A Travellerspoint blog

An Evening Adventure: Hong Ya Dong or Red Rock Village

Lillian takes us to one of the biggest attractions in Chongqing

With the arrival of evening and after our Hot Pot adventure, we took about a half-hour walk to the river. The place is called Hong Ya Dong or Red Rock Village. It is famous because it is where the Chongqing Negotiations between Mao Zedong and Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-Shek) took place during the war with Japan. It has some magnificent buildings and all kinds of tourist stuff as you can see for yourself.

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The entrance to Hong Ya Dong

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A weird sculpture on the way to the village

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How about a ride?

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The architecture of the village is very impressive

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The old theater is still in use

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Chongqing sweets

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They make candy the old fashion way - they pound it

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Pirates one can love

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Taking a break from the hot sun

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Traditional sugar candy

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A nice Buddha image

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A strange bronze statue of strange guy and stranger kid

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A view at dusk.

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Same view at night

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Night scene

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Another night scene

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Sunset over the Yangtze River

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Beautiful bronze wall depicting the history of Chongqing

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Pouring noodles. Very strange but I was not hungry

Great fun! Great photographs! Oh, yeh, we also bought some stuff as well.

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Would you care for a game of poker or blackjack?

Posted by inchinahil 23:03 Archived in China Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

The First Full Day In Chongqing

JieFangBei Plaza and our new living arrangements

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Welcome To Chongqing

I had called Lillian, one of my students at SWJTU, the evening of our arrival from the "touted" hotel. She showed up the next morning at around 1000 and we immediately checked out of the hotel. Lillian escorted us over toward the JieFangBei Plaza area which is considered the center of Chongqing financial district. On the way we checked out two hotels. The first was way too expensive and the second was one of those "bushi wai" places (no foreigners allowed). One of these days I will figure out why these hotels do not allow foreigners. Happened a lot on our trip along the Silk Road back in 2005.

Lillian took us to the Chong Tian hotel across the street from the big Xinhua Bookstore. Location, location, location. Nothing more needs to be said. A beautiful hotel right in the center of town for only 208 Yuan!

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And right across the street from the largest Xinhua Bookstore in Chongqing!

Since it was now approaching noon, Lillian took us to a famous Chongqing snack place (after checking in and depositing our stuff, of course). We had the famous "soup" jaodz and some other noodles. The jaodz were great but a bit messy to try to eat. Hot and messy! A great introduction to the food of Chongqing.

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Be careful! The soupy center is hot

After this lunch we simply walked around the plaza taking pictures and getting a feel for where we were and how to get around. A huge place, very commercial and very modern. Sunee and I both loved it. The exact center was a monument called the Victory Monument (or is that now called the Liberation Monument). It is a tall clock tower and very easy to spot when one gets lost or when one wants to meet someone. It became the starting point for many of our adventures in the Chongqing.

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Sunee found a friend although she is made out of bronze

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A family in trouble looking for assistance

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The famous Snack Street in JieFangBei. Yep, there is a McDonald's and KFC

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Victory or Liberation Monument marks the exact center of Chongqing

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[b]Students lined up in front of the bookstore looking for tutoring jobs

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More snacks anyone?

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Jie Fang Bei Square. Very modern and beautiful

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Where is it that we wanted to go?

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Jie Fang Bei is big, like Times Square in New York City

We decided to have an early dinner so Lillian took us to what she described as the best Chongqing Hot Pot restaurant in Chongqing. As we walked to it, we passed her old high school. Seems Lillian was raised in an area called Loquat (Pipa) Hill. That is the exact place where our hotel was located so she was very familiar with the area.

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Lillian's High School

Scenes From Hot Pot Eating Adventure

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Our Chongqing Hot Pot Experience was almost the same as our Chengu Hot Pot Experience which was also the same as our Emei City Hot Pot Experience. Maybe this hot pot was a littler hotter but basically if you do hot pot in Sichuan, it is all the same. Great atmosphere and good prices made the dinner very worthwhile. Lillian is an absolute doll and sweetheart!

On the way back to our hotel, I kept seeing all these guys hanging around with these long bamboo polls so I asked Lillian about them Seems they are the "stick people" of Chongqing. Poor farmers with no work or between harvests who come to the big city to do manual labor. They hang around until someone needs something heavy to move. They tie the stick to the heavy object and the object gets moved. These stick people could be seen all over JieFangBei area.

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Unemployed looking for work in Chongqing - a stick person

As the sun began to set in Chongqing, Lillian took us to another famous tourist place in Chongqing - Hong Ya Dong.

Posted by inchinahil 07:23 Archived in China Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Trip To Chongqing

Another Chinese Adventure to two of the "furnace cities" of China, Chongqing and Wuhan

The Bus Trip

We had decided to take the bus from Emei for its convenience, paying 115 yuan for each of us to get to Chongqing. John was good enough to walk over to the bus station at the base of Emei Mountain and visited with us until our bus left at 0830. He had just gotten back from Chongqing and was very impressed with the city and its many offerings. We were excited about going to Chongqing.

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The trip to Chongqing on the bus was pleasant. The bus seats were comfortable and we made a couple of “pit stops” along the way to relieve any pressure. The trip took a total of seven hours, arriving in Chongqing at around 1500. The scenery between Emei and Chongqing was the typical Sichuan scenes of agriculture, nondescript towns and villages and hills covered with tea plants. Impressive and interesting last year but no longer held much interest for us since we live in one of the major tea producing and agriculture areas of China.

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My first glimpse of Chongqing, however, was impressive. Giant skyscrapers on two sides of the Yangtze River sprouting up on mountains. The Mountain City is exactly what it is!

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Touting

As is always the case in Asia, the touts were out in force as we stepped off the bus. And, as is always the case, we followed along with one of these touts. She was pleasant and smiling all the way up to the hotel she had chosen for us. Hotel! Well, it was more like an apartment building that had the empty rooms converted to a hotel. Large but dirty and with little or no hotel amenities. One night, the first night, so what the heck! The view from the balcony was almost worth the price of 180 Yuan as we were on the 28th floor overlooking the river. At night the view was easily worth the Yuan.

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One of these days we will overcome our eagerness to be touted as we get off our mode of transportation. Until that day comes, we will probably continue to provide income to these individuals and their kick-back scams.

A Bad Location

The remainder of our first day in Chongqing, once we were settled in, was to realize just how bad a location we were given. Not much to do and not many restaurants. A purely residential area and under construction to boot. The people we met, though, were very friendly and easy to visit with. They all seemed to have a very sincere grasp of what it means to be a foreigner in a foreign land and they, almost to a person, were eager to assist in any and all areas. It felt good!

We found a little noodle shop and had a quick dinner then walked around the area. Upper middle class business area with lots of construction. Not far from our hotel I saw the Big Mosque. Just another hotel looking building with the curved arabic doors and Islam symbols. Nothing special at all. One thing for sure, it was hot. I mean super hot and just walking the few blocks tired us out considerably. Chongqing is definitely an oven!

Posted by inchinahil 06:14 Archived in China Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

To Chongqing

Tomorrow we are off to Chongqing

Tomorrow morning at 0830 we will catch a bus to Chongqing. It should be about a seven hour trip.

We walked over to the bus station and made reservations for the trip. Could not buy the tickets until this evening. The lady was nice enough to set aside seat 3 and seat 4 for us. We will pay for them in the morning.

Not sure how long we will be gone. Must check back with the university later during the trip.

More pictures. More fun. More adventures in China

Posted by inchinahil 03:53 Archived in China Tagged preparation Comments (0)

Grand Opening Of An Art Gallery

We attend the opening of an art gallery belonging to Sunee's teacher.

The Art Gallery's Grand Opening was today, July 23, 2008, for Sunee's teacher. We, along with Tom, went to Emei City for the occasion. Our first stop was to Xiao Lin's to buy some "grand opening" flowers. Took about an hour to make all the arrangements.

The Opening mostly consisted of the local artists doing their thing in celebration of the opening. Here are the pictures I took during the ceremony.

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As is the custom, we bought some Grand Opening flowers for the event with the help of Xiao Lin

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Here is the front of the gallery

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Quite small but really nice paintings

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The artist took turns producing special art for the occasion

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Sunee hopes to master the art of caligraphy one of these days

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In between producing art, the artists discussed their works with us

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Tom and a middle school English teacher admire the many works

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This is the gallery owner's father. One of the best known artist in China. He is in his 90s.

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A local TV station interviews Tom about the opening

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The foreign guests

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Here is one of the finished products

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When one gets done with the masterpiece, one must CHOP it

After the ceremony we all went to a restaurant for lunch. Mighty fine food was provided.

All-in-all it was another interesting and unique experience for us. Just another adventure in China.

Posted by inchinahil 03:35 Archived in China Tagged events Comments (0)

A Western Restaurant Offers Mao's Revenge

Continuation of John's farewell party, we westerners went to a western restaurant, the only one in Emei City. I paid the price!

The western restaurant is called NongChau after some bridge in some famous western movie. Never could figure the correct name out. Anyway, it features fusion food in the western tradition. This particular night they had a buffet with western dishes.

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The first picture I took came out like this. Wrong settings. This should have been a warning.

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The food seemed ok and was tasty and western

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A good meal for someone looking for western dishes or so I thought

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John, too, thought it was very nice

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No one else got sick. Maybe, it was the celebration alcohol which protected everyone

I got very sick and spent two days in bed. Sunee, who did not eat much was ok. No one else was sick. All the others drank loads of wine and then scotch. Bet it killed the bacteria. Should have known when I saw that none of the chafing dishes were heated. It will be forever before I return to that place!

Posted by inchinahil 20:32 Archived in China Tagged food Comments (0)

John's Farewell Dinner And Party

We got together with the other teachers in our department to say goodbye to John and hello to a new teacher. The head of the department, Susan, and the Dean of the faculty, Dean Jiang, were our hosts

They came to get us at around 6 pm and took us to a restaurant that was popular to hold such affairs. We had been there before in one of our weekend dinings with Bogdan and Tom. The restaurant was nice and had separate dining rooms with air conditioning. Our room had two tables and was perfect for our small group. Pictures say it better than I can write.

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All the guys sat at this table with three of the ladies.

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The other table was strictly for the lady teachers. No men allowed.

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Dr. Robert and his wife Jean are from Canada and qualify as "foreign" teachers

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Susan, head of the department, and Dean Jiang, head of the faculty, were our hosts

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Sunee seems to be having a good time

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Sylvia with our new teacher

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John is enjoying himself

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Two more of our finest

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Susan takes a break to gossip a bit

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Bernice and Mariah, both graduates of the Assumption University MELT program

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The Dean needs more wine

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Charles, our teacher coordinator, brought some soy bean milk for me and others

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Tom takes advantage and pigs out

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I guess this means the dinner was a success

THE FAIR

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The feast is spread

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The appetizer was spicy sichuan peanuts. Lots of peppers with few peanuts

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Then came some spicy sichuan noodles. Not too bad but still spicy

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Do not be fooled by these mushrooms. They were very, very hot

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Fishheads! A sichuan delicacy which us foreigners passed on. All except Robert who loved them

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Spicy sichuan chicken. Would have been much better if the chicken had been boneless

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Spicy sichuan pork (or is that beef) stomach. I passed on this as well

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Pagoda Pork. The best dish we had for us foreigners. Giant slabs of bacon

Posted by inchinahil 19:17 Archived in China Tagged food Comments (0)

A Walk In The Countryside

Took a walk out the main gate of the Southwest Jiaotong University campus to take some pictures

One day after a early dinner, we decided to take a walk out the main gate of our campus. Since we live on the other side of the campus, we usually walk out the gate nearest the resort area. This day we explored what was out the main gate, the gate closes to the official entrance to Emei Moutain.

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This is the view as one walks out the main gate of the campus

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The first thing one sees are rice fields. Lots of them.

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Active farmhouse among the rice fields

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This was a cute little cottage surrounded by agricultural produce

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Interesting empty building among the fields. Maybe a school at one time

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The new gate to Emei Mountain and Reception Hall have recently been completed

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This giant rock was used as the introduction to the Emei World Heritage Site

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On our way back to campus I took this picture. I call it "corn and campus."

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Every piece of land is under production

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This is so typical of what we see every day. A Chinese lady working hard.

Posted by inchinahil 17:33 Archived in China Tagged foot Comments (0)

Chongqing Preparations Begin

Gathering the available information on Chongqing

We are currently preparing for our upcoming trip to Chongqing and Hubei Province. My guide will look something like this:

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It is almost as much fun to prepare for a trip as it is to actually take the trip.

Posted by inchinahil 17:20 Archived in China Tagged preparation Comments (0)

To Market, To Market

A quick trip to our local Emei Mountain fresh food market

This is a series of pictures to show what is now "hot" in our local fresh fruit and veggies market about a ten minute walk from our apartment on Southwest Jiaotong University campus.

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It's time to go shopping at the local market

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The market place is also a beer bottle recycling location. Interesting greens here.

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As usual, there are lots of vegetables

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Ahh, it must be pumpkin time in China

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These pumpkins are great. Looking to make a pumpkin pie soon!

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This is Sichuan Province so peppers are everywhere

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It is also grape season but they are still a bit sour

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This is a great combination of veggies

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Also it is plum season

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Eggplants and other veggies are always available

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Cucumbers! The long or the short.

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Anybody for some pork, cut to your specs

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Sunee is always looking to do business with the older generation like this lady

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This is used to steam the Chinese bread or mantou. I love it!

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And then, of course, we need bananas

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Finished shopping and it is time to go home

Posted by inchinahil 20:22 Archived in China Tagged shopping Comments (0)

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