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Articles en français, Avant le depart

Escapade à Chongqing : entre temples et gratte-ciel

La joie du Nouvel An Chinois…1 semaine de vacances! Du luxe après à peine un mois de stage. Vacances nationales, on ne discute pas…

Un calme étrange règne dans les villes après le passage de la foule qui se dirige vers les campagnes pour rejoindre proches et amis. Mais Chengdu n’est pas si tranquille que cela, car le calme qui s’y installe s’apparente à une journée ordinaire d’une capitale européenne. La ville est loin d’être vide, mais l’espace qui se libère autour de nous nous le fait croire.

Avec Tamara, ma collègue et amie à InternChina, nous avons décidé de profiter de ce temps pour s’échapper de Chengdu pour une plus grande ville, donc plus libérée d’espace : Chongqing. Nous préparons notre voyage à l’avance, pour 269km de distance, un aller vers Chongqing devrait prendre environ deux heures de train : faisable. Nous achetons nos billets à bas prix, et nous nous laissons emporter par l’euphorie de la fête qui se prépare autour de nous.

Je n’ai jamais vraiment su organiser les voyages que j’ai pu entreprendre, me laissant souvent porter par une insouciante qui m’a conduit vers des endroits exceptionnels et des personnes surprenantes. C’est avec la même insouciance que j’ai abordé la ville de Chongqing. Dès le premier jour, nous n’avons pu qu’être frappées par le contraste qu’offre la ville.

InternChina – Vieille ville et centre-ville
InternChina – Vieille ville et centre-ville

De nombreux temples se trouvent en plein milieu de l’agitation de la plus grande cité du Sichuan, tandis que le centre-ville moderne s’apparente à un petit (tout est relatif) Time Square à la chinoise. Les repères spatio-temporels sont parfois mis à rude épreuve !

Plusieurs spécialités culinaires nous font envie: traditionnelle fondue Sichuanaise, originaire de Chongqing et très très épicée (!), des nouilles de ChongQing (plus épaisses et goûteuses que la normale), des grillades de viandes ou de fruits de mer, sautés légumes et pommes de terre épicées, gâteaux de riz… de quoi vous faire tourner la tête ! A notre grand désarroi nous n’avons pas pu tout goûter mais nous avons, pour sûr, poussé les limites de nos estomacs !

Pendant le Nouvel An Chinois, le temps semble s’arrêter durant deux semaines pour laisser place à la fête.  Des lanternes rouges de toutes formes apparaissent dans les arbres, sur les lampadaires, sur les fenêtres des immeubles… Le bonheur règne et se transmet ! La nuit, la ville s’illumine et nous donne l’impression d’être dans un monde différent.

InternChina- Hongya Caves
InternChina- Hongya Caves

Chongqing est une ville montagneuse, à la différence de Chengdu où l’on peut se déplacer à vélo presque partout, il faut affronter des pentes bien brutes et renforcer son courage pour pouvoir enjamber sa bicyclette!

J’ai tout particulièrement aimé cet aspect de Chongqing car cela me rappelle ma ville natale, Lyon, qui a la particularité d’avoir deux collines. Les villes avec du relief sont celles que j’apprécie le plus, un sentiment de satisfaction me comble lorsque j’arrive au bout des pentes ou des marches qui sont faces à moi!

Le panorama qu’offre la ville est donc bien différent, avec les montages et surtout le Yangze Jiang, le plus grand fleuve d’Asie, qui parcourt l’agglomération. Les activités touristiques qui s’organisent autour du fleuve sont très variées, avec Tamara nous optons pour la Télécabine qui traverse le fleuve à près d’une centaine de mètres de hauteur, sur 1166 mètres de longueur.

Nul besoin de dire que la vue fut époustouflante.

InternChina - Vue du Télécabine
InternChina – Vue du Télécabine

En bref, ces quelques jours de voyages ont été très enrichissants, et Chongqing est une ville surprenante où l’on ne trouve pas le temps de s’ennuyer!

 

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Travel, Weekend Trips

Eine Stadt der Superlative: Chongqing

Eine Woche während Chinese New Year, geschlossenen Geschäften und einigen freien Tagen- was bietet sich da besser an als eine Reise? Nur wohin? Bloß nicht nach Guangzhou- zu voll! Bloß nicht in die ländlicheren Gegenden- zu voll! Bloß nicht zu teuer und auch nicht zu weit weg…also…Chongqing!

InternChina- Chongqing

Thelma und ich haben uns für unsere Reise für die „Sparfuchs-Variante“ entschieden und anstelle des Schnellzuges den „normalen“ Zug gewählt. Dadurch haben wir für unsere Hin- und Rückfahrt nur 93RMB bezahlt anstelle von 150RMB für eine Fahrt.

Chongqing hat uns bereits nach den ersten Minuten unserer Ankunft begeistert! Ein sehr gut ausgebautes Nahverkehrsnetz, eine atemberaubende Skyline und das Beste: nicht voll!Als größte Stadt der Welt hat Chongqing wirklich so einiges zu bieten! In den nächsten 3 Tagen haben wir wunderschöne Tempelanlagen gesehen, uns an Massen von Streetfood satt gegessen und haben letztendlich leider doch eine Kostprobe davon bekommen, was zu Chinese New Year ganz normal ist.

 

InternChina- Huguang Versammlungshalle
InternChina- Streetfood, cute Baozi

 

 

InternChina- Menschenmassen

Das alte Städtchen Ciqikou im Chongqinger Shapingba Bezirk eignet sich besonders gut wenn man ein bisschen Alt Chinesischen Flaire genießen, ein paar Souvenirs kaufen oder den gut erhaltenen Baolu Tempel besichtigen möchte.

InternChina- Balou Tempel Ciqikou

Eins meiner persönlichen Highlights (im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes)war definitiv die Fahrt mit der Gondel von einer Seite Chongqings über den Yangtze auf die andere Seite der Stadt. Wir mussten zwar fast 1 ½ Stunden anstehen bis wir endlich an der Reihe waren, aber die Aussicht- einfach Wahnsinn! Mit 30RMB für einen Roundtrip auch preislich völlig in Ordnung.

InternChina- Chongqing Skyline

Das Stadtinnere ist mindestens genauso beeindruckend wie die Skyline! Ein Hochhaus überragt das andere und auch hier lohnt sich der Besuch bei Nacht da viele der Gebäude bei Nacht angestrahlt werden.

InternChina- People Liberation Monument Chongqing
InternChina- Chongqing

Beschämenderweise haben Thelma und ich es nicht geschafft, den schärfsten HotPot der Welt zu probieren für welchen Chongqing so berühmt ist. Nach dem wir innerhalb der 3 Tage an gefühlt jedem Streetfood-Stand gehalten haben, war einfach kein Platz mehr für HotPot.

Aber auch ohne diese HotPot Erfahrung war der Trip nach Chongqing rundum gelungen. Wer gerne für ein Wochenende so richtig Großstadtluft schnuppern möchte und gleichzeitig wunderschöne, chinesische Kultur erleben mag, der ist in Chongqing genau richtig!

Chengdu InternChina events, Things To Do in Chengdu

Generation UK Interns En Masse in Chongqing

Being an intern based in Chengdu opens up a Pandora’s Box of travel destinations in Western China, not least of which is the fascinating tumult of Chongqing; a city of staggering development, tortuous steps and hidden charm.

InternChina - View from our hostel
InternChina – View from our hostel

InternChina - Chongqing's Architecture
InternChina – Chongqing’s Architecture

Chongqing is also home to the British Council in South West China, without whom many interns would not have made it here. It is thanks to Generation UK funding that students from all over Britain get to live in China for 2 months and experience business from a new cultural perspective. So we welcomed the chance to go when we were invited to visit the British Council – to catch a train to Chongqing, say thank you and seize the opportunity to explore!

InternChina - Andres, Clare, Charlie & Jaasir
InternChina – Andres, Clare, Charlie & Jaasir

InternChina - Exploring Chongqing's market alleys
InternChina – Exploring Chongqing’s market alleys

During the day we wandered the streets from steep alleys of derelict housing about to be demolished straight into the heart of the modern city, complete with New York style skyscrapers and shiny glass doors. Then we continued on to the hustle and bustle of riverbank and the great mass of the Yangtze River.

The evening was spent in the company of the British Council, whose hospitality knows no bounds. Great food and good company, it was a chance for all of us to meet local Chongqing businessmen and other foreigners currently working in the area.

Next day we scoured the antique stalls around the People’s Square, disputing the value of pretty much everything there but eventually came away happy with our purchases. As darkness fell, we caught the cable car over the river to the opposite bank to catch a glimpse of Chongqing’s night lights.

InternChina - Chongqing's night lights
InternChina – Chongqing’s night lights

Late night is the time to enjoyed impromptu street food meals of spicy barbecue squid and all manner of veg topped off with a nice bottle of Harbin beer. What more could a weary traveller ask for? Barely having waved goodbye to the buzzing street food restaurant, we rose early for our train the next morning and stepped straight out into the rush of morning tradesmen, unloading truckfuls of goods and heaving them up the narrow steps through the bustling market and up the hill. It’s a city that never seems to sleep.

UK citizen looking for a free internship in China? Email info@internchina.com to find out if you’re eligible for Generation UK!

Chengdu Blogs, Chengdu InternChina events, Travel, Weekend Trips

Visiting Chongqing

Last weekend Lars, Max and I visited Chongqing – the biggest city in the world!On Saturday morning we took a modern Chinese railway from the central station in Chengdu. During the 2 and a half hour train ride we were able to see the beautiful countryside which surrounds these metropolitan cities.

On the Way to Chongqing

Chongqing is located in a valley, which has created Chongqing’s two main features: First, it is quite hilly. Second, it is usually really hot during the summer (up to 45 degrees).
Chongqing is famous for these features and we were hugely looking forward to see the city that is home to 35 million people!

Max, I and Lars in Chongqing

As we arrived in the city it was not as hot as we had expected – only 32 degrees. We quickly got in a taxi and headed towards our hostel. When the taxi driver found out that two of us were German, he started to point out every German car on the street while driving!

Just by looking out the window of the car we realized that this city is unlike anything we had ever seen before. It was massive, futuristic, crowded, Chinese and Western.

We booked a nice hostel, called Yangtze River hostel, (which I would strongly recommend!). Since we were so close to the city centre, we decided to travel by foot. That’s when we realized how hilly Chongqing really is; it reminded me of climbing up Emei Shan… After having lunch in a good local restaurant we visited an old Buddhist temple located between huge skyscrapers.

A Temple in the City

It had one hall with hundreds of life sized monk statues – really impressive!

Lars and the Monk

The main shopping street easily offers everything a global city should nowadays. We saw that Chongqing is not only very modern, but also very wealthy!

In the evening the hostel organized a dumpling party. Therefore we were able to spend a nice evening with locals and tourists.

Max is enjoying the Dumpling Party

What do three guys do in the biggest city of the world on a Saturday night? PARTYING! I can say that the clubs in Chongqing are definitely as good as the clubs we have in Chengdu. We met many friendly locals in the club – interesting chats and free drinks included 😉

Clubbing

When we woke up the next morning, Lars, Max and I took Chongqing’s famous cable car, which crosses the Yangtze River. You do have an amazing view on the platform. From this spot, we saw only skyscrapers in every direction, no horizon! The city is really huge!

Chongqing View

Furthermore, we saw a city map which exposed the monstrosity of Chongqing.
The Sheraton seems to be a golden reproduction of Kuala Lumpur´s Petronas Towers.
Important information for everybody from Northern Germany: there will be a Flensburger Brauhaus opening in September!!

In the morning we were feeling exhausted after partying and being in the heat – what’s worse, on Sunday it was nearly 40 degrees!
We had the brilliant idea to climb up to a park which is one of Chongqing’s highest points. But the view was worth it. Anyway we still could not see the horizon, again only skyscrapers. I guess that’s the only way that a single city can be have a larger population than the whole of Australia!

Skyscraper Horizon

All in all we spent an exciting weekend in Chongqing and we have decided that it is definitely worth visiting again!

Would you like to join InternChina´s next trip to Chongqing? Then have a look at our internship positions and apply now.

Travel

My trip to Chongqing

After my visit to Jiuzhai Gou National Park a couple of weeks ago, I took the train directly to Chongqing and traveled for about 3.5 hours. The high-speed train takes only 2 hours, but since April 4 is “Tomb Sweeping Day”, many people travel around and I was not able to buy a high speed train ticket.

Ciqikou Old Town

Chongqing is a large and flourishing mountain city. I stayed for three nights at the home of a friend I met online. She took me for a lot of great local food and gave me a great introduction to the city in only two days.

Some local snacks

The first day, after she took me for some local spicy sweet-potato noodles, I took the metro to Ciqikou Old Town. The tea houses in Ciqikou are very famous in Chongqing so I really wanted to experience the tea lifestyle there. I also found that they have many local snacks and some very special street food. Ciqikou is the best place to try local food and buy gifts for friends.

The Chongqing hot-pot

The second day, I went to meet another friend at the touristic center of Chongqing, Jiefangbei. They have lots of shopping malls around and a very famous food street. After a quick lunch with my friend, I went back to my host’s home. That afternoon, her American flatmate drove me around the city on his motorbike and we even went to the peak of Chongqing.

Jiefangbei

After such a beautiful day, the fun continued: I went to a BBQ party with my friends, at a house located inside a university campus on the peak of the mountain.  This is the best place for a night view of the city. I enjoyed the beautiful night view, drank some Shancheng beer and had some great BBQ. I felt like I didn’t want to leave Chongqing!

Ciqikou streets

I have been to many places in China, but I can honestly say Chongqing is one of my favorite cities. I like the street life, always lively, I never saw an empty street. I also like the friendly people, the great food, the relaxing tea culture and the traditional and internationally mixed city. I hope I can go back soon!

 

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