After our overnight stay in Chongqing it was time to depart our hotel for a tour of the city, before our onward journey. Our first stop of the day was a visit to Ciqikou Old Street, which means "Porcelain Port", an ancient town originally called Longyinzhen and was also known as Little Chongqing.
According to an old Chinese proverb: "One flagstone road, and one thousand years' Ciqikou". The name of the town can be traced back to porcelain production during the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing Dynasties. Formerly a busy port located at the lower reaches of the Jialing River, a thousand years after its foundation the town remains a symbol and microcosm of old Chongqing.
Fascinating old buildings,
interesting entrances and carvings.
We found a lovely modernised coffee shop up a hidden flight of stairs where we enjoyed some refreshment.
It had a veranda at the front overlooking the street
and one at the back overlooking their back terrace.
Our next stop was lunch, yes you've guessed it another Chinese banquet, then a full city tour where our first destination was People's Square
with the magnificent Great Hall of the People
, which is a large hall for political meetings and cultural events.
On the opposite side of People's Square stands the Three Gorges Museum
with it's magnificent entrance hall.
Displays include painting, calligraphy, porcelain, coins, sculpture and cultural objects.
From the museum we joined our coach again to visit the Huguang Guildhall.
The Huguang Guild Hall is an old complex of buildings that was a
cultural, business and social center for more than 200 years. When
people came from other provinces to settle in the region during the Qing
Dynasty, they built guild halls. The Huguang Hall was built for people
from Hubei, Guangdong, Guangxi and Hunan. This complex of rooms and halls served for business, entertainment,
religious and social activity and as a meeting place for people from the
provinces in the southeast and east.
It contains many interesting artefacts.
We were interested to know why every doorway had a steep lip to step over to enter a room and were told it was to deter ghosts from entering, apparently ghosts cannot step over anything.
As we were leaving the Guildhall we stopped for a while to watch the great traditional entertainment in the courtyard.
Then it was time for us to join The Century Sky Cruise Ship for a two day cruise.
I hope you will join me for our cruise on the Yangtze River in Part 6.