This is China Series

Rhythm of Chongqing. From tiny village to metropolis: China’s hidden mega-city

Greater Chongqing is China’s largest municipality and, according to some estimates, the world. Its total area equates to the whole of Austria and it has a population of around 32 million. Its obscurity may be because, until recently, its main city was no more than a village: Chongqing’s rapid growth began in WWII, when it became China’s temporary capital, and it was only in 1997 that the city merged with neighbouring prefectures to become a major metropolis

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Despite not yet enjoying the global recognition that it deserves, the city welcomes hundreds of millions of local and foreign tourists every year. Among its main attractions is an intricate monorail road that winds through the mountains and urban landscape offering a stunning view of the city. Another of Chongqing’s signature experiences is the famous Chinese hot-pot that was invented in the city. Hot and spicy, with a generous dose of locally grown chili pepper, it was originally designed to help boatmen endure freezing winter temperatures. Today, Chinese hot-pot is a popular dish throughout the country but still a ‘must-try’ in its city of origin.

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The people of Chongqing take pride in their history, architecture and status as a major metropolis. RTD meets some of the citizens who contribute to Chongqing’s development and continue its heritage.