Zhong's Courtyard was once the residence of Zhong Yunting - a royal servant of Empress Cixi. He was in charge of purchasing goods for the imperial court. It was built at the end of the Qing dynasty about 120 years ago and originally consisted of two courtyards, a large garden covering an area of 2000 square meters and some 46 rooms. Nowadays there is only one courtyard and 20 rooms.
There's a fairground, of sorts, located on the bank of the Jialing River. There's plenty of stalls and some simply rides and reminded me, a little, of the fairgrounds we have back home.
This temple, also known as Bai Ya Temple, stands on the Bai Ya Mountain that rises above the Jialing River. It was first built during the West Wei Dynasty (535-556 AD). The Emperor Jian Wen of the Ming Dynasty took refuge in the monastery, here, giving it the name "dragon concealed temple".
You'll find plenty of snack stalls lining the steps that lead down from the main walking street to the river. On sale are many weird and wonderful treats!
My hostel room faced the Jialing River and it's here where you can find a few floating restaurants. I never tried any of them but the shoreline is also packed with tables and chairs and was a very popular place to eat and drink in the evening.
To get to Ciqikou, take bus 215 from the People' s Liberation Monument in the city centre.
From Chongqing North Station: Take bus No.202. From Chaotianmen long distance bus station: Take bus No.503 or 553.
Chongqing has undergone many changes over the centuries, changes that have not been reflected in Ciqikou with the consequence that the town conveys an impression of what Chongqing would have been like in the distant past. This fact has been recognised by the State Council and in 1998 Ciqikou became a protected cultural site. The buildings have been restored and preserved for tourists and the main street is lined with shops, teahouses and restaurants selling local specialities. With all this in mind, the town gets very busy with Chinese tourists which make the narrow streets very busy. But at least they're pedestrianised!
To escape the crowds of Chinese tourists, head south along the main walking street and you'll suddenly find yourself virtually all alone. The buildings here look far more rustic and the streets far more authentic.