This is North Korea's third largest city and a major centre of heavy industry.
Nothing to Envy, by Barbara Demick, an LA-based journalist, is a partially novelized collection of interviews with six former residents of Chongjin, who later took refugee in South Korea. While the main plot revolves around the lives of six main characters/interviewees before and during the North Korean famine of 1990s and their eventual flight to South Korea, the book has lively depictions of Chongjin and the surrounding area, especially during the economic collapse of North Korea in the 90s, throughout.
While the average citizen has a hard time surviving, finding food will not be a problem. Food will be provided, and will be better than most of the country experiences.
Local drinking water is known to be untreated. Bottled water is the best choice. Some tourists have been hospitalized in North Korea due to drinking the public water.