China
Jiangsu

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  • Day1

    又到南京

    April 6, 2019 in China ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    以前来过两次南京,都是匆匆忙忙,除了夫子庙旁熙熙攘攘的人群,竟没有什么别的印象了。这次与家人同行,希望可以好好探索一番。

    出租车驶入城区后,街景开始变得江南起来。粉墙黛瓦,即便是新修的房子,看起来也么妩媚动人,气温舒适,春花也还未谢尽,清风拂面而来,甚至带着一股淡淡的花香。妈妈和外婆开始背起诗来,这次的江南行便缘起于她们俩的诗词学习,今天又恰好是农历三月初一,可真的是“烟花三月”了。

    安顿好后,妈妈便陪外婆去探望了当年在北京一起工作的老同事。本来想陪她们一起,但一晚上没怎么睡觉的我,实在是没有了力气。后来看妈妈拍的录像,几个年过八旬的老人,在餐厅里一起吟唱李叔同的《送别》,“长亭外,古道边,芳草碧连天……”,让我特别感动。

    刚好赶上清明假期,附近的秦淮河畔一定是游人如织,还是少凑热闹,明天先去玄武湖看看吧。
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  • Day3

    金陵风物二三

    April 8, 2019 in China ⋅ 🌬 15 °C

    南京的饭菜可真好吃啊!

    这两天吃了三家馆子,都非常满意,特别是几道当地特有的时令青菜,芦蒿、菊花脑、豆苗……简单的烹调、清淡的口味,却让人回味无穷,赞不绝口,连作为四川人的外婆,居然都开始贬低自己家的菜肴了:“这比川菜的重口味好吃多了!”

    想起之前看谷崎润一郎写的《秦淮之夜》,里面便记录了南京的菜肴:“据说虾是这边的名产,原料自然是上乘的,而其味道则相当地清淡。即使是日本菜也难以做到如此清淡。这样的佳肴,任凭怎样讨厌中国菜的人,也不可能不举箸一尝。”

    除了饭菜,金陵的历史风物也令人流连忘返。

    “烟笼寒水月笼沙,夜泊秦淮近酒家”,千百年来,但凡读过杜牧这首《泊秦淮》的人,恐怕都无法不对秦淮河的夜色产生几分向往。有趣的是,这里明明在历代都是夜夜笙歌的繁华之地,可在文人的笔下,却偏偏总是被染上悲剧的色彩——“肠断秦淮三百曲”,“伤心最是秦淮月”,“想得玉楼瑶殿影,空照秦淮”……如今的秦淮河,游船画舫在桥底穿梭而过,两岸张灯结彩,热闹非凡。附近的夫子庙,更是办起了夜游灯会,游客比白天还要多。我很想知道,那些诗人是否当年就是面对如此盛景而发出悲叹的?

    “南朝四百八十寺,多少楼台烟雨中”,来了南京才知道,原来这四百八十寺之首,便是玄武湖旁的古鸡鸣寺。漫步玄武湖时,便可以看到鸡鸣寺的佛塔与远处的摩天大楼一字排开,构成绝妙的对比。想必古时,这座佛塔一定是附近唯一的高层建筑,不论是从玄武湖远观鸡鸣寺,还是登临佛塔眺望玄武湖,一定都是别具一格的风景。鸡鸣寺虽然地处南京市中心,可因为地势较高,立于禅院之内,却丝毫感受不到墙外的车水马龙,犹如置身于深山古刹一般。

    位于长江北岸的浦口火车站,现已停止使用,可就是这样一个破破烂烂的旧车站,却有着许多故事。从破碎的玻璃窗中,可以窥见曾经的候车大厅,里面堆满了旧物,墙皮也落了一地,淡淡的霉味混着尘土透出窗来,一呼吸,仿佛就能嗅到历史的气息。初中课文朱自清先生的《背影》,便是在这个小站发生的故事。小的时候学这篇散文,只记得了晦涩难懂的生词,却并不能体会到笔墨中所透出的父爱、亲情、离别,甚至觉得那个穿越铁轨去买橘子的父亲形象有些可笑。然而长大后再读,竟被感动得流泪,果然人生的很多道理,只有经历了才会明白。
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  • Day5

    十年一觉扬州梦

    April 10, 2019 in China ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

    扬州还是那么美。

    记得08年来扬州时,第一印象便是这里缓慢闲适的生活节奏和低矮的楼群,整座城市几乎见不到一栋十层以上的高楼,而河边的道路和房屋则更是保留了历史的旧貌,人们沿着护城河不紧不慢地骑着自行车去茶社用一个早上的时间喝茶吃早饭,在古运河旁的树荫下悠闲地散步——这一切都让刚刚从北京来到这里的我们非常惊讶,从没想到人们还可以这样享受生活。

    十一年后再来扬州,除了路上的自行车变成了电动小摩托,这里几乎还是过去的模样。在这个城市日渐同质化的时代,绝大多数的地方都在盖一座接一座的摩天大楼、修一架又一架的立交桥,而扬州却还是这么遗世独立,这么小桥流水,真让人欣喜。

    “烟花三月下扬州”、“春风十里扬州路”……也许是因为无数诗词吟咏的缘故,光是念出“扬州”这二字,就让人觉得唇齿生香,诗意盎然。不过直到今天,我才算是真正明白了为什么这座城市会让历代的文人骚客为之魂牵梦绕。几处明清时期的园林略去不表,单是瘦西湖一处,就足以让人流连忘返。漫步长堤之上,微风阵阵,杨柳依依,春花点点,碧波盈盈,步步皆是景。春日的扬州,即便不是人间天堂,恐怕也是离桃花源不远的地方了吧,而此时,除了前人那些伟大的诗歌,我也找不出更好的语言来形容与表达自己的感受了。想到自己可以与一千多年前的古人一样,为同一处景致而感动,也是一件奇妙的事情。

    如果只是春花春草,扬州并不会有文学史上如此重要的地位。扬州之所以为今日的扬州,还少不了水上的二十四桥,少不了山上的平山堂,更少不了天上的二分明月。今晚去大运河坐游船,抬头望见了天边的新月,朦朦胧胧的,在云雾里若隐若现,分外可爱,不由得让人遐想满月时的扬州夜色该是多么美好。“天下三分明月夜,二分无赖在扬州”,亲历此地之后,再读起这些诗词,方觉古人诚不我欺也。

    十多年了,扬州依然是我最爱的中国城市,没有之一。
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  • Day8

    繁华满眼过苏州

    April 13, 2019 in China ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    十一年的时间,我来了四次苏州。倒不是说苏州有那么好,可每次来江浙一带,不去苏州又总觉得少点什么,好在吴中胜景数不胜数,每一次来都不用担心重复。

    不过话说回来,有些地方却值得一去再去,比如我最爱的留园犹记得第一次和朋友来时,我们本以为走到了园子的尽头,过了一扇门后,才发现眼前又是豁然开朗的一片天地,这种因布局的巧妙而给人的意外感,恐怕就是“山重水复疑无路,柳暗花明又一村”所描述的情形吧。就是因为这点,后来的每一次苏州之行,我都一定会重访留园——好在我对园子的布局并没有烂熟于心,于是每一次穿过那扇门的瞬间,都还能重温当年激动的心情。

    年初的时候读了沈复的《浮生六记》,于是这次便把沧浪亭列到了游玩清单上。这座始建于宋、苏州现存最古老的园林,果然没有让我失望:因为名气不如拙政园、狮子林响亮,这里没有熙熙攘攘的团队游客,只有为数不多的散客和几个作画的画家,园子里竹林掩映,亭廊交错,假山与池水将园子隔为几个部分,每处都可以让人坐下来享受幽静。也只有在这种时刻,人才能够去细细品味古人造园所费的心思,何处宜看山,何处宜听雨,何处赏春花,何处品秋叶……无不充满了意趣和智慧。除了自然之景和这些精致的亭台楼阁,品读每一处的题字也是游园的一部分,风雅的名字,极富意韵的楹联,早已融为园林不可或缺的一部分。园林有别于花园,不正是因为其中的这些文人意趣吗?所以,游园而只会走马观花般地拍照,真是对这些文化遗产的亵渎呢。

    这次苏州行的另一个新的体验是在平江路坐了手摇船——之前来的三次都是穷学生的状态,所以对于坐40分钟船却要花180元的消费水平总是望而却步,这回终于可以完满一下了。坐在小船上穿行在河道上、古桥下,听着撑船的船夫唱着姑苏小调,两岸邻水的人家商铺鳞次栉比,这才算真正见识了古诗中所描绘的风景:”君到姑苏见,人家尽枕河。古宫闲地少,水港小桥多。”

    江南真美好啊,这么细腻,柔软,恬淡,难怪清代的皇帝没事就要下江南。我觉得自己再待下去,就快要后悔自己申请加入澳洲国籍的决定了……

    阖庐城外木兰舟,朝泛横塘暮虎丘。
    三万六千容易过,人生只合住苏州。
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  • Oct5

    Master of the Nets

    October 5, 2019 in China ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

    Su Zhou was the capital of one of the seven ancient kingdoms of China. Ancient travelers said, “There is paradise, and beyond that there is Su Zhou.” Even though its kingdom was later incorporated into larger China, this small city of 10 million people became a paradise on earth for “The Humble Administrator,” “The Master of the Nets,” and other noblemen who built their palaces and gardens here. Glorious flowers, peaceful lakes, and remarkable monoliths grace these estates. Huge, abstract stone ornaments in gardens became fashionable simply because the stones were taken from the bottom of a lake considered the most beautiful in China. Their extraction before the days of mechanization was arduous, dangerous and expensive. Merely having one of these huge rocks in one’s garden testified to the wealth and status of the owner. The status of the city was further enhanced by the construction of the Grand Canal that extended from Shanghai all the way to Beijing. We took a boat ride along a portion of the canal and marveled at the many homes and temples from the sixteenth century that still overlook the waters. Following our boat ride on the canal, we enjoyed an elegant meal that featured not only familiar Chinese favorites, such as Kong Pao Chicken, and Sweet and Sour Pork, but also a new experience for me, silver needle fish. We finished the day visiting a silk factory. I got to touch young silk worms as they ate their dinner of mulberry leaves. We saw workers extract a 1.5 mile-long thread of silk from one cocoon. On display were colorful quilts, elegant silk prints, and beautiful silk clothing. A two-hour bus ride returned us to Shanghai in time for the laser sound and light show, bouncing intense colors from the gaudy facades of some of Asia’s tallest architectural wonders. The patriotic sounds of China’s military bands led a million marchers through the streets and along the Bund as Shanghai continues to celebrate the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.Read more

  • Day8

    Suzhou to Hangzhou

    November 21, 2019 in China ⋅ 🌙 9 °C

    A morning wandering in the lingering garden is delightful! So tranquil ( once we left the group and wandered on our own). Then to the silk factory where I am entranced bb the silk foo as and pillows and the talk of health promoting properties so of course I buy the whole set and a LV scarf! Royce did not enjoy this part of the tour 😐. To the canals for a tour of the little houses built in the canals and the local markets. Frogs of all sizes, eels and half dead fish! A colorful and interesting look at life in Suzhou. We eat at a local restaurant - vegetable sandwich and tofu vegetables and noodles washed down with local beer. On the bus for the 2 hour drive to Hangzhou. The hotel is great again- huge bed , so comfortable and an enormous shopping mall across the road. Such rapid advancement in such a short time.Read more

  • Day192

    The egyptian connection

    September 18, 2019 in China ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    My first coushsurfing surprise in China was to find out that most hosts were not Chinese. From Russia, Pakistan, England or the US.., many expats seem eager to invite other travelers at their home.
    A happy choice led me to an Egyptian - Tunisian household : Eslam, Yasra, both teachers at an international school, and their young son Adam. Eslam being also a cyclist, he was very understanding of my simple needs (shower, food, sleep !) and sent me many supportive messages to help me finish my long day of riding.

    The second surprise was that Eslam and Yasra were close friends with my next hosts, a few cities later ! Thus, with their help, I could master all their names (both english and arabic, for 5 people), before having met them. They were indeed a large Egyptian family : 4 warm and witty brothers, their mum, another Egyptian friend and the chinese girlfriend of one of the brothers. In this joyful company, I quickly had to adapt, switching from the usual quietness of my solo journey to a crazy/ loud/ lively atmosphere in their packed living room : everyone wanted to ask me a question, show me a video, share a story or a joke or offer me something to eat or drink, often all and everything at the same time ...
    Not only these 4-5 solid men enjoy having good food in their belly, they also have many flourishing ideas and projects in mind ! Around the table were thus gathered an English teacher, a computing engineer, a dentist ready to become a CrossFit trainer, another guy who wanted to open Kindergartens, and still another who seems to be the entry gate for any Egyptian in search for a job, an apartment, legal counseling or any other advice for a successful settlement in China...

    Everyone also had different timetables. Tito/ Tahar nicely shared his room with me, which was not complicated at all, since he only went to bed when I was waking up ! I admire the courage or their mother, who has to feed and take care of all these grown-up men, their friends and girlfriends and adapt to their busy lives... Anyway, despite the tiredness of long days of cycling, I spent great evenings with my hosts and will keep precious memories of this Egyptian connection as far as eastern China.

    NB : between these two homes, a few pictures taken on the road between Suzhou and Nantong.
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  • Day7

    First week

    September 22, 2019 in China ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

    My first week over, and because I have mostly been adapting and haven't yet explored that far beyond my local area, my thoughts mostly turn to the variety of food I have eaten. I am fortunate enough to get a free lunch at work, so even without trying I get a daily dose of Chinese cuisine. It's also a pleasure looking for nice things to eat in my spare time, be it Chinese, other Eastern dishes, or occasionally a nostalgic taste of something Western (French pastries and coffee will always be my weakness!). Food delivery is extremely popular here, so eating out is always easy, with a spare table wherever you go. Most Chinese food is somewhat familiar and I have enthusiastically dived in. But some takes getting used to (note the chicken foot in the first image!)Read more

  • Day4

    Quacks and Pandas

    May 2, 2019 in China ⋅ 🌙 14 °C

    We started the day with a stop at a Traditional Chinese Medicine centre. While we received a 25 minute foot massage, a team of " doctors" gave us each a private consultation - just by looking at our tongues and feeling our pulse. Amazing!!!

    Apparently I have a weak pulse - which means I am always tired; hormonal changes and may be going through menopause and "enhanced" breasts. This could all be fixed with a prescription which would only cost 8800 yuan (approx $2200) for a 4 months supply.

    Matt's kidneys could do with a bit of work but other than that he was okay.

    He seemed quite put out when we decided NOT to buy and came back twice to Matt, to tell him how sick his wife was .....before moving on to the Cambeys. Di has a stiff neck and one breast bigger than the other which could have been cured for $880 dollars, while Cambey's kidney and liver were in alignment.

    We then drove to Bejing Zoo to visit the pandas....as did several million other people, as it is a 4 day Chinese public holiday celebrating May day. Chaos - but as Lot , our guide, kept saying; Welcome to China!

    Then it was back to Bejing airport for a 2 hour flight to Shanghai; before meeting our new guide, Jacky, for a 90 minute drive to our motel. Matt and I headed out to explore a bit of the local night life - making sure we didn't get lost because there wasn't an English sign to be seen. So cool!
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  • Day1

    Impressions

    September 16, 2019 in China ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    I really couldn't say what I was expecting of China, other than an adventure into the unknown. However my first impressions are very positive. As with every positive cultural experience, it begins with the people. I certainly stand out - I haven't seen another Westerner in days, and I get a lot of glances. But despite this, I mostly see curiosity. And when called upon, the people have been notably kind and helpful (and the children unbelievably friendly! ) . It probably goes without saying that the food is great though.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Jiangsu Sheng, Jiangsu, Province de Jiangsu, 江苏

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