This is San Francisco…so hilly there are no bicycles, colored lights…lively with people walking through the pedestrian malls that fan out from Liberation Monument at the center…originally built to commemorate Sun Yat Sen’s death but rebuilt in 1945 to celebrate the end of China’s war with Japan. During the tenuous Kuomintang-Communist alliance against the Japanese during WWII, Red Cliff Village, outside the city, was used as the offices and living quarters of the Communist representatives, including Zhou Enlai, to the Chiang Kaishek’s Kuomintang. Repeated efforts to bring the two sides together in a unified front against the Japanese failed due to mutual distrust and Chiang Kaishek’s obsession with wiping out the Communists, even at the cost of yielding Chinese territory to the invading army…Japan.
Chongqing is big and sophisticated…but even better…there is no honking here. This is where we will pick up a Chinese junk (boat) to go down the Yanggtse River through the three Gorges. We reveled in our nice three star hotel complete with heat, hot water and all the amenities including HBO. The hotel had a great Sichuan/Cantonese restaurant…a treat after all the noodles in chili-hot strong broth. Now if only the rained-on sidewalks weren’t so slippery because of all the hacking and spitting.