Our 90 minute flight from Gulin was uneventful and pleasant. After landing it too us nearly 30 minutes to get from the gate to the baggage claim...that is how BIG the Chongqing airport really it. Getting a cab was effortless and the 40 minute ride into the city center and our hotel was a whopping $14 USD. We checked into our Holiday Inn Express hotel and were down and out on a comfy bed in minutes.
The size of this city is overwhelming...and that is an understatement. The metropolitan area of Chongqing includes many suburbs and "towns," all seperated on the map by simply a drawn line. It goes on forever and is literally a bit larger than the state of South Carolina. Yes, THE STATE!
We woke early and did a search for things to do. There were several attractions that caught our eye...an ancient town, a cave system, views from a "nearby" mountaintop, and a national park housing BC era rock carvings. Once started plotting them out using Google maps, we realized that none would be accessible without a very long bus ride. Consider being in Charleston on the coast and wanting to visit a national park outside of Charolette. That is what tourists in Chongqing deal with to see "the sights."
We opted to visit the Three Gorges Museum which was a 30 minute cab ride from the hotel. It was a lovely museum with a nice variety of collections. One exhibit chronicled China's efforts to stave off the Japanese occupation. There we learned that the capitol of China was moved here between 1936 and 1943 as Beijing was too vulnerable. The photos of the Japanese bombings were startling as were the personal accounts by survivors.
For dinner we visited a local Islamic restaurant for a change of pace. The food was great. The nan was delicious and fresh, the plav rice was sweet and fragrant, and the dog meat stew was a bit of a surprise as we had no idea that is what we had ordered until well after the meal was done and tummies were full.