We arrived in Chongqing expecting it to be a smallish city as it was not a place we had heard of. We felt a bit foolish when we realized it is in fact a massive and rapidly growing city. Different sites give different numbers but it seems that over 30 million people live here. People in Chongqing tell us that it is the largest city in China – other sources say that it depends on how you define a city and that Chongqing with 30 million is actually more comparable to a province. Regardless it is massive – as we were driving through the city we were memorized by the endless skyscrapers for miles and miles in all directions.
Still, we were surprised to be in such a massive city we hadn’t heard of so I looked up “why haven’t we heard of Chongqing?” and some of the results were:
~The Megalopolis you’ve never heard of: “Chongqing is the fastest-growing urban centre on the planet.”
~-The biggest city you’ve never heard of: “First designated as a “municipality” in 1997 after a period of unbelievably rapid growth, the southern Chinese metropolis of Chongqing has largely escaped the world’s notice despite a massive population.”
~-Inside China’s mega-city you’ve never heard of
and many other similar posts…
Our hotel overlooks two massive freeways which made for great traffic watching and they were frequently in gridlock. The horn-honking is continuous which makes us think that drivers here are very impatient but also makes you wonder if there is a deeper meaning to the honking: Horn Honking in China: http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/chinesestudies/2014/08/13/horn-honking-in-china/. From a Canadian perspective, the movement of traffic is amusing to watch. The rules (or habits?) here are quite different – Jim says the lanes on the road are merely suggestions as drivers seem to use them only if they are convenient. Drivers need to be assertive to get anywhere here – when you want to merge or change lanes just wait for the hint of a gap and move quickly!
One night we watched a massive electrical storm from our windows on the 14th floor. We were just returning from a lovely warm evening walk and dinner at a quaint little restaurant at about 8:00 when the rain began. It became very heavy very quickly and one side of the freeway below us flooded. The cars all had their hazard lights on and were going through water up to their bumpers. Traffic was backed up for miles.