Day 4 was faily unevenful. We travelled via plane to Chongqing and settled into our new hotel, the Chongqing Marriott. This picture serves as a great study in the area.

Countryside

Chongqing sits in the mountains at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing Rivers. The city, with a population of 30,000,000 is a primarily an agrucultural area. In the center of the photo you can see a typical farmers house, surrounded by their fields. Because the terrain is so rugged all of the farming is done manually. It's amazing to see how throughly every square inch of these hillsides are farmed.

The mist is another omni-present feature of Chongqing. Being near two rivers and nestled between mountains there isn't any place for the moist air to escape, so it hangs low and mixes with the smoke from the charcoal used for heating and cooking by many of the inhabitants.

Finally, in the distance over the hills you can see the cranes constructing high-rises. The construction everywhere and ongoing. In Beijing the old neighborhoods of one story houses are being torn down and being replaced with 10-20 story high-rises.

The most striking thing about China so far has been the population density. The area where we landed in Beijing was highly populated with 10-20 story high-rises all around. On our trip to Tiananmen Square we drove for 30 minutes and that level of density never changed. Even in the so called rural areas of China, like the area pictured above, none of the farmed areas appeared to be larger than an acre or two. Even the terms used for areas is on a different scale than we use in the states. Here for example is a suburb of Chongqing

Suburbs

And here is the "town" that Caden's orphanage is in.

town

The city, with a population of
30,000,000

I'm gonna guess that you meant 3M, right?

It looks like an incredible journey to get your daughter... thanks for sharing it with us.

/D

Posted by Damon on 2004-01-06

Damon,
  You're welcome.

  The whole Chongqing area has a population
of 30M while the metropolitan area of the city has a population of over 10M:

http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/chongqing.htm

But these figures are from 2001 and a lot has changed in the last 2 years. I'll ask our tour guide if the 30M applies to only the Metro Area or the whole area.
You might find information that lists Chongqing as a part of Sichuan province. If that is the case then that information may be a bit dated since Chongqing broke off as it's own independent area in 1996.
That 10M figure is also growing rapidly
as more people move from the rural areas into the city because of the relocations  caused by the 3 Gorges dam project nearby. Of all the cities, Chongqing is the most affected by those relocations.

Posted by Joe on 2004-01-06