Archive for the ‘Chongqing Travel’ Category

Ciqikou, a restored old town in Chongqing

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Plan your Chongqing tour? Ciqikou is an ace in the hand of Chongqing Municipality that they could use to beat other cities in so called keeping the old structure and respecting the local culture. Chengdu has Kuan Zhai Xiang, Hangzhou has Qinghefang, Shanghai has Yuyuan Bazaar, Tianjin has an ancient cultural street, Hohhot has Saishanglaojie…

Among many modern cities in China, there exists a similar tendency towards returning and idolizing the ancients by restoring the old towns or streets. The reasons behind the massive government behaviors are various. The seek for economic results are an important impetus in the move to the restoration and gentrification of the these old and less developed areas in modern cities.

For better executive and political performance, local governments compete each other in restoring and rebuilding the old part of their cities in the name of respecting the tradition and local culture. Does China need so many “old towns” of similar style of Ming and Qing dynasties (1368 – 1644)? Normally old town reconstruction and expansion engulfs huge amount of investment. One answer is certain that the local governments need them to boost their city images and create more jobs for the local people.

Among others, local governments badly need these polished old towns to generate more tourists visiting theirs cities. For them, more tourists they bring, more successful their work will be in the economic aspect, not necessarily creating genuine and nostalgic world for people mentally and phisically to relax and enjoy. Old town similarity does kill people’s interest and make them languished sometimes.

Well, like it or not, your Chongqing Tour will definitely include a half day trip to Ciqikou old town, originally called Longyinzhen (dragon hidden town), approx. 3 km northeast of Chongqing downtown. Ciqikou literally means “Porcelain Port”.  The name of the town can be traced back to porcelain production during the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing Dynasties. Ciqikou is located on the west bank of the Jialing River.

The main street packed with visitors

The main street packed with visitors

Making mahua, a popular local fried sugar dough snack

Making mahua, a popular local fried sugar dough snack

Sells fried dough, Mahua

Sells fried dough, Mahua

Making Ciba, a kind of sticky rice cakes sprinkled with peanuts

Making Ciba, a kind of sticky rice cakes sprinkled with peanuts

Sell ciba

Sell ciba

A shop for Kid clothes

Kid clothes store

Sugar-coated hawthorn, a local snack?

Sugar-coated hawthorn, a local snack?

The main entrance to Ciqikou Old Town

The main entrance to Ciqikou Old Town

Any questions, just drop a line.

Flying Tigers Museum in Chongqing

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Plan your Chongqing Tour? it is worth visiting the former residence of General Joseph Warren Stilwell, which also houses the Flying Tigers Museum if you are interested in the Wartime Capital of Chongqing during the anti-Japanese war.

General Joseph Warren Stilwell served as Chief of Staff in the China-Burma-India Theater as well as  the Chief of Staff to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek in 1942 during the Second World War.

General Joseph Warren Stilwell’s former residence in Chongqing has now been converted to the General Joseph W. Stilwell Museum in his honor. The museum began to be opened to the public in 1991.

General Joseph W Stilwell contributed a lot to China’s successful flight against the Japanese aggression. On October 19, 1944, Stilwell was recalled from his command by President Franklin D. Roosevelt partly due to the power struggle over the China Theater that appeared between Stilwell, Chennault, and Chiang Kai-Shek. Especially his blunt confrontation with Chiang finally led to Chiang’s determination to have Stilwell recalled to the United States.

Stilwell died of stomach cancer on October 12, 1946. His ashes were scattered on the Pacific Ocean. A cenotaph was placed at the West Point Cemetery.

The entrance to the compound of the former namesake residence converted General Joseph Warren Stilwell Museum.

The entrance to the compound of the former namesake residence converted General Joseph Warren Stilwell Museum.

 
A bust of General Joseph on the compound along the Yangtze River.

A bust of General Joseph

The main building of the residence is a two-storey house.
 

The main building of the residence is a two-storey house.

A huge stone opened book carved with words both in Chinese and English meaning:

A huge stone opened book

 
To the name of the people of the United States of America
I present this scroll to the City of Chungking (Chongqing)

As a symbol of our admiration for its brove men, women and childen.   Under blasts from the terror from the air, even in the days before the world at large had known this terror, Chungking and its people held out firm and unconquered. They proved gloriously that terrorism cannot destroy the spirit of a people determined to be free. Their fidelity to the cauese of freesom will inspire the hearts of all generations.

Franklin D Roosevelt

May 17th, 1944

I also noticed the inscriptions carved on a square stone column in English and Chinese: ” With the gunns silent and the smoke faded, it is the historical friendship and our memery that will last forever.

The inscriptions carved on a square stone column

 
The entrance to the Flying Tigers Museum housed in the former residence of General Joseph Warren Stilwell now has been converted to a museum of the namesake.
 

The entrance to the Flying Tigers Museum

Flying Tigers was the nickname of the first American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in 1941–1942, commanded by Claire Lee Chennault. The Flying Tigers fought against the much strongers Japanese Air Force, shooting down over 2600 Japanese aircrafts at the cost of 500 planes, safeguided the Chinese air route Hump Hump Flight. 

The group consisted of three fighter squadrons with about 20 aircraft and its group headquarters.

The name list of the Headquarters of the above photo

The Flying Tigers was commanded by Claire Lee Chennault

Flying Tigers, commanded by Claire Lee Chennault

 
Here is the name list of the above photo for the first pursuit Squadron.

Here is the name list of the above photo for the first pursuit Squadrons.

The Second Pursuit Squadron of Flying Tiger

Second First Pursuit Squadron of Flying Tiger

The Third Pursuit Squadron of Flying Tigers
 

The Third Pursuit Squadron of Flying Tiger

May the friendship between China and the United States last for ever despite of piled of existing obstacles.
 

May the friendship between China and the United States lasts for ever despite of piled of obstacles existing.

 

The Third Pursuit Squadron of Flying Tiger

 

The entrance to the Flying Tigers Museum

 

The inscriptions carved on a square stone column in English and Chinese

 

A huge stone opened book carved with words both in Chinese and English

 

The main building of the residence is a two-storey house.

 

The entrance to the compound of the former residence of General Joseph Stilwell

Any questions,just drop a line.

Zhazidong prison, the site of Zhazidong Prison

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

For a domestic Chinese tourist, no Chongqing Tour is complete without visiting Zhazidong prison. The site of Zhazidong Prison was covertly set up in 1943 by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) with the help of  the Sino-American Cooperation Organization (SACO). It is located in Gele Mountains, northwest of Chongqing.

Zhazidong was a coal mine turned prison with 16 wards for men and 2 for women holding 300 prisoners at most. There were also torture chambers,  the rooms for officers and guides. This was the place where Communists were massacred and tortured by Nationalist Party during the Chinese Civil War between 1945 and 1949.

Less than two months after the founding of the People’s Republic of China  proclaimed by Chairman Mao Ocobter 1, 1949,  a fire was set to the men prison wards, on Nov 27, 1949, slaughtered all the communists but 15 who managed to break through the walls and escaped.

Now the site of Zhazidong Prison has been turned to a museum, a “Red Revolution Education Site” for the new generations. Nearly all the Chinese people more or less know about the stories behind Zhazidong Prison. I can still recall an article in my high school reccording the story about the youngest martyr – Song Zhengzong.

He was only one year old when he was arrested with his Mom. He didn’t know the taste of a candy or sweets. He grew skiny and bony due to the lack of nutrition. His nickname was “Little Radish” simply because his head looked big with a thin body.

The signboard indicating the site of Zhazidong Prison, a national level historical relics.

The signboard indicating the site of Zhazidong Prison, a national leve historical relics.

The prison compound fenced with walls topped with barbed wire

The prison compound fenced with walls topped with barbed wire

The interrogation room or the torture chamber

The interrogation room

All kinds of torture instruments

All kinds of torture instruments

People are visiting the two-storey prison wards

People are visiting the two-storey prison wards

The slogan on the wall written by KMT in a hope to encourage the prisoners to change their beliefs.

The slogan on the wall written by KMT in a hope to encourage the prisoners to change their beliefs

A prison ward

A prison ward

Now it is the 21th century when CCP and KTM are on the way to their third “Alliance” in the aspects of tourism, agriculture, industry, arts, sports and more …Hopefully there will be more reconciliation between the mainland and Taiwan, and no more civil wars in China.Any questions.just drop a line.