Welcome to Chongqing City
The city sprawling down both banks of the Yangzi River for kilometres – with further development ongoing – but very little remains of old Chóngqìng. Yet the city has a unique energy that makes it a fascinating place and the locals are some of the most welcoming in all China. The gritty docks, too, are a permanent reminder of how Chóngqìng's fortunes have long been tied to the river that flows through it.
Chóngqìng is sometimes mistakenly referred to as the most populous city in the world. It isn’t. Figures for the whole municipality’s population are just over 30 million but, for now anyway, the city of Chóngqìng itself has just over 13 million inhabitants.
The city centre is a peninsula poking out horizontally between the Yangzi and Jiālíng rivers. This area is called the Yúzhōng District (渝中区), and the busy urban core at its eastern tip is known as Jiěfàngbēi (解放碑). To the north of Yúzhōng across the Jiālíng River is Jiāngběi (江北区), which is mostly residential buildings and new, upscale tower blocks. To the south of Yúzhōng across the Yangzi is Nán'àn (南岸区); the main attractions for visitors are the strands of new bars and restaurants along the waterfront. West of Yúzhōng is Shāpíngbà (沙坪坝区), home to several universities and some of Chóngqìng's hipper nightlife.