Facing the Yangtze River, Longmenhao Old Street is backed by Zhenwu Mountain. With Haitang Creek in the south and Xuantan Temple in the north, it serves as an important ferry terminal of Nan’an District. One can take the Yangtze River Cableway outside Xiaoshizi Station in Yuzhong District to Nan’an District. Near Longmenhao below the cableway route, there are houses with black bricks and green tiles lurking among the hills amidst wisps of smoke.
“Hao” originally refers to the water area separated by the moraine at the river bank. It is said that during the Shaoxing years of the Song Dynasty, the characters “Long Men” engraved on a certain rock in the Yangtze River would appear in the dry season, hence the name “Longmenhao.”
The dock was long ago replaced with an asphalt road stretching straight before the mountain. The imposing Dongshuimen Bridge spans the river, and the buildings on the opposite bank rise high from the ground, solemn and magnificent.
In 1890, Chongqing was opened commercially to the outside world, and Longmenhao became the first inland port in Chinese history. Since then, cargo ships berthed at the dock in Longmenhao, and consulates, restaurants, and pubs had been erected on the streets.
They have all gone, however, with the past. There are no bearers stooped under the weight of cargoes or messengers walking hurriedly with briefcases anymore.
Yet, Longmenhao itself remains. Longmenhao has experienced renovation since 2018 according to local conditions. The old buildings have been turned into new-style dining bars and homestays, and the manhole covers and notice boards painted with colorful pictures. The residential buildings, old as they were, still look clean.