Published on:
January 2, 2018

by: Will Perrins

Chongqing- China’s Secret Mega-City

A fascinating history, vibrant lifestyle and dynamic cityscape, Chongqing is the Mega-City of China that you may not have heard of!


A mix of history, culture and affordability have made Chongqing a hotbed for Foreign Teachers looking to gain an authentic Chinese experience. Formerly known in the west as Chungking, Chongqing sits just East of Sichuan Province, around a 40 minute train journey from Chengdu and the home of the Giant Pandas, and boasts the largest Municipal population of any city in China, with a population of 30,165,500. The actual urban population of the city-centre is however significantly less at just over 8,000,000, making it not too overwhelming for first time teachers in China.


Chongqing boasts a dramatic and panoramic landscape, with the city sliced in half by the Yangtze River, and features an enormous modern skyline set against hills, mountains and cliff faces along the River’s banks. The city is linked by numerous large bridges with the bay-to-bay landscape earning Chongqing the moniker of the ‘San Francisco of China’ among many locals.

Hot Pot, Museums and A Vibrant Economy


Chongqing natives are known to be passionate, but kind, hospitable and welcoming, and enjoy their food spicy (even by the local Sichuan standards!). Chongqing is popularly known as China’s ‘Hot Pot’ Capital, with over 50,000 Hot Pot Eateries to choose from across Chongqing!


For the History buffs, Chongqing is known for acting as the wartime capital of China during the Second World War. Due to this, Chongqing also boasts a large military museum, where a less-read (in the West) corner of the Second World War can be explored.


Chongqing boasts a large and dynamic economy, and serves as a microcosmic example of China’s 21st Century Economic Growth. In the comparatively ‘poorer’ Western China, Chongqing stands out as China’s third largest car manufacturer, and sees an increasing level of foreign investment into the financial sectors of the city, leading to a huge number infrastructure and real-estate projects that make the city feel completely transformed every few months.

Affordable and Easy to Navigate


Getting around Chongqing is remarkably easy; a monorail/metro public transport system is based in the urban centre, boasting 6 lines and running to almost every corner of the city. A ticket on this system can cost as little as 2 RMB (20 pence/45 cent). If you want to travel in style, taxis start their metres at 10 RMB (1 pound/ 2.25 dollars).


Despite a vibrant economy, Chongqing is still a comparatively cheap area of China to live in. With the average monthly rent for a 1 bedroom city centre apartment equalling around RMB1500 (150 pounds/ 200 dollars), and a meal in a local restaurant only setting you back around RMB 17.50 (1.75 pounds/ 2.35 dollars).


Chongqing also hosts China’s only ‘Underwater Museum’ in the form of the Baiheliang Underwater Museum, the scenic ‘Wuxi County’ and even one of the World’s Largest Escalators!


To conclude, Chongqing is an equally great destination for those looking to take their first steps into ESL or moving to China, as well as for those China and ESL veterans who are looking for an expat friendly, but authentic Chinese destination. Check out some of our teaching roles available in Chongqing, and remember, it’s also a destination for our Teach China Graduate Program!


Find out more about Chongqing and get a full price guide for the city on our City Guide.


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