We disembarked from our Yangtze cruise in the city of Chongqing. Chongqing is the largest municipality in China, with 30 million people. It is a hilly city, and therefore, no bikes. Our first stop was at the Chongqing Zoo, where we got to see some very cute red pandas, as well as some giant pandas. After that, we were off to General Stillwell’s museum to learn about his contributions to the Chinese during World War II. We also visited the Flying Tigers museum and learned about their dangerous flights over the Himalayas during the war.
For lunch, we experienced a special treat. Our tour guide, Carol, took us to a really nice restaurant where we were able to go back into the kitchen and watch the iron chefs at work, which was very cool. The head chef used a wok with an inferno for a flame underneath it. We were a bit nervous any time he took the wok off the flame, but he was a pro. The presentation of the food was truly amazing, complete with orchids on each plate. The food was definitely the best we have had thus far on our journey, and that is saying something. It was very cool to watch them make our food and then sit down to enjoy it.
After lunch we drove to Chongqing airport and flew off to Hong Kong. Our local guide picked us up and explained that the airport we had just landed in was built on a man-made island. Pretty impressive! Our hotel is the nicest yet, which is also saying something considering the beautiful places we’ve staying in thus far, and the concierge gave us some tips on where to eat dinner and we decided to try an Indian restaurant down by the water. We took the hotel shuttle down to the harbor, where we watched the nightly laser/light show (think Disneyland’s Electric Light Parade, but the lights are on buildings instead of floats) and walked along their Avenue of Stars. The harbor is beautiful at night and we enjoyed people watching as we strolled along. We ended up at TGI Friday’s instead of Indian food, which was a fun change from Chinese food. We even met a fellow American who was there on business and invited him to eat with us. It was fun to hear about his travels and adventures in Asia and tell him about our experiences, too.