ne of the most impressive locations in all of Chongqing, Hongya Cave stands as a shining jewel of the city. It is easily one of the most popular and most photographed locations in the city, and it is, truly, a spectacular sight. Hongya Cave ticks a lot of boxes for me, personally. It isn't perfect, but when it comes to finding a single location that provides a lot of tasty photography, this place surely doesn't disappoint.
Hongya Cave and the rest of the area surrounding the Jiefangbei Clock Tower, in many ways, is the beating heart of the city.
Hongya Cave consistently ranks among the top attractions in Chongqing, and for good reason. Obviously, these days activity is a bit restricted, there aren’t as many foreign visitors, and as a result, a large number of the shops and stalls that used to reside in Hongya Cave have had to close. Sadly, no one is immune to the effects of COVID-19 and Hongya Cave now seems so quiet compared to the bustle that used to surround this place. You’ll still see a lot of locals around in the evenings and on weekends, many still visit from other cities and provinces during the holidays, but it is nothing like it used to be. And that is a terrible shame because Hongya Cave and the rest of the area surrounding the Jiefangbei Clock Tower, in many ways is the beating heart of the city.
There are three locations, that I seek out, locations that I have found to be the best places to photograph Hongya Cave. I’d like to take credit for discovering them, but if you do a quick search of Hongya Cave anywhere, you will see photos taken from similar locations to mine, so I cannot claim ownership over that at all. But while I do, naturally, draw inspiration from the works of others, I try to put my own unique feel on the photos I take, as best as I can. Of the three photos above, the first one is taken from Qianshimen bridge, that runs next to Hongya Cave and connects Yuzhong District to Jiangbei District. You can access the bridge right next to the Hongya Cave Scenic Area and walk up until you’re past the safety wall. The best time to photograph is likely right around sunset.
The second location, where the other two photos are taken, are from the bottom of the street, outside of Hongya Cave’s lowest entrance. Now there is an actual promenade to walk on and photograph from, that wasn’t always the case. In the past, to get a clear shot, you had to stand on the road, and hope the cars didn’t hit you. This has, thankfully changed now, and it is a lot safer to move around, and photograph these magnificent buildings.
In the past, to get a clear shot, you had to stand on the road, and hope the cars didn't hit you.
The third location, you can see from the photo below. Still at the lower levels, but walking all the way to the western end of the scenic area, basically standing under the Qianshimen bridge. From here, you can find a little platform that extends over the lowest of the shopping streets. All of these photos are taken without actually entering the scenic spot itself, but that isn’t to say that going inside won’t be worth your while.
Hongya Cave is full of things to explore. The higher levels house a lot of restaurants and bars, the middle streets have numerous streetfood and snack vendors, and the bottom levels are full of arts and crafts, stone work, clothing, etc. If you want to know more about what you can see and experience at Hongya Cave, I suggest you continue reading this article.
Now, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Hongya Cave only looks good during the evening. And while sunset is definitely when Hongya Cave looks the most stunning, you can get lucky during the daytime as well. Walking through the narrow streets, the shops and the people are all great subjects, and the same three locations or even across the Jialing River from the viewing point of the Grand Theather you can get excellent views of Hongya Cave.