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Chongqing weaves magic

Updated: 2020-06-28

By Tan Yingzi in Chongqing, China Daily

Hotpot heaven

In China, when people talk about spicy hotpot, they refer to Chongqing hotpot.

No visit to Chongqing is complete without sampling the local hotpot.

All hotpot cuisines are basically the same. While the soup simmers over a flame, meat and vegetables are placed in a pot to cook, and diners can select the items when they are ready to eat.

But Chongqing hotpot has the strongest flavor, with beef tallow, large quantities of chili and Sichuan pepper. Local people love eating hot and spicy food, probably due to the humid climate in the city.

Boasting both the best and largest number of hotpot restaurants in the country, Chongqing was named "China's hotpot city" by the China Cuisine Association in 2007.

According to the Chongqing Hotpot Association, there are more than 50,000 such restaurants in the city, employing at least 3.5 million people.

As competition is fierce, there are many outstanding outlets and local people can never agree on which is the best. Everyone has their preferences.

For tourists, eating hotpot near the rivers or on the mountains can be a special experience.

The hospitable locals like to invite guests to Nanshan Mountain, south of the Yangtze River, to eat hotpot in open air. There is a "hotpot village" on the mountain which can only be reached by car.

Dozens of hotpot restaurants are located along the kilometer-long road. Some boast views of Lotus Lake and others have hundreds of tables all over the mountain. At night, when the restaurants light up their red lanterns, the view is unforgettable.

Boost for tourism

Since Dec 1, 2019, Chongqing has offered foreign tourists a 144-hour (or six-day) window to explore the city without a visa, following the introduction of a new policy for transit passengers from 53 countries.

International stopovers must enter the city through Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport. Chongqing Jiangbei Airport or Wanzhou Wuqiao Airport.

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