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The Path To Adventure Is Never Far From Home

Hey! My name is Lucy, I’m 26 and I’m from Birmingham, England. I’ve lived in Chongqing, China for just over a year now.

Chongqing is famously known as “the mountain city”. Travelling throughout the city of Chongqing you will see mountains lining the horizon, even in the heart of the city. The contrasting mix of urban and mountain landscape is one of the reasons why Chongqing, for me, has so much charm and personality. Chongqing has a lot to offer for those who live here. Bars, restaurants, clubs, parks, if you can think if it, Chongqing has it. One of the things that I really love about living in Chongqing is despite being a large metropolitan city, you don’t have to travel far to find yourself in nature which is something that has always been important to me.

Since moving to Chongqing, I started taking an interest in photography. I guess one of the reasons why photography interested me so much is the ability to capture a moment to have it stand still in time. My friends and family are always curious about what living in china is like and whilst I can describe everything I see, I feel that through photography I can really portray why living here in Chongqing is such an amazing experience. Cliché but a picture really speaks 1000 words.

I found the best way to explore the city is to pick a place on the map and just go, you never know what you might find. I was looking for new places to visit on my days off and I found a tiktok video showing a route up one of Chongqing’s many mountains to a small spot that overlooked The Jiefangbei area. My friend and I both agreed it looked amazing so on our next day off we planned to go. We met up at 11am, stopped for some spicy Chongqing noodles and then headed to Nanshan (The North) mountain.

The route was tricky; We didn’t have an idea of how long it would take to get there but it promised to be a good opportunity for photography. On the way to the overlook there would be a ghost village that you could walk through. We started off by walking down the road towards the mountain and then turning left into a small community. The walk through the community was short but scenic, there were maybe two people present there so it was very quiet. Through the community there was a long concrete path where we would find the gap in the trees and a small steep dirt path leading up to the overlook point. We found the path and began to climb. This climb took around 10 minutes until we came to a level path where the ghost town first became visible.

In the time I’ve lived in Chongqing, I’ve explored some incredibly beautiful places, but the ghost town is definitely my favourite place that I’ve visited. Haunting, eerie, isolated, but also incredibly beautiful. Walking up the path we encountered more abandoned houses. Most just shells, promises of what could have been yet left to be reclaimed by the land.

We approached another ascent, a mix of stone steps and dirt path which eventually came to a clearing. From here we could see the whole of the Jiefangbei area and the meeting place where the Jialingjiang and the Changjiang rivers meet. Unfortunately like most days in Chongqing, it was a hazy day, so visibility was low however it was still an awe-inspiring sight. Nothing beats standing on a mountain and looking down at the sprawling city. This part of the city is always illuminated at night so this would be the perfect spot to see the city lights.

We started the descent back down the mountain which led us to a different path which took us through another level of the ghost town. Here, we could really see how big this community could have been if it had ever been completed.

Exploring this place took us away from the busy city streets to somewhere more peaceful without actually travelling very far at all. Now I just have to plan for my next adventure.

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