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72 hours in Chongqing

By Tan Yingzi, Ji Jin and Deng Rui in Chongqing ( chinadaily.com.cn ) Updated: 2013-10-24 10:00:38

72 hours in Chongqing

Chaotianmen Port in Chongqing. This is where the Jialing River meets the Yangtze River. [Photo/Icpress]

Starting in November, Chongqing will begin offering foreign tourists a 72-hour window to explore the city without a visa, following the introduction of a new policy for transit passengers from 45 countries. The city's airport — Jiangbei International Airport — has prepared special visa-free channels for foreign passengers.

If you're transiting through Chongqing, why not take the opportunity to explore the unique charms of the city?

China Daily planned a 72-hour trip in Chongqing covering many of its scenic spots and a sampling of its local food. Even if you only have three days, the combination of the gorgeous natural scenery and the unique urban landscape will surely make trip worthwhile.

Here's how to get the most out of three days in this vibrant metropolis in western China.

72 hours in Chongqing

Guide for 72hrs visa-free transit

72 hours in Chongqing

Chongqing launches 72-hour visa-free stays

Day One: Sightseeing in the downtown area

In the morning, you can visit Chaotianmen Port, literally "the Gate That Faces Heaven". This is where the Jialing River meets the Yangtze River.

Jiefangbei, or Liberation Monument, is located in downtown Chongqing. There is a saying that if you do not come here, your visit to Chongqing is not complete. It is the equivalent of Times Square in New York, surrounded by giant billboards and name-brand retailers.

The Yangtze River Cableway is also a must-see if you want to have a view of Chaotianmen Square and the Yuzhong Peninsula from above.

Then you can visit the People's Great Hall of Chongqing. Built in 1955, the whole complex is an imitation of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.

In front of the building lies the People's Square. Every morning and evening, many people come here for exercise, such as tai chi, dancing and singing.

There is one snack street in Jiefangbei, named "Haochi" street, means food street. Mouthwatering options include hot and sour rice noodles, small sweet dumplings and Chongqing Noodles.

After the feast, in the afternoon, you can relax with a cup of tea in Ci Qi Kou, an ancient town that is more than 1,700 years old. It features traditional southwest Chinese architecture, small shops, a variety of snacks and even restaurants on boats.

At night, you will want to enjoy the spectacular night view of the city.

The best way to get a night view is to take in a cruise that commutes between the Yangtze River and Jialing rivers.

After a busy day of touring, you can chill out at the Cotton Club in Jiaochangkou near the JW Marriot Hotel. Or, you can go to the German beer house MUG in Chongqing Tiandi, a posh area similar to Beijing's Sanlitun.

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