Chongqing – home to 33 million people

Saturday 6 September

After an early road trip from Yangshuo, and then a quick flight we arrived in Chongqing, one of China’s largest cities with a current municipal population of 32.8 million people. That is 1 1/4 times Australia’s population.

Chongqing (sounds like Chong-Ching) has human life dating back two million years and was a strategic point for battles between northern and southern clans over the past 2000 years.

Population explosions occurred after WWII and again as a result of relocation for the construction of the Three Gorges Dam.

We visited the ancient town of Ciqikou on the Jialing River. Late Ming Dynasty houses have been restored for tourists. There are souvenir and food shops, palm readers and ghost alleys. It was Saturday afternoon and the streets were jam packed. I laughed when a group of young girls grabbed Bruce to share selfies. Yes, Mr Moustache is on tour.

Chongqing is famous for hot and spicy food, so every now and then we passed a shop that took our breath away. Chillies were everywhere and a spicy aroma filled the air.

Before boarding our Yangzi (Yangtse) cruise we were taken to the Three Gorges Museum where the history of trade and conflict on the Yangzi was described. A very positive story of the patriotic relocation of more than 1 million villagers to make way for the dam was interesting.

And after a long day we boarded the Century Legend for the must do Yangzi cruise. We left port around 10pm and enjoyed the balmy air and city lights.