Chongqing – City of Fog, City of Hot Pot, Mountain City – is still not much of a tourist town. It has its sights, though. In this series of short articles, I want to introduce some of them.

Here, a little mountain in the very south of the “city” area…

This mountain in the “city” area of Chongqing, near Shanwangping, is unlikely to be visited by any Western tourist; I myself am not sure I could even find it again. The impressions may be all the more interesting to share!

Around Shanwangping, we also went on a little hike up a little mountain. Why, I don’t really know. Probably just because it’s there. And visited by others, as well.

There certainly was enough trash lying on the path, at least further down. Unfortunately, in rural China, this is still a good sign of a place that is visited by lots of people.

There is no importance to this mountain that I know anything of; it is just a low, but not entirely ordinary, mountain in an area full of such – and taller – mountains.

And yet, there is a gate up there, there are remains of what probably used to be a temple a bit farther on – and the paths that lead over there are unexpected. It looks as if one were already at the top, and then paths continue onwards, through an area that seems larger than it appeared from down below.

As so often – in microexploration spirit – I researched more, later… but the results were few.

On maps, one finds this place as ma nao cheng (玛瑙城) or “agate city”.

The sign posted by the roadside says that this is the longyacheng yizhi (龙崖城遗址), the site of the “Dragon Cliff City.” There just isn’t really any info about that…

The place up top before those paths, serving as an outlook, offers a wide view into the landscape that looks down upon a rather different China.

Wild and mountainous, covered in vegetation, with much less of human settlement and construction than one would ever expect – and especially from a part of China that is not yet its wild west or anything remote like that.

And all that is still a part of the “largest city in the world,” Chongqing!