An Ancient Town in the Modern World

If only I had this message written on my wallet, then I might–just might–consume rationally. But it’s so difficult to resist when you walk into places tourist traps like Ciqikou, an ancient town in Chongqing where everything looks like it should either be hanging on my walls or settling in my stomach (mostly here).

From fresh black sesame candy to sweet globs of sticky rice, how can anybody resist a taste?

Steamed Sticky Rice Stuffed in Bamboo on a Stick

Mahua, a typical twisted treat from Tianjin, China, but in Chongqing, they make 'em spicy and numbing.

Barrel of steaming hot sticky rice ready to be mortared and pestled into little globs of...rice balls?

That's my dad.

The Little Rice Balls lightly toasted and sprinkled with sugar

Or One Big Glob of Rice

The Smashing of the Black Sesame Candy

And where else am I to find nunchucks and chicken-feather hackey-sacks if not here in the ancient town? Decathalon Sporting Goods? I don’t think so.

At the end of one of the many roads within Ciqikou, I saw the light; the bright, glimmering reflections of useless souvenirs.

One of the exits of Ciqikou overlooks the Yangtze River. Gloomy as that day was, it was still refreshing to be by a body of water.

Strolling along the dock, I came across a particularly ominous but beautiful abandoned bridge that looked very familiar to me. As soon as I took the picture, I remembered why. I had seen an image of this place in an article in the New Yorker.


It didn’t quite feel like déjà vu, but the world felt smaller and I was happy to know that beautiful places we come across in photographs actually exist in the most practical places.


5 Comments on “An Ancient Town in the Modern World”

  1. Fergiemoto says:

    I enjoyed this post – thank you!

  2. […] Another highlight of my trip to Chongqing a couple of weeks ago was the boat ride along the cityscape. The port at which the boats are anchored is where two great rivers of China–Yangtze and Jialing–intersect. […]

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