Chongqing at a Glance
Living in Chongqing
Culture and Leisure
Chongqing has a long history, and has long been of great cultural significance in the country. There are many sights where you can see this history, including war museums, monuments and temples, along with beautiful scenery surrounding the city (which can be seen from a Yangzi River cruise) and many parks. Despite the similarities to other Chinese cities, there is also a uniqueness that makes Chongqing stand out. The cuisine in Chongqing is a combination of Sichuanese food and Cantonese food. Sport is becoming increasingly important to the people of Chongqing, and football is a growing professional sport that is gathering a large fan base. The competitive growth of the city can be felt in all corners, and it is impossible not to be swept away by the energy of Chongqing.
Transportation in Chongqing
Chongqing has always been a major Chinese transportation hub, and as such, the transportation infrastructure within the city has benefited from a great deal of development. The subway and the monorail provide the fastest transportation routes, and with just four lines, it is very easy to navigate, and has the advantage that the announcements are made in English as well as Mandarin. These are relatively modern and air conditioned, but get incredibly busy at rush hour. The buses in Chongqing are inexpensive, and run very frequently, but the crazed rush hour traffic is unavoidable, so journeys can be very slow. These are not too hard to navigate, and you will be able to find the correct bus numbers for your journey online. Taxis are also relatively cheap and easy to use, but you would need to either be able to communicate where you are going to the driver, or have some regular places written down on a piece of paper as the drivers will usually only speak Mandarin.
Safety and Security
Though Chongqing has been notorious over the past two decades for its organized crime scheme, the city is now considerably safer. A large operation in 2009 cleared the city of a great deal of violence, and now Chongqing is no worse than any other Chinese city for crime levels. Few violent crimes occur against tourists, and as a relatively international city, foreigners do not stand out as much as in other Chinese cities, making them much less of a target. Despite this, pickpockets do operate in the city, and some people will make the assumption that a foreigner in the city has a lot of money, so keep your eye on your possessions at all times, particularly in crowded tourist areas and when waiting for public transport. In general, the locals will be pleasant and friendly, and will often engage in conversation if they can. If you are found with illegal substances, the sentences can be very harsh so these should always be avoided. The number for the police is 110, and the service will be able to find someone who can speak English to talk to you.