Enjoy seeing the giant pandas at Chongqing Zoo early in the day when they are most active. Stroll around the gardens of Erling Park and watch activities of local people who congregate here in the mornings. Get a full perspective of the Three Gorges at Three Gorges Museum then enjoy local specialty cuisine of Chongqing Hot Pot. Finally, end your day at the vast Jiefangbei Shopping Square.
Your guide will meet you in the lobby of your downtown hotel or your Yangtze River cruise boat terminal at 8:30am to commence your Chongqing city tour by air-conditioned private car. Your first stop today is at the vast Chongqing Zoo located just 5 miles (8 kms) from the city center. First opened in 1953, the zoo has undergone many upgrades over the years and now covers an area of over 110 acres. In 1989, the Panda House was built, providing these rare animals a more natural environment to live in. The Panda House will be a highlight of your zoo visit, but there are over 240 species of birds, fish, and other animals to see.
From Chongqing Zoo, travel to Erling Park located on Erling Mountain at the western side of Chongqing, which is one of the oldest private gardens in the city. The Jialing and Yangtze Rivers flow through the foot of the park. Built toward the end of the Qing Dynasty, Erling contains several pavilions, pathways, corridors, lotus ponds, and bridges around the gardens.
At lunch time, you will be asked if you like spicy food! Chongqing is renowned for its spicy cuisine, and if that appeals to you, then your lunch today will be a traditional Chongqing Hot Pot; or, if you prefer a more traditional Chinese meal, then that can also be arranged.
After lunch, continue to Three Gorges Museum where you will find a large display depicting the Three Gorges Region of Yangtze River as well as a display of the history of the whole Chongqing region. Outside the museum is People’s Assembly Hall that was built in 1954, but the exterior of the building has an architectural style of the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Your last stop today is at the heart of Chongqing City of Jiefangbei Shopping Square. The center piece of Jiefangbei area is the 90 feet (27.5 meter) tall People’s Liberation Monument, built in 1940 at the intersection of three main roads in the city. At the time, this was the tallest building in the whole Chongqing area, but today, it is surrounded by a 6.2 acres (25,000 sq meters) shopping precinct that is flanked by skyscraper office buildings, international hotels, department stores, restaurants, and a host of other retail and entertainment facilities. Today, the People’s Liberation Monument is dwarfed by the many tall buildings around it. You will have plenty of time to walk around and enjoy the traffic free pedestrian streets. Jiefangbei is located immediately uphill from Chaotinmen Port at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers. For a completely different perspective of these two rivers, there is a cable car starts at Jiefangbei and spans the Yangtze River. If you are adventurous and want to take this ride (ticket is at your own cost), your guide will assist you in obtaining your ticket. After your visit to Jiefangbei, return to your downtown hotel where your tour ends.