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02/07/2013

What things to do in Chongqing II

6. Yangzi River Cable Car

There are actually two cable car rides in Chongqing (where you can start your Yangtze River cruises ) that cross both rivers - the Jialing and the Yangzi. I took the Yangzi River Cable Car as I wanted to see the river from high up but what you also see are the rather unpleasant apartment blocks which are just horrid. This particular crossing was the first in the city and has a length of 1166 meters.

7. Arhat Temple

This temple, known, also, as Luohan Si, was built during the Ming dynasty and is famed for its hall crowded with luohan (those freed from the cycle of rebirth). The Indian Buddhist pantheon has just 18 luohan, but the Chinese have added hundreds of their own, including Buddhist figures, folk heroes and even Taoists. The hall has 524 life-sized statues; some sit serenely, while others have grotesque faces.

Open: 8am-5pm. Admission: 10 RMB (unit for China money).

8. People' s Liberation Monument

Jiefangbe, or the People' s Liberation Monument, formerly known as the Monument of Victory in the War of Resistance, a 27.5 meter high structure, was renamed and had its new name inscribed by Liu Bocheng on October 1st, 1950. This drab clock tower is to celebrate the Communists' liberation of the city from seventy years of colonial and right-wing occupation.

9. Great Hall of the People

In 1951, under the leadership of Marshal He Long, an auditorium was to be built at Chongqing to accommodate domestic and overseas guests. Completed in 1954, it was named the Chongqing People's Assembly Hall in 1955.

The hall complex is a cluster of attached structures which contain the hall and three attached buildings respectively to the east, south and north. Collectively, they cover 66,000 square meters (about 16.3 acres) of which the hall accounts for 18,500 square meters (about 45.7 acres). The hall is 65 meters high (about 213 feet) and has a capacity of more than 4,000 seats.

10. Three Gorges Museum - Bayu

Bayu, located in China's south-west corner, has been largely separated from the outside world since ancient times. It boasts some of the most ancient human art relics. Exhibits include animal bones, pottery, bone tools and instruments, bronzes, weaponry and musical instruments.

11. Chaotianmen Markets

If you have the time and the inclination a trip to the wholesale markets of Chaotianmen are a must for your last minute China travel deals- a rabbit warren of steps, passage ways and outlets tumbling down the river cliffs in series of steep steps - just off the city centre - only 10-15 minutes walk away - prices are very cheap but you may need to buy 100 of the item to get the deal! At the bottom cross over to the urban planning exhibition below Chaotianmen Square to see the most amazing planning models of Chongqing and surrounding areas - don't be put off by the term 'planning models' this is a truly remarkable exhibition which will leave you a little awestruck at the scale of what is happening in this city!

Look out for the art gallery on the bottom levels and there's a good little cafe in there too - from there you can access the terrace and see across to the site where they are developing the Chongqing Opera House - an amazing design which it is hoped will rival Sydney for position and grandeur. Here too is the famous meeting of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers. At night catch one of the riverboat trips to see the lights and buildings of Chongqing - you may have to pre-book through an agent. They leave from the spaces below the terrace.

For more via China tour agents.

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