iChongqing Title

Hotpot, Museums, and Bars in Bomb Shelters Crowed with Locals During Hot Summer


Chongqing- Chongqing’s temperature has surged again after several spots of rain. The bomb shelter, known as a “natural air conditioner,” has become the playground for citizens and tourists. Hotpot restaurants, museums, and bars based in historical bomb shelters welcomed more consumers, and the revenue increased by nearly 50%.

2,000 visitors over the weekend

At 11 a.m. on July 24, the first cave museum in China, Chongqing Jianchuan Museum, welcomed many tourists. It has combined modern technology and bomb shelter historical relics to attract tourists from all over the country.

Chongqing Jianchuan Museum

Chongqing Jianchuan Museum is located in Jiulongpo District, Chongqing. (iChongqing file photo)

Jianchuan Museum owns ten bomb shelters with different themes, including the Museum of Relics of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine Culture, which are popular this summer. Primary school students participate in the summer camp, parents bring their children to visit, and older people come to relive the old days. 

“The epidemic situation has improved this summer, and we are very popular here,” said the staff of Chongqing Jianchuan Museum. Since the beginning of summer, they have received 1,000 visitors daily and exceeded 2,000 on weekends, an increase of 50% compared to the beginning of the year. 

The increase in visitors has driven the museum’s cultural and creative product sales, where clothes, books, and other commodities full of museum elements are neatly arranged. Their next plan for the shop is the Museum Noodle House.

Dongzi Hot Pot

Dongzi Hot Pot. (iChongqing/ Zheng Ran)

Night has not yet fallen, yet a bomb shelter in Yuzhong District, Dongting Hot Pot, is crowded with customers.

“Once summer arrives, there are two to three hundred people in the restaurant daily,” said a restaurant staff. “There are not only locals but many foreign tourists from all over the world because bomb shelters are only visible in Chongqing.”

At 10 p.m., The Caver Bar in Yuzhong District ushered in a customer peak. Since July, the daily patronage has increased by about 20%, with revenue rising by 30% over the same period.

Providing more than 100,000 jobs annually

On July 22, the National Administration of Cultural Heritage issued documents encouraging using heritage buildings to open museums, exhibition halls, art galleries, rural bookstores, vernacular culture halls, and thematic cultural activity centers.

“Bomb shelters are the product of a particular historical period and unique historical memory of Chongqing,” said the People’s Air Defense Office staff. “Using this exceptional cultural resource to create more consumption scenarios is an interesting idea.”

This June, Chongqing renovated some bomb shelters according to their characteristics. Nowadays, the bomb shelters with Chongqing’s unique mark are becoming a new carrier to revitalize historical resources and inherit urban culture, improving urban functions and quality.

“Bomb shelters are not just a business gimmick, but also a popular consumption scenario for citizens,” said Huang Guoqing, a professor at the School of Economics and Management of Southwest University. 

He thinks the bomb shelters should transform the wartime shelter space into a cultural consumption place full of Chongqing style and create more internet-famous hangouts.

Various bomb shelters have been turned into shopping malls, hot pot restaurants, wine cellars, gas stations, and post stations, providing more than 100,000 jobs annually. 

(Zhu Qinzhuo, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)


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