Ciqikou is an old town preserved
in sprawling modern Chongqing, about an hour's drive
from the city centre. It's an old sleepy town built
in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Although it's preserved
as a tourist town you don't have to pay to get in.
The town's name, Ciqikou, means porcelain harbor,
and the community prospered from the porcelain trade.
Today it offers a glimpse of the peaceful laid-back
life in the Sichuan countryside and is somewhere
to take a break from the busy commercial world of
A number of old courtyard compounds
still stand here. Small as it is, the town used
to have several temples, and one of them, Taoism
temple, had been turned into an elementary school.
What makes the school special is one
of its students. Oh, a small class room, small
stool and desk, oil lamp, blackboard, and a picture
of Doctor Sun Yetsan, that's the custom of the
time. Nobel Prize Winner Samuel CC Ding, in Chinese
we know him as Ding Zhaozhong once studied here.
That's his seat. Hmm, he must be a very good student
when he was here. Well, it's kind of late for
me to start the quest for Nobel Prize.
The old town has only two main streets
and they've been taken up by all kinds of shops.
The teahouse puts on a diverse range of entertainment
with shows staged from time to time. And this
is the famous Sichuan show, 'Changing the face'.
The biggest secret is how the performer changes
his masks. In this performance, he has to switch
masks something like nine times. It's such a difficult
trick that sometimes it does not work, but the
audience will always forgive him.
There was an old show in Sichuan called
Nine Changes and this is from that show. There
was a knight-errant called Baiyong who is brings
hope to many poor unfortunate people. And when
he shows up, he changes his masks nine times.
It's a way of indicating that he will help people,
but not ask anything in return. He doesn't let
people know who he is. Today it's purely a show
Look at Chongqing's Skyline today,
it's all modern highrises and skyscrapers. But
more than half a century ago, during the Second
World War, the Japanese forces bombed the city
for five years. But the Chinese were not alone
in fighting against the Japanese, among all the
others, is General Joseph Stilwell.'
For two years, General Joseph Warren
Stilwell lived here in Chongqing as chief commander
of the US forces in the China-Burma-India Theatre
during World War II. General Stilwell was a true
friend of the Chinese people as well as a Chinese
linguist. He is also remembered for directing
the road project from Ledo, in Assem, India through
India and Burma to Yunnan, in Southwest China.
The road was open to traffic in 1945 and it was
named after the general. Today his former residence
has been turned into a museum commemorating his
contribution to the fight for peace.
You will find plenty of war relics
in Chongqing. One unusual place is the former
site of the provisional government of the Republic
of Korea. In 1910, Japan took over the Korean
peninsula. Nine years later, the Korean people
set up their provisional government in Shanghai.
Before these people eventually returned to their
country, the government was stationed in Chongqing
for five years. It also set up its own army in
Chongqing. The small compound housed fully fledged
government departments including a Treasury, Ministry
of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Another spot that is linked with history,
is well and alive today. The former barracks of
the French Marine forces has been turned into
a chic bar, coffee shop and restaurant strip.
Built in 1902, the compound used to house the
French navy soldiers at a time when China was
mired in civil war and haplessly fending off foreign
invaders. Here in Chongqing, along the Yangtze
River, the French set up a base for their marines
so they could guarantee military supplies.
The barracks was building in front
of the Yangtze River, naturally it was built for
the navy soldiers. If you come at night, with
friend or without, the cool wind from the river
will come over and give you some real treat.
The French being French, they even
built a stone wine cellar in the barracks. What
better place to start a restaurant. The area blends
contemporary style with the remains of history
and is where Chongqing's upwardly mobile come
for a night out.
Day Chongqing Tour To Dazu Grottos
Day Chongqing Tour To Eling Park, Chongqing Zoo,
Great Hall of People & Ciqikou Old Town