Chao Tian Men Dock
There were 10 gates in the Chongqing City. The Chaotianmen Gate is in the Northeast and it is the biggest harbor along the upstream of the Yangtze River . It is said the best place to start sightseeing in Chongqing is Chaotianmen, where the muddy, churning waters of the Yangtze meets the transparent Jialing River.
Chaotianmen Square is the gate or facade of the peninsula metropolis. For hundreds of years, this place has been the city’s first dock on the Yangtze and, therefore, it has been named Chaotianmen, of the Gate to Heaven, meaning “receiving the lord from Heaven “. Built in the summer of 1998 and covering an area of 800,000 square meters, the ship-shaped square is one of the largest roof squares in China, and it serves the purposes of sightseeing, transport and river bank protection. Its name was inscribed by President Jiang Zemin. More than a million people visit the square each year. In the first three quarters of 2000, for 26 times important guests form China and abroad were received here, including 11 times receiving Chinese Party and State leaders.
Chongqing is an inland port and a visit to Chaotianmen Docks gives a glimpse of the how the life of this modern industrial city mixes with its past.
Surrounded by mountains and on the confluence of the Yangtze River and the Jialing River, the ships, steamers and tugboats of this busy port jostle along the wharf. Nearby streets are narrow noisy affairs full of market stalls, food stalls and commerce. Ships over 10,000 tons will be able to reach here after the Three Gorges Project have been completed.
In order to adapt to the requirements of passenger-cargo collecting and distributing of chaotianmen market, further promote the development of regional economy, the traffic square, which has been brought into line with overall plan of master hub of chongqing highway, will play a very important role in the link of several transportation ways, like highway and water-way, water-way and railway, water-way and air transport for chongqing city.
Many Yangtze River cruises start and end at Chaotianmen docks. For a view of the docks and city, take the cable car across the river from Cangbei Lu or Wanglongmen. Here you can watch the boats and get a real sense of modern river life. During the summer locals swim off of the thrust of land that juts into the rivers. In the winter, when the low water exposes wide mudflats, the only way to get to the ships is on the shoulders of laborers.