Chongqing is one of the largest cities in China and the only provincial-level municipality (which means the municipal jurisdiction covers an entire administrative region and there is no separate provincial government) in western and central China, with more than 7 million people living in the urban area and total population of 30 million in the administrative region.
Chongqing is the political, financial and cultural centre of Western China, it is one of China's major industrial cities, and along with the other major industrial centres of China, it is experiencing rapid urban growth accompanied by a construction boom.
With 26 buildings taller than 200 meters, all of them built in the last decade, Chongqing's skyline is rapidly rising, and is now ranked among the world's twenty tallest.
Hotpot is the most famous and favorite dish in Chongqing. Chongqing local people consider the hotpot a local specialty, which is noted for its peppery and hot taste, scalding yet fresh and tender. Nowadays, as a matter of fact, Chongqing hotpot is famous and popular all over the country.
Chongqing hotpot was first eaten by poor boatmen of the Yangtze River in Chongqing area and then spread westwards to the rest of Sichuan Province. Now it is a very popular local flavor and can be found at every corner of the city.
People gather around a small pot filled with flavorful and nutritious soup base. The pot may be boiled by various means, such as charcoal, electric or gas. You have a choice of spicy, pure or combo for the soup. There are a great variety of hotpots, including Yuanyang (Double Tastes) hotpot, four tastes hotpot, fish head hotpot, tonic hotpot, entire sheep hotpot, etc. Chongqing hotpot is characterized by its spiciness, but to suit customers of different preference, salty, sweet or sour flavors of hotpot are available. As long as you can stand the spiciness, you are advised to try the spiciest one to ensure an authentic experience.
During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) it was Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's provisional capital. After Britain, the United States, and other Allies entered the war in Asia in December 1941, one of the Allies' deputy commanders of operations in South East Asia (South East Asia Command SEAC), Joseph Stilwell, was based in the city. The city was also visited by Lord Louis Mountbatten, the Supreme Commander of SEAC which was itself headquartered in Ceylon, modern day Sri Lanka. Chiang Kai Shek as Supreme Commander in China worked closely with Stilwell. The Japanese Air Force heavily bombed it. Due to its mountainous environment, many people were saved from the bombing. Due to the bravery, contributions and sacrifices made by the local people during World War II, Chongqing became known as the City of Heroes. Many factories and universities were relocated from eastern China to Chongqing during the war, transforming this city from inland port to a heavily industrialized city. In late November 1949 the Nationalist KMT government fled the city.