Chongqing lies at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers and is the ending point of the cruise. Following lobbying to central government special status was conferred on the residents of the three county area which at a quoted resident population of Thirty million plus is the largest in China. Because the city is built over a very hilly area it is known as the city without bicycles, and indeed, an enlightened local authority in 1997 also went as far as to ban the use of car horns to reduce noise pollution. A modern city with universities and a growing number of skyscrapers, it will benefit considerably from the completion of the dam, and subsequent ability for larger vessels to come upstream.
However the underlying city is very old and came to the forefront as the nationalist capital in 1938 after the Japanese took Nanjing. the modern buildings stand side by side with the old and we visited the fascinating local market, which on the day in question was unfortunately suffering with a power cut. separate floors and sections are given over to seafood, meats and live and dead stock. there is a huge vegetable market, and on the first floor dried and packaged goods of every conceivable size and type.