Chongqing, China 3-Day Travel Guide - Things to Know before Booking

🇨🇳 Chongqing, China 3-Day Travel Guide – Things to Know before Planning

Finally got a 3-week vacation to visit family in China. I thought it would make the trip worth better if could squeeze in a side trip to explore another vibrant city in China, and eventually decided on Chongqing.

Nestled in the heart of southwest China, Chongqing is a city of contrasts, where ancient traditions blend seamlessly with modern innovation. Known as the “Mountain City” for its distinctive topography, Chongqing’s skyscrapers rise majestically from the banks of the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers, while its streets wind their way up and down steep hillsides. 🚠

From ancient temples and bustling markets to futuristic skyscrapers and vibrant nightlife, it offers travelers a captivating glimpse into China’s past and present. The city is also renowned for its Sichuan cuisine, particularly its signature numb & spicy hotpot and noodles. 🍜

☀️ Weather

December in Chongqing brings a chilly breeze. Temperatures ranged from 0 to 10 degrees Celsius during our visit. Remember to pack your winter essentials – a cozy jacket, warm sweaters, and fleece pants to keep snug during your travel. 🧥

🚅 Transportation

Chongqing Rail Transit (CRT) can take you to almost all of the attractions in the city. 🚇 Fares vary from about 2 RMB to 10 RMB for a single trip and is based on the distance from your starting station to the station where you exit.

If you are travelling to several places in one day, it is worthwhile getting a day pass. I got one for day 2 and it was only ¥18.

🛏️ Accommodations

Our stay at Lavande Hotel was a testament to China’s forward-thinking hospitality industry. For just ¥180 (approximately CA $35), we were treated to a spacious room complete with a king-sized bed and a music shower. Plus, the innovative feature of controlling room cleaning preferences right from a device outside the door left me impressed.

One important thing to note, especially if you are travelling in winter, is that most southern cities in China, including Chongqing, do not have central heating systems. If you’re visiting in winter, double-check with your hotel about available heating options.

💡 Things to Know

If you also plan to visit Chongqing, or even China in general, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with a few key aspects to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some insider tips:

Mobile Payments – In China, cash is becoming a thing of the past. Make sure you’re equipped with WeChat Pay or Alipay, the primary methods of payment used throughout the country. From street vendors to high-end restaurants, these mobile payment apps are indispensable.

Navigating the City – Google Maps may not be your best friend here; it’s blocked in China. Instead, rely on apps like Gaode Maps or Baidu Maps for seamless navigation around Chongqing’s unique landscape.

Unique Topography – Chongqing is renowned for its dramatic geography, with buildings clinging to hillsides and roads that wind up and down steep slopes. It gives Chongqing its distinct character and panoramic views. So prepare yourself for a city unlike any other.

The Heartwarming People – People in Chongqing are known for their warmth, friendliness, and outgoing nature. Don’t be surprised if you strike up conversations with locals eager to share their city’s stories.

🍽️ Recommended Local Eats

🍶 Drinks

  • Chongqing Erguotou (er’guo’tou): This strong local spirit packs a punch and is a favorite among locals.
  • Chongqing Spicy Hot Tea (Chongqing Huo Cha): Warm up with a steaming cup of this spicy tea, perfect for chilly evenings.
  • Bubble Tea: Quench your thirst with a refreshing bubble tea from one of the city’s many street vendors.

🥝 Fruits

  • Taste the fresh Chongqing oranges known for their sweetness
  • Try the exotic dragon fruit available in local markets

🥘 Dishes

  • Jiu Gong Ge Hot Pot (Nine-Grid Hot Pot)
  • Chongqing Spicy Noodles
  • Stinky Tofu at Ciqikou Old Town
  • Chongqing Grilled Fish
  • Chongqing Chicken Pot
  • Sichuan Hot and Sour Soup

🍨 Snacks & Desserts

  • Treat yourself to Chongqing Spicy Skewers
  • Try the local Sweet Rice Balls served during winter festivals

👛 Expense Breakdown

Traveling in Chongqing doesn’t have to break the bank. Our total expenses for three people came to just about CA$1,170, including flights, accommodation, transportation, meals, and a bit of shopping. By keeping an eye on your spending and seeking out budget-friendly options, you can enjoy an amazing trip without overspending. 💰

TransportationFlights12/18 – 12/21¥3,486 / 3 ppl
TransportationTaxis, Subways & Buses12/18 – 12/21¥100
Stay3 nights in Chongqing12/18 – 12/21¥1,240
EatsRestaurants & Snacks12/18 – 12/21¥606
AttractionTwo Rivers Night Cruise Tour12/19¥480
OtherSouvenirs, Shopping12/18 – 12/21¥124
TOTAL¥6,036 / CA$1,170

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