Hongyadong, or Hongya cave, is an architectural oddity and key landmark of Chongqing. Though it is a modern building, it has been built to resemble traditional Chinese market halls. Each floor boasts a series of winding, narrow walkways filled with shops, restaurants, and stalls selling everything from carved wooden Buddhas to Dairy Queen Blizzards.
As an aside, there is a rumor that Hongyadong inspired the bathhouse featured in Spirited Away. I don’t think I buy it, but I do see the resemblance, which only made it feel more magical to walk through.
As you move to the upper floors, you can take in excellent views of the Chongqing Bridge as well as the meeting point of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers. It was lovely enough by day, but the view becomes even more spectacular at night, when the whole city lights up.
While we enjoyed the luminescent skyline, we decided to try the local specialty – hot pot. Hot pot is a sort of spicy fondue, except instead of cheese, everything is cooked in hot chili oil. It was pretty tasty (great with a cold beer!), but definitely not a quick meal, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re hangry.
After dinner, we walked along the bridge to get a view of Hongyadong from the river. This was easily the highlight of our visit. I’ll let the photos do the talking here.
It is a nice change of pace to be living in a city with so much to do and see. I’m looking forward to more local adventures.