People's Republic of China.
On March 14, 1997, the Eighth National People's Congress decided to merge the city with the neighboring Fuling, Wanxian, and Qianjiang prefecture-level districts that had it governed on behalf of the province since September 1996. The resulting single division was the Chongqing Municipality, containing 30,020,000 people in forty-three former counties (without intermediate political levels). The municipality became the spearhead of China's effort to develop its western regions and coordinate the resettlement of refugees from the Three Gorges Dam project. Its first official ceremony took place on June 18, 1997.
Administration type, Municipality. Capital 渝中区 Yuzhong Qu, Largest city. Area 82,300 km² (26th).
Chongqing is known as a city of mountains, rivers, and fog.
Chongqing covers an area of 82,400 square kilometers (31, 800 square miles).
Chongqing is very hilly, it contains mountains like:
The major rivers in Chongqing are:
Chongqing neighbors are:
Chongqing is the largest of the People's Republic of China's four provincial-level municipalities, and the only one in the less densely populated western half of China.
With an area of 82,400 sq km, and located on the edge of the Yungui Plateau, Chongqing is intersected by the Jialing River and the upper reaches of the Yangtze. It contains Daba Shan in the north, Wu Shan in the east, Wuling Shan in the southeast, and Dalou Mountain to the south.
Chongqing Municipality is divided into forty county-level subdivisions (three abolished in 1997), consisting of nineteen districts, seventeen counties, and four autonomous counties.
The municipal abbreviation, 渝 (Yú), was approved by the State Council on April 18, 1997. Chongqing was also a municipality of the old Republic of China. Its abbreviated name is derived from the old name of a part of the Jialing River that runs through Chongqing and feeds the Yangtze.
The urban area of Chongqing proper (重庆市区) has 5 main districts including the district of Yuzhong (渝中区, or "Central Chongqing District"), the central and most densely populated district, where government offices are located. Other districts are Nan’an (南岸区, or "Southern Bank District") Jiangbei (江北区, or "North of the River District"), Shapingba (沙坪坝区), Jiulongpo (九龙坡区), and Dadukou (大渡口区).
The municipality is further divided in to 40 county-level subdivisions, 15 districts, 4 county-level cities, and 21 counties.
County-level 40 divisions
Township-level† 1259 divisions
Districts Origin Cities Origin
Banan 巴南区 Chongqing Hechuan 合川市 Chongqing
Beibei 北碚区 Chongqing Jiangjin 江津市 Chongqing
Changshou 长寿区 Chongqing Yongchuan 永川市 Chongqing
Dadukou 大渡口区 Chongqing Nanchuan 南川市 Fuling
Fuling 涪陵区 Fuling
Jiangbei 江北区 Chongqing
Jiulongpo 九龙坡区 Chongqing
Nan'an 南岸区 Chongqing
Qianjiang 黔江区 Qianjiang
Shapingba 沙坪坝区 Chongqing
Shuangqiao 双桥区 Chongqing
Wansheng 万盛区 Chongqing
Wanzhou 万州区 Wanxian
Yubei 渝北区 Chongqing
Yuzhong 渝中区 Chongqing
Counties Origin Autonomous Counties Origin
Bishan 壁山县 Chongqing Pengshui 彭水苗族土家族自治县 Qianjiang
Chengkou 城口县 Wanxian Shizhu 石柱土家族自治县 Qianjiang
Dazu 大足县 Chongqing Xiushan 秀山土家族自治县 Qianjiang
Dianjiang 垫江县 Fuling Youyang 酉阳土家族苗族自治县 Qianjiang
Fengdu 丰都县 Fuling
Fengjie 奉节县 Wanxian
Kai 开县 Wanxian
Liangping 梁平县 Wanxian
Qijiang 綦江县 Chongqing
Rongchang 荣昌县 Chongqing
Tongliang 铜梁县 Chongqing
Tongnan 潼南县 Chongqing
Wulong 武隆县 Fuling
Wushan 巫山县 Wanxian
Wuxi 巫溪县 Wanxian
Yunyang 云阳县 Wanxian
Zhong 忠县 Wanxian
* Indicates with which district the division was associated below prior to the merging of Chongqing, Fuling, Wanxian (now Wanzhou) and Qianjiang in 1997.
Population: 30.40 million. Nationalities: Han, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Qiang, and Tujia.
Chongqing is the most populous of the People's Republic of China's four provincial-level municipalities, and the only one in the less densely populated western half of China. The Municipality of Chongqing has a registered population of 31,442,300 (2005), with most of them living outside the urban area of Chongqing proper, over hundreds of square kilometres of farmland. The population of the urban area of Chongqing proper was 4.1 million in 2005.
Chongqing is also a multi-cultural city, with about 23 distinct minority cultures. The total population of the minority groups is about 1.75 million. The Tujia and the Miao are the largest two minorities in Chongqing and mainly inhabit the Qianjiang Development District and the Fuling District. In addition to the traditional Chinese festivals such as the Spring Festival and the Mid-autumn Day, the Tujia and Miao people have their own unique folk festivals. Every January 3 to 15 of the lunar calendar, Tujia people hold grand activities of worship, praying and dancing. The Miao people express themselves through singing. The annual Gan Qiu Festival is a traditional festival where Miao people celebrate by singing songs. It is also the time for young people to express their love.
Average Temperature: average lowest temperature in winter is 6 to 8C and average highest temperature in summer is 27C to 29C; annual average temperature is around 18C to 20C. Rainfall: long rainy season and plenty rainfall, about 1,200-1,400mm a year; plenty of night rain.
Chongqing belongs to sub-tropical humid monsoon climate zone. Annual average temperature is around 18. Average lowest temperature in winter is 6-8 and average highest temperature in summer is 27-29. There is little frost and snow and much fog all the year round. Features are warm winter, hot summer, early spring and short autumn. Rainfall is plenty, about 1,000-1,400mm a year. There is plenty of night rain when spring is changing into summer, hence the saying "ashan night rains".
Chongqing has a sub-tropical monsoonal climate, with warm winter, hot summer, early spring and short autumn. Annual average temperature is around 19.2°C . The average highest temperature is 27-38°C in summer and the extreme temperature can reach as high as 43.8oC. Hence it had got the name of furnace city. The annual average rainfall is above 1000 mm. Chongqing is also called foggy city, for there is much fog from the end of autumn to early spring with at least 68 foggy days a year. Chongqing is also one of the cities with shortest sunshine time in China. The annual sunshine time is 941.9 hours.
Temperature is 24-25°C , the average highest temp. 29-29.7°C , the average lowest temp. 20.6-21.4°C and the precipitation in the daytime 27-40% (light rain) during June 7-11 in the urban areas of Chongqing.
The climate is semi-tropical, with the two-season monsoonal variations typical of South Asia. It has hot summers, and the temperature can be as high as 40°C (102°F). Along with Wuhan and Nanjing, it is known as one of the "three furnaces" of China. In the winter, it is wet and warm. While it seldom snows, most days are foggy.
The typically severe fogs were protective during World War II as the city was periodically bombarded by Japanese aircraft; their aircrews were unable to target their bombs accurately. The prevalent black tile roofs of buildings would also tend to blend into the ground colors and so became an effective form of camouflage.
As is true of most of China, the city often experiences severe air pollution, largely as a result of the burning of coal without pollution controls. Coal is burned both for industrial processes and for the production of electric power. Also, due to the surrounding mountains, a lack of wind makes the air pollution in the city even worse.
Chongqing is a city of hills, with many old lanes and buildings worth exploring, cruises up the Yangtze, and a walk around to the Port all worth a half day wander. There is even a cable car ride across the river. Air quality is grim however, and clear days are rare. However, there are cultural spots to visit at the Dazu Stone Carvings, and the Jinro and Simian Mountains amongst others. Your Hotel will be able to arrange guides or tours for you, or ask your local contact for some time to see these.
Chongqing and surrounding areas are full of tourism resources. The most famous is the Three Gorges, a scenic area along Yangtze river. The 200-km long area is the most visited canyon in China. Besides its gorgeous natural scene, it is also a culturally rich area. Other tourism sites include Dazu Rock Carvings, mainly Buddhist themes, it was carved from the Tang Dynasty, now belongs to UNESCO World Heritage.
City sightseeing is also part of Chongqing tourism, with historic World War II sites located in the metropolitan area. Outside the city, Fishing Town marks where the Mongol prince Mongke Khan was defeated in 1243, stopping the Mongol expansion toward Europe and Africa.
The Yangtze River is famous for the picturesque scenery and historical relics along its bank with Chongqing as its starting points of the journey. Floating along the Yangtze River, you can admire the breathtaking scenery created by the mysterious nature. The most famous spots along the Yangtze River are the following: Fengdu(the City of Ghost), Zhong County, Shibaozhai, Zhang Fei Temple, White Emperor City, Fengjie, Qutang Gorge, Wuxia Gorge, Xiling Gorge, and so on.
The city is home to one of the largest public assembly buildings in China, the Great Hall of the People, built in modern times but in the classic Tang Dynasty style - as a large circular building. This is adjacent to the densely populated and hilly central district, with narrow streets and pedestrian only walkways.
Chongqing rich and diversified tourist facilities include over 96 travel agencies, 23 tourist hotels which are entitled to receive foreign guests, 50 other appointed institutions and units that are foreign-related, over 360 deluxe tourist coaches of various kinds.
Chongqing attracts visitors from home and abroad for its cultural heritage and other tourist attractions. The city is the starting point for the Yangtze River Cruise, which explores the stunning scenery of the Three Gorges. Other attractions include the Dazu Rock Carvings , valuable works of art carved during the Ninth Century, Gold Buddhist Mountain, a rich repository of diverse animals and plants; and Fishing Town, one of three ancient battlefields in China. Ancient Ci Qi Kou village lures tourists to linger in its streets to buy handicraft souvenirs.
There is a museum at the World War II headquarters of General "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell.
A giant ferris wheel offers spectacular views of the metropolitan area, although it is currently out of action.
Chongqing's port reflects its importance as a major industrial and transport center. Although considerably less busy than 60 years ago, Chaotianmen is nonetheless an interesting place to see a typically busy dock as vessels moored mid-river are loaded and unloaded. “The Army of Bamboo-Poles?is now an extraordinary transportation tool between Chaotianmen Dock and the railway station. They are peasants from the suburbs of this city with a bamboo-pole on their shoulder, serving as a porter. Their attitude is always very favorable
The nightview from Nan`An District over the ChangJiang to Yuzhong District, downtown Chongqing with JiefangBei is spectacular. The best way to see the nightview is by taking a cablecar over the ChangJiang. Along the Changjiang riverside there is a boulevard full of restaurants and bars. Visitors can enjoy fried snake or famous Spicy HotPot along the Jangtse River while enjoying the nightview. Another impressive view of the mountain city is from NanShan, At Eling Park, or Yikeshu.
A modern and well stocked zoo exhibits many national and regional animals, including the Giant Panda and the extremely rare South China Tiger. Lying 55km northeast of the city, the Northern Hot Springs are in a large park which is the site of a 5th century Buddhist temple. The springs have an Olympic-size swimming pool where you can breathe to an audience. There are also private rooms with hot baths where you can enjoy the 32C water coming up to your neck or waist.