Chongqing is a metropolis that is located in an area rich with natural resources and is a good place to go shopping and to enjoy local specialties.
Due to the fact that Chongqing is surrounded by mountains, there are many rare Chinese traditional herbal medicines in these parts including the rhizome of Chinese goldthread (huanglian), Gastrodia elata (tianma) and the bark of eucommia (duchong). The fertile land here is also ideal for the fruit growing, such as orange, pear, pomelo and persimmon.
Chongqing also has a long history as a major tea producing area. Chongqing Tuo Tea, Cuiping Silver Needle Tea and Xinong Maojian Tea all enjoy high prestige both at home and abroad.
Gourmets are also well catered for Old Sichuan translucent beef slices, Peiling mustard tuber and Hechuan preserved pear slices are all unusual things to try.
Folk handicraft in Chongqing has long been highly regarded.Since the Southern Song Dynasty, Shu Embroidery (also known as Sichuan Embroidery) has been ranked among the four most famous styles of embroidery in China, along with Suzhou Embroidery, Hunan Embroidery and Cantonese Embroidery. Rongchang paper fans have also been exported since the Qing dynasty.
The peasants in rural Chongqing have benefited greatly from China’s economic expansion whichh has led to a desire to find more cultural activities in their spare time. The art of print painting has become a very popular form of relaxation and there is no lack of artistic genius. Over a period of ten years 874 works have been exhibited in the US, Japan, UK, Canada, and Italy and over 600 works have become part of personal collections.
Huangsha pomelo is probably the most famous fruit in Chongqing. Unlike some other kinds of pomelo, it is unusually succulent and sweet, with a rich honey fragrance.
Rongchang Paper Fans
The first Rongchang paper fans were made 450 years ago and were even exported to India and Burma. Since then, these fans have enjoyed a unique international reputation. In the past only the nobility could afford to buy the elegantly made fans but recent years have witnessed rapid innovation in the materials used to make the fans and there are now 345 different types to be found.
Shu brocade (also known as Sichuan brocade), soft to the touch and brightly colored, has a history of over two thousand years. It is counted among the four best and most famous brocades in China along with Nanjing brocade, Suzhou brocade and Guangxi brocade.
Developed over more than twenty centuries, several hundred types have evolved and brocade has become an integral part of women’s dresses among the ethnic groups from southwestern China. However, handmade brocade has given way to modern mechanized textile industries and there is now only one factory in the city that specializes in making Sichuan brocade.
Three Gorges Inkstone
For travelers fascinated by Chinese calligraphy, Three Gorges Inkstone might be the best souvenir you can buy in Chongqing. Made from special stone excavated from the Libi Gorge section of the Jialing River, the finely-shaped inkstone is delicately engraved with beautiful patterns.
When talking about Chinese herbal medicine in Sichuan, Gastrodia elata (tianma), which contributes a great deal to patients with eclampsia, is always mentioned. Duck braised in Gastrodia elata soup is a very famous curative dish and you will probably encounter it when dining in restaurants that offer local cuisine in Chongqing.