A trip to Chongqing

You might remember Stephany the girl I mentioned in a few posts. I met her in Xi’an last week and we kept in touch. She invited me to her hometown Chongqing and as it’s only 2 hours by train from Chengdu I decided to go.
Today was actually the best day to do so, cause it’s still raining over here in Chengdu. I was living in London for nearly four years, however, never had two days of constant rain. The weather in Chongqing was much better. Still cloudy, but at least dry. Stephany and her husband picked me up from the railway station and we then went for lunch at a very lovely restaurant. We shared different dishes (noodles, soup, chicken, duck and shrimps), which were all yummy. The only thing I still haven’t got used to is that they serve everything with bones. The chicken even came with its head.

Fancy some chicken head?

We then took the cab to Ciqikou a famous ancient street in Chongqing. Ciqikou translates to Porcelain Village, cause it was famous for its production of porcelain during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911). There are still plenty of shops selling porcelain and other handicrafts, however, nowadays you also find shops selling delicious snacks, busy tea houses and mini bars. Stephany and her husband introduced me to Mahua (fried dough twist), which tastes crisp and sweet and became one of the symbols of Ciqikou. There's one shop where you can watch the women preparing it and buy it straight away. I really liked them and Stephany decided to buy a bag of them for me as a gift. I refused, but she and her husband insisted I should take it.


the ready ones

Look how popular they are!






The guy probably stands for something, however, I have no idea for what.

Look how crowded it was!

Stephany and her husband

At the far end you can see the river.


We walked up the street and I found some really strange looking pastries, so I asked Stephany what it is and she said originally it would have been made of vegetables and fruits, but nowadays they only use flour and sugar for it. I was curious how it taste like and bought 5 different pieces for 10 RMB (1 GBP/1,20 EUR). Seems like I picked the right ones. I only disliked the one rolled in a leaf, cause of its strong herby flavour. However, all the others were really good.



Ciqikou is ending down at the Jia Ling River. At the river pier they put up loads of funfair rides, balloons and other stuff to entertain kids. Also a plastic pool with lots of fish, bright plastic balls and even a turtle in it. I couldn’t believe it, but they’re actually doing this for the kids to play fishing. That’s so sad. Poor fish and turtle. I also saw lots of jars with plenty of turtles in it. When I asked Stephany why they are here she said kids would buy them and take them home to raise them. It made me really sad. 10 turtles in one jar…

Can you spot the poor little turtle?
Kids playing fishing for fun. Poor fish. This is so sad :-(
It really made me sad to see this.


After we had finished our trip to Ciqikou we took another cab to the Yangtze River Cable Car. I remember my Geography teacher was always talking about the Yangtze river in her classes, so I got quite excited to go. However, it turned out to be just another way to dirty looking river. The surroundings are nice (rice fields in the mountains and the skyline of Chongqing on the other side), but the Yangtze river is just nothing spectacular. Sorry geography teacher.

The Yangzte River Cable Car






We then went to the Hongya Cave. It’s located at the intersection of the Yangtze with the Jialing river and really beautiful with it’s little waterfall, small old houses, sculptures and little shops. Shame I was only visiting for one day, so we haven’t had time to sit down and have a tea or coffee in one of the lovely cafĂ©s.



Stephany and me at Hongya Cave

Chongqing is famous for its Hot Pot. They even have a sculpture about.

The two then took me downtown to Liberation Square. It’s basically a square full of large malls and shopping centers, luxury hotels, entertainment areas, financial companies and high-rise buildings. In its middle is the Chongqing People's Liberation Monument, which was built in 1945 to commemorate the victory over the Japanese in the 2nd World War.

Liberation Square


Chongqing People's Liberation Monument

To finish up the my visit the two took me to some place well known for its dumplings. And to be honest they were definitely the best I had so far. Stephany and her husband then accompanied me to the train station where I took the train back to Chengdu. Now back in Chengdu (and it’s still raining) I can’t believe how generous those two are. They didn’t let me pay anything. Lunch & dinner, the cab rides, the Mahua on Ciqikou street- they paid everything. I offered to pay all the time, but they would just not let me. I hope they will come and see me, when back in Germany, so that I can show them around and give back a little. Stephanie’s husband is a big fan of German football, so I could take him to some game. That’s by the way one thing I always notice over here. People are so friendly and welcoming towards foreigners. First Michelle in Beijing, who invited me to her house to have lunch with her family and now Stephany and her husband. I’m overwhelmed by all this kindness.


3 Comments :

  1. remember sometime back they came up with turtles as keyring s?

    http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/live-animals-being-sold-as-keyrings-in-china.html

    ReplyDelete

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