I don't even know where to begin with today! There was way too much for me to take in and I couldn't get enough of each location we went to! We traveled to Ciqikou, Downtown Chongqing, and the Three Gorges museum. I guess I'll start with a little information about our travels. We have passed through many tunnels on our road trips, almost falling asleep because it is dark for so long. Out of curiosity I decided to time how long it took us to get from one end to the other. Traveling at about 65-70 mph it took us 3:22.4 minutes to get through one of the tunnels. If you're reading and good at math/science you should calculate how long the tunnel is! 

Our first stop was Ciqikou. It was a combination of several streets lined with shops, people, food, and located near the river. Right off the bat we found ourselves in an artists shop bargaining for paintings. Jessica and I bought a set of four painted by a 96 year old Chongqing man before moving on. Further down we found all sorts of things being sold. Shops sold jewelry, food, stuffed pandas, fans, scarves, pictures, artwork, clothing, traditional pieces, and a lot more. It was hard to keep everyone together because we all wanted to look at everything and the weekend crowd was there. It overwhelmed my senses! We ate a very unique restaurant near the pier. Inside musicians played some of the Chinese instruments we leaned about in a previous seminar. They welcomed us and played Jingle Bells in our honor!  

The second stop was the Three Gorges Museum. Neighboring the museum was a gorgeous structure. It was an enormous, traditionally built building with an ornate rooftop. I didn't catch the name of it but it was definitely a sight to see! It is actually what I expected most buildings here to look like before I realized everything is more modern. The museum was also neat to see and enormous! For an hour and a half we browsed through exhibits and took lots of pictures. Some of the information I took in included: a gorge is a natural rock/river formation, Ba culture is the root for the regional culture of Chongqing, large stones were used to make prints, and the land where some of the cultures rooted from is now under water. 

Downtown Chongqing. Wow. The third destination of the day was very comparable to New York City! In fact one of the skyscrapers says New York, New York in Chinese characters. We arrived in a large square with a monument in the middle, surrounded by large stores housing big name brands such as Gucci, Armani, and Louis Vuitton. This monument used to be the tallest structure in the city in the 1980s but now it is surrounded by skyscrapers and so much growth for a short period of time. Apparently there are 6 of these large squares in the downtown area now. We explored one of them and hardly broke any ground in the two hours we were there so you can imagine how huge it is! There were large malls next to large malls, tall business buildings, fancy restaurants, and some of the most expensive products I have ever seen! The mall I went into had 7 floors of name brand designer stores. It was fun to look and see how the other side lives but there was no way you could buy too much there!

Our fourth and final spot was the Chongqing tourist center. This encompassed beautifully built traditional buildings, a small water fall, a pirate ship, shops, restaurants, statues, carvings, and of course tourists. My dad always jokes and says my mom and I can find a Dairy Queen no matter where we are and I found one! I enjoyed a nice kiwi blizzard while taking in the wonderful view of the city and rivers. The point where two rivers converge was insight and you could faintly see the difference in the colors of the rivers as they met. We also saw several large opera houses, and a temple where the famous Chinese movie, Crazy Stone, was filmed. 

I could have spent a day at each location separately and still have not been satisfied. There was an immense amount to see! An hour later and we were finally back to the Univeristy to get ready for another long day! Tomorrow we visit a kindergarten, have a seminar, and travel to a financial firm. It should be another day of learning!

Things I learned today: 
- KFC still tastes Chinese. 


Isobel Arvin
06/02/2013 4:14pm

You are having such wonderful experiences! I'm sure the experiences will influence your teaching in the future! Your parents must really enjoy your daily blogs. It is such an exciting time in your life!


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