As a large metropolis, Chongqing boasts rich natural resources and local specialties, making it a good place to do some shopping.
Due to the fact that Chongqing is a city 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). Besides this, the fertile land here is ideal for the friut growing, such as orange, pear, pomelo and persimmon.
Chongqing is also a major tea producing area. With a long history of cultivation, Chongqing Tuo Tea, Cuiping Silver Needle Tea and Xinong Maojian Tea enjoy high prestige both at home and abroad.
Gourmets have no right to feel disappointed when traveling in Chongqing: 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 appraised. Since the Southern Song Dynasty, Shu Embroidery (also known as Sichuan Embroidery) has been ranked among the four most famous embroidery types in China, along with Suzhou Embroidery, Hunan Embroidery and Cantonese Embroidery. Rongchang paper fans are also exported and have been since the Qing dynasty.
Talking about Chinese herbal medicine in Sichuan, one will not fail to recall Gastrodia elata (tianma), which contributes a great deal to patients with eclampsia. Duck braised in Gastrodia elata soup is the most famous medical dish you might encounter when dining in the local restaurants in Chongqing.
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 fragrance of honey.
With the rapid economic development, peasants in rural Chongqing have witnessed great improvement in their material wealth. Conceivably they desire more cultural activities in their spare time. It just seems that print painting has become their beloved form of self-cultivation and self-relaxation.
And there is no lack of artistic genius here: for ten years 874 works have been on exhibit in US, Japan, UK, Canada and Italy and over 600 works have become personal collection.
Rongchang Paper Fan
It is almost 450 years since the first Rongchang paper fan was made. Since then, the fan has enjoyed unique renown domestically and internationally. It is by no means surprising then, that hundreds of years ago the fans were exported to India and Burma.
At first, only the nobility could afford to buy the elegantly made fans. The past several decades have witnessed rapid innovation utilizing different materials to make the fan and the original few have now expanded into 345 different types.
Shu brocade (also known as Sichuan brocade), soft in feel and flamboyant in color, has a history of over two thousand years, and it is one of the four best and most famous brocades in China along with Nanjing Brocade, Suzhou Brocade and Guangxi Brocade.
Developed over more than twenty centuries, over several hundred types have evolved and brocade has become an integral part of the ornament of women in the ethnic groups from southwestern China. However, handmade brocade has given way to modern textile industries and there is only one factory in the city that specializes in making Sichuan Brocade.
Three Gorge Inkstone
For travelers fascinated by Chinese calligraphy, Three Gorge Inkstone might be the best shopping item in Chongqing. Made from the special stone excavated on the Libi Gorge section of Jialing River, the fine-shaped inkstone is delicately engraved with beautiful patterns.