One of the most populous cities in South West China, Chongqing is an ancient city that has played a significant part in the course of China’s history. Located in Sichuan Province on both sides of the Yangzi River, the city served as China’s capital during the Second World War. Though it has a long and ancient history, this city has been hurtling forwards at an astonishing rate, and is now a significant player in the economy of China, particularly in manufacturing. Chongqing has been described as a “mega-city” with several city centers (the area is divided into districts), and although it has a rather brash exterior, the city also holds a certain charm that is characteristic of many fast-paced Chinese cities. With close to 30 million inhabitants, the official language of Chongqing is Mandarin, though a Sichuan dialect does alter pronunciation and would take time to get used to.
Known as one of the three furnaces in China, Chongqing has a humid sub-tropical climate with very long and very hot summers. The humidity is the highest of any other city in China, and the temperatures get up to 35°C (95°F) in the built-up areas. Though the temperatures are very high, the city experiences a great deal of cloud cover, though this is much less in the summer than in the winter. The winters are shorter and are not too cold, with low temperatures of around 6°C (43°F). The city of Chongqing is also notoriously foggy, with fog for about 100 days each year, which can be hard to deal with! The poor air quality can be a significant problem for some people, as the pollution can be damaging to your health if you are staying there for a long time.
With the growth of the city has come plenty of accommodation that is widely available for expatriates. Amongst this accommodation are some very high quality luxurious apartments, which are much sought after and also very expensive. The city is huge so prices vary greatly throughout, and the city center apartments are often relatively small, and are older buildings. The newer developments further out of the city center have much nicer facilities, and you will also be able to find somewhere with more space. With only four subway lines in the city, finding somewhere on these routes will significantly improve your commute, and is the best way to escape traffic.