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HOME > Chongqing Guide > About Chongqing
Nature & Geography
Nature & Geography
Chongqing is situated at 105`17'-110`11' E and 28`10'-32`13' N, at the transitional area between the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the plain on the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River in the sub-tropical climate zone swept by the moist monsoon. The average annual temperature is around 18℃, with the lowest winter temperature averaging between 6℃ and 8℃ and summer temperature averaging between 27℃ and 29℃. It has a total annual sunshine time of 1,000 to 1,200 hours. It has mild winter, hot summers, long frost-free periods and ample rain, as well as warm, wet and cloudy days, with rain and heat occurring in the same season. It has an annual rainfall of 1,000-1,400 mm. It often rains at night in late spring and early summer, and thus the city is famous for its "night rain in the Ba Mountains". The land under Chongqing's jurisdiction is 470 kilometers from east to west, and 450 kilometers from north to south. It borders on Hubei and Hunan provinces in the east, Guizhou in the south, Sichuan in the west and north and Shaanxi Province at its northeast corner.

Chongqing covers a large area crisscrossed by rivers and mountains. The Daba Mountains stand in the north, the Wushan Mountains in the east, the Wuling Mountains in the southeast and the Dalou Mountains in the south. The whole area slopes down from north and south towards the Yangtze valley, with sharp rises and falls. The area is featured by mountain and hills, with large sloping areas at different heights. Typical karst landscape is common in this area, and stone forests, forests of peaks, limestone caves and valleys can be found in many places. The Yangtze River runs through the whole area from west to east, covering a course of 665 kilometers, cutting through the Wushan Mountains at three places and forming the well-known Three Gorges: the Qutang, the Wuxia and the Xiling gorges. Coming from northwest and running through "the Jialing Lesser Three Gorges" of Libi, Wentang and Guanyin, the Jialing River joins the Yangtze in Chongqing.
The central urban area of Chongqing, or Chongqing proper, is a beautiful city with its unique features. Built on mountains and embraced by the Yangtze and Jialing rivers, it is known as a "mountain city" and a "city on rivers". The night scene of the city is very charming, with millions of lights and their reflection on the rivers, forming another Milky Way. With its special topographical features, Chongqing has the unique magnificent scenery of mountain, rivers, forests, springs, waterfalls, gorges and caves. The best natural scenery is found in the Yangtze Three Gorges. High cliffs standing face to face on either side of the Yangtze, forming a natural gallery of arts. Each of the three gorges has its special charm: the Qutang Gorge is imposing and magnificent, the Wuxia Gorge elegant and graceful, and the Xiling Gorge precipitous and perilous. There are the even more beautiful Lesser Three Gorges on the Daning River and the Lesser Lesser Three Gorges on the Madu River. Li Bai (701-762), the great poet of the Tang Dynasty, inspired by the scenery, chanted while touring through the Three Gorges, and left the world an immortal poem:
Leaving at dawn the White Emperor crowned with cloud,
I've sailed a thousand li through canyons in a day.
With the monkeys' adieus the riverbanks are loud,
My skiff has left ten thousand mountains far away.

In addition to the magnificent gorges, Mother Nature has also favored the city with other gifts: the rich natural resources in Jinfo Mountain in Nanchuan, known as a natural bank of genes, and in Simian Mountain in Jiangjin, the largest primitive forest on the same latitude in the world; the scenery along valleys on the Wujing River, Jialing River and the Daning River; and the beautiful lakes of Changshou, Xiaonanhai, and Qinglong.
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Translation by Lan-Bridge Chongqing