A Day on the Purple Mountain
Favorite thing: While staying in Nanjing one cannot pass up an opportunity to visit the Purple Mountain. This is a large park located on a mountain east of Mochou Lake. The mountain is covered with surprisingly thick vegetation and several worthy attractions the most important of which is the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Mausoleum. To see all of what the Purple Mountain has to offer, you should expect to spend the day here. There is a all included ticket sold here for all the attractions on the mountain. I thought that the price for this ticket, Y80, was rather steep for the reason that none of the attractions was really mind blowing but it was probably economical.
The mountain itself can be scaled either by foot, a very nice walk, or by chair lift. I took this means up the mountain because it saved time. It proved to be the correct move as I spent quite sometime here. I walked down the mountain and had an interesting time doing it. I met a group of Chinese university students who spoke reasonable English. They shared some insights into there country that I appreciated. Even more rewarding was the fact that I was the first foreigner they ever spoke English with outside of school. Sadly it very hazy during my walk on the mountain and my pictures of the scenery suffered for this reason.
- Arts and Culture
- National/State Park
- Hiking and Walking
Overcoming Power Shortage
Favorite thing: Due to power shortage, the riverside lights of this popular Nanjing tourist spot is not fully lighted after certain hours. This is a famous river where on side, used to be examination halls for poor scholars hoping to become wealthy and powerful mandarins one day and on the other side the red light district of women, song and wine.
So you can take a digitized picture to ensure that you have the correct background where all the lights are lighted to show friends back home. At least it was taken at the actual site.
Getting a local guide or not
Favorite thing: Nanjing has many historical tourist destinations and musuems that can be reached by car, bus or taxis. I had transport and a Shanghainese driver and decided to hire a local tour guide. An English speaking guide is more expensive than a Chinese speaking guide for the whole day. I opted for Chinese as some descriptions cannot be translated.
It definitely worth hiring a local tour guide for the day. Ask your hotel reception to arrange for this free lance service.
Favorite thing: Relax! Life can be so much pleasant when you just let the moments passed you by.
From my few trips to Japan during the Cherry Blossoms Festival, it was a v. nice experience to see many workers & professionals alike enjoying the nature (even if it's in the overcrowded city). Life is so much more pleasant if one can enjoy the little moments & make full use of what one has.
On this trip, I was quite surprised to witness the same here in Nanjing. Not that they are not human like the rest of us, but just a preconceived idea about communists, I guess. It's strange in some ways, each of us are brought up with different experiences & teachings, until we actually venture out there ourselves & learned that things can be different, we'll never know how wrong we could be. For this v. reason, I'm thankful I was able to visit many different countries, cultures & talked to many different nationalities. It's life best experiences!
- Family Travel
Favorite thing: The Confucius Temple (Fuzimiao) was originally built during the Song Dynasty and is situated on the north bank of the Qinhuai River. Today, the entire area around the Temple consists of a series of tourist shops, snack bars, restaurants and entertainment arcades all done up in "Ming" and "Qing" style architecture. There is a vaguely kitsch feeling about the area and the Temple itself is a bit of a disappointment but the area is great fun and a very pleasant part of the city to walk around (the only pedestrianised area in the city). Absorb the relaxed atmosphere, have something to eat and take part in the fun! It is particularly interesting in the evenings when a lively street market sets up in the district, and locals and tourists take part in the bargain hunting!
The Song Dynasty was a period of great Confucian revivalism and the temple here is considered to be one of the best preserved of its type in China. During the Ming Dynasty the temple was expanded and became a school for children of the imperial court. The buildings on both sides of the Temple which are now small tourist shops were once individual study rooms for Confucian scholars. The Qinhuai River flows in front of the Temple and there is also a 110-meter-long screen stonewall (the largest in the nation) nearby, which can be viewed from the bridge crossing the river in front of the Temple. A beautiful ¡°Lantern Show¡± is held at the Temple during the 1st to the 18th days of the Lunar Year.
- Adventure Travel
In 1937, open war began...
Favorite thing: In 1937, open war began between Japan and China. One of the most infamous events of this conflict (World War II in the Pacific arena) was known as the Nanking (Nanjing) Massacre or the Rape of Nanking. In December of 1937, Japanese troops entered the city of Nanking, already decimated by the looting and violence of Chinese troops fleeing fighting in Shanghai. For seven weeks Japanese soldiers assaulted, robbed, and murdered civilians and troops in the city. One recent study suggests that over 350,000 Chinese were murdered, other studies have argued considerably less, from 30,000-60,000 people. One of the largest groups was composed of women who died after repeated rape and mutilation. Attempts to explain such an extreme example of destruction have been largely unsuccessful; even more disturbing is the lack of a public apology or even an acknowledgement by the Japanese government of the heinous nature of these war crimes.
Fondest memory: Between December 1937 and March 1938 at least 369,366 Chinese civilians and prisoners of war were slaughtered by the invading troops. An estimated 80,000 women and girls were raped; many of them were then mutilated or murdered.
Fondest memory: Cherry Blossoms in Nanjing!
My original plan was to go to Japan for cherry blossoms but due to the warmer weather this year, Japan had an early season by 2 weeks! Luckily for me, I managed to find it here in Nanjing!
Not quite the same... but more memorable instead :)
Fondest memory: Aside from being the first time in China that I came across the cherry blossoms, this was also the first time I traveled across a few provinces in China all by myself on the trains. It was an unforgettable experience!
My trip started from Shanghai after meeting up with VTer Jenny (Jiang_Cucha) who had been a gracious host introducing me to the Shanghainese cuisine & special dishes. It was certainly one of the best dinners I've had in Shanghai. Taking the train from Shanghai to Nanjing was the first part of my journey. I was a little apprehensive about Nanjing & the train since it's my 1st time. Not knowing what to expect but having bought the ticket a day ahead it certainly helped in making the journey a much pleasant experience. The train station was very crowded with all kinds of people from all over China; not just city dwellers but also peasants. If anyone should consider taking trains in either China or Japan, do try to lighten up your load as you've to climb lots of staircase to get to the platforms! Anyhow, the ride was smooth for me & the train was much better than I had anticipated. Also, don't bother trying to save on the 'hard seat' as the difference in prices is meagre but huge when it comes to comfort!
LATEST NEWS!! Nanjing Yangtze...
Favorite thing: LATEST NEWS!! Nanjing Yangtze River Second Bridge has already been constructed, and it will be open to traffic tomorrow(26/03/2001)!!It is the longest bridge in cable-stayed structure in China and 3rd in the World.
Nanjing's largest park, Xuanwu...
Favorite thing: Nanjing's largest park, Xuanwu Hu is a lake five kilometers long divided into three sections by narrow islands and causeways. Located in the northeastern part of the city, Xuanwu Hu offers pleasant walks and easy biking plus the prerequisite for any Chinese park: a collection of boats for rent. Apart from a number of arched bridges (one with the Chinese characters for 'toilet' scrawled on it, apparently voicing the opinion that the water below isn't fit for drinking) and a dingy pavilion, Xuanwu Hu does not have many architectural features of note. There is an ancient monorail (as monorails go, that is) that winds its way through the park at a snail's pace.
In spite of the park's unspectacular state in the present, like most Nanjing sites, it has a long history. A training ground for naval forces during the Southern Dynasties, the lake was originally named Sangpo Hu (Mulberry Lake). While reviewing his forces on the lake, one emperor swore that he saw a black dragon appear on the lake. Thereafter, the lake was renamed Xuanwu Hu ('xuan' means 'black', 'wu' means 'military', and 'hu' means 'lake'). After being converted to rice fields during the 11th century, the lake was restored and opened as a park soon after the 1911 revolution.
Xuanwu Hu is best seen in combination with the Ming city wall bordering the park to its east and south and the Ji Ming Temple just outside Jie Fang Men at Xuanwu Hu's southwestern edge. The main entrance, through Xuanwu Men, is just east of Zhongyang Lu near the intersection with Hunan Lu.
Or, if you want to wander down an interesting alley where some of Nanjing's oldest houses have been built right up against the city wall, then don't enter the park at all. Instead, take a right at Xuanwu Men onto Kunlun Lu and follow it all the way to Jiefang Men. After about two minutes walking time, look for a faded yellow slogan from the Cultural Revolution painted on the western face of one of the buildings on your left. Then again, if you take this route, you might miss sighting Xuanwu Hu's black dragon.
Fondest memory: The picture shows all! :) More than words
Dr. Sun Yatsen¡¡¥s...
Favorite thing: Dr. Sun Yatsen¡¡¥s Mausoleum is the most famous site located on Purple Mountain.
Fondest memory: Take bus No. 9 from Xinjiekou roundabout and get off at the terminus. The Mausoleum is directly in front of the bus park.
Map of Zhongshan (Purple Mountain) Scenic Area
Favorite thing: This is the best map I've found of the Zhongshan (Purple Mountain) Scenic Area. It's still hard to see the small print but you get a good idea as to what to see. You can pick up a card map of the scenic area when you visit.
Visit the old canal, (Red...
Favorite thing: Visit the old canal, (Red Light district in the old days), visit the XuanWu Lake, observatory, etc.
Fondest memory: If possible, go to HuangShan (Yellow Mountain), the most famous mountain in China, almost a must to see !!!!
Looking for souvenirs?! Try...
Favorite thing: Looking for souvenirs?! Try Fuzi Miao. I spent two long days in Nanjing's hazy, hot and humid weather shopping. If you have the Mandarin number system down, you can bargain with the merchants there. They also have a McDonald's and a KFC for the westerners.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory was the night-market. It was this bustling main street with hundreds of stands set up. People everywhere! Try the rickshaw's too; lot's of fun.
Visit the birds market. The...
Favorite thing: Visit the birds market. The cacaphony of all the birds singing and rattling their cages is as impressive as the respect and the care the Chinese show these small animals.
Fondest memory: One morning, when waking up, a group of students was working out in some ancient asian ritual. Very impressive sight with the costumes, the slow motion movements and the glittering swords in the rising sun.
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