Chongqing River Port
Tour Day Nine: Sunday, April 29, 2001
(Chong-ching, formerly Chongking)
The Morning Sun Peeks Through The Mist
A boat similar to ours is docked across the river.
This is the city is rich in history. It was heavily bombed by the Japanese in WWII. And it was the headquarters for Chiang Kai Shek for a time. The American Flying Tigers were based here during part of that war. Read China Tiger: Claire Lee Chennault and the History of Chongqing to learn more about this interesting city. This is reportedly the fastest growing urban area in the world! We would like to visit again to learn more about it some day.
The Chongqing Municipality covers a large area and includes 32 million people! There are about 8 million in the central city.
We arrived in Chongqing at dusk. Palm and banana trees lined some of the roads as we neared the city center. The city looked so impressive as our bus approached the bridge to cross the river. Many tall buildings sat on the river bank with colored neon lights announcing their significant heights and numbers. We proceded to the Mariott Hotel for a lovely dinner. We were ready, as our day had been full.
The West Bank
In April, the water level of the river was quite low. So low that the boats had to moor quite a distance from the bank. Last night after dinner, our bus deposited us close to where the two tan busses are in the picture. Knowing that we would have a rather difficult trek from the bus to the boat, Renee, our tour director, arranged for our carry-on luggage to be transported from the bus to the boat along with our checked luggage. We set out on our journey across the sand and gravel to the planks and small floating docks that were between the bus and our objective.
Renee had warned us that we would be accosted by men wanting to carry our bags for tips — bong bongs. Well, our carry ons were being handled by the porters, so the bong bongs tried to help us. The grabbed some of us by the arms making like they were guiding us through the sand. The were not easily shaken off. It was a frightening experience for some of us, at least. Employees of the cruise company awaited us on the floating docks to greet us, and I suppose to keep us from veering off into the water. But we had already escaped the bong bongs and walked the planks and made it that far, so the effort seemed moot.
We were the only group to spend the night on the cruise ship. The busses pictured were for the remainder of the passengers who boarded this morning.
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