A city whose fortunes are directly linked to the Yangtze River, Chongqing is one of the first growing cities in the world. Once part of the ancient Ba Kingdom, and China’s de facto capital during World War II, there isn’t a whole lot of old Chongqing left, but as Yangtze River cruises both start and terminate here, you are likely to at least pass through the city if you are spending time on the river. Even without that much to see the city is an exciting, forward-looking and vibrant place - there is also plenty in the surrounding area that could warrant an extra day or two.

What to see

Yangtze River

Yangtze River

China’s most iconic river, taking a Yangtze cruise is one of the cornerstones of any trip to China. This timeless journey through some of China’s most spectacular scenery – including the magnificent Three Gorges – not only showcases a river that is pivotal to the country’s history, culture and economy, but gives you the chance to sit back and relax.

Our dedicated Yangtze River page has plenty more information, just click! 

Ciqikou Ancient Town

Ciqikou Ancient Town

Thought to have been founded between the years 998 and 1004, Ciqikou has come to represent old Chongqing. Once a busy port and market town on the Jialing River, the name Ciqikou means “Porcelain Port”, and became famous for the pottery during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Whilst Chongqing itself has become thoroughly modern, Ciqikou has managed to retain its old charms. At its heart is a 1,500 year old temple, and the town is crisscrossed with steep, narrow alleys lined with tea shops. It is, unsurprisingly, a great place to buy porcelain, and is one of China’s protected cultural sites.

Dazu Rock Carvings

Dazu Rock Carvings

About 100 kilometres west of Chongqing (and 200 kilometres from Chengdu) the Dazu rock carvings cover about 40 different sites, carved into rock faces, grottoes and caves nestled amongst lush green hills. Created during a period of time stretching from the Tang to the Song dynasties (9th to 13th century) the carvings were designated a World Heritage Site in 1999 due to their unrivalled quality and state of preservation. Strongly influenced by the teachings of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, the statues and carvings are secular as well as religious, giving an insight into the daily life of the people of the time, and highlighting the harmony that existed between the three religions. Spread over a relatively small area, the must-see concentrations are at Baoding Shan and Beishan.

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Why Asia?

Why Asia?

The world’s largest and most populous continent, Asia is a vibrant and rambunctious fusion of ethnicities, cultures and customs; an incomparably rich and turbulent history showcased by mindboggling feats of architecture and engineering; a geography that encompasses towering peaks, unfathomable gorges and paradisiacal beaches; and a biodiversity that is so abundant that you’ll be reaching for your wildlife guide.


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