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!
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.
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.
Sunee found a friend although she is made out of bronze
A family in trouble looking for assistance
The famous Snack Street in JieFangBei. Yep, there is a McDonald's and KFC
Victory or Liberation Monument marks the exact center of Chongqing
[b]Students lined up in front of the bookstore looking for tutoring jobs
More snacks anyone?
Jie Fang Bei Square. Very modern and beautiful
Where is it that we wanted to go?
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.
Lillian's High School
Scenes From Hot Pot Eating Adventure
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.
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.