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Called the Mountain City (also the name of the local beer), Chongqing is the major jumping-off point for the Three Gorges cruise down the Yangtze River. The classic novel The Three Kingdoms takes place along this stretch of the river, and the cliffs are lined with caves and tombs dating back to the Yellow Emperor. The controversial Three Gorges Dam is now complete, and the water
level is steadily rising—millions of people have been displaced, entire villages swamped, and countless historical artifacts lost forever—but China needs energy, and the western regions need a reliable inland port, therefore the dam stays.
With a layout reminiscent of Hong Kong and a distinct Sichuanese vibe, Chongqing is one of the most interesting and dynamic cities in Western...