China
Nanjing

Here you’ll find travel reports about Nanjing. Discover travel destinations in China of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

12 travelers at this place:

  • Day47

    Hangzhou, Suzhou & Nanjing

    April 14, 2016 in China ⋅ 🌙 19 °C

    After a zippy high speed train journey, we arrived in Hangzhou, known as one of China's most beautiful cities, in the early evening. We caught the metro to our hostel and then quickly headed out for dinner near the town's famous West Lake. We ended up having a lovely local meal, with the highlight being a whole duck, cold but cured with delicious salt and spices, before heading back to the hostel and eventually to sleep.

    The next day we woke up late, so had to hurry to the 'Citizen Service Centre' where we needed to set up our smartcard to use the city's Boris bike scheme, the most extensive in the world. Soon we were off, cycling in the direction of West Lake. At our first stop we took in sweeping views of the lake, surrounded by pagodas and containing two islands connected to the mainland by causeways. Further round the lake, we arrived at the first island, where we visited the serene ruins of the first Qing emperor's summer palace, situated in a hillside park overlooking the lake. The park also contained the tomb of a famous Tang dynasty poet who became a recluse on the island, giving us an insight into the lake's literary and artistic influences. Leaving the park, we strolled down the weeping willow lined causeway, before hopping back on our bikes. We leisurely cycled round the lake, eventually reaching the next causeway, which was clogged with people but still incredibly scenic. Our final stop round the lake was in some beautiful gardens, filled with carp ponds and stunning blossoming trees. Tearing ourselves away from the bucolic beauty of the gardens, we cycled round the rest of the lake and back into town. Once we'd had a rest after our day of cycling, we met up with Zhu Ruoxi, a student friend of one of Mum and Dad's colleagues, who very generously treated us to a divine dinner, where we were joined by a couple of her friends. We feasted on melt in your mouth pork belly; sour and spicy prawns; sticky date cakes and best of all succulent Hunan style fish heads. After bidding fairwell to Zhu Ruoxi, we went out, ending up in a club full of super rich Chinese where we were given a table and free bottles of Hennesey cognac, which didn't bode well for getting up early the next morning to go to Suzhou.

    Feeling incredibly grim, we dragged ourselves out of bed on Wednesday morning and after a lengthy journey stuck in traffic, arrived at the bus station, where we got the bus to Suzhou, the Venice of China, famous for its canals and gardens. We arrived at around 2pm and rushed into town, keen to visit the local museum and one of the most highly rated gardens before they closed. First we headed to the Suzhou museum, which contained some fascinating Buddhist artefacts recovered from local pagodas and some beautiful local pottery. But the main highlight was the building itself, designed by IM Pei as a modernist take on a Suzhou garden, complete with indoor water features, ordered geometric designs and a futuristic yet tranquil pond filled central courtyard. After marvelling at the modern architecture, we visited one of its inspirations, the Lion's Grove Garden, built in the 1360s by a Buddhist month. Appropriately, it felt extremely zen, with mesmerising rock formations, carefully manicured plants and ornate wooden pavilions creating a very relaxed atmosphere. After strolling around the garden for an hour or so, punctuated with plenty of breaks overlooking the placid central lake, the garden closed and we wandered down the attractive, albeit clearly reconstructed, canal lined streets in search of dinner. We eventually found a pleasant canal side restaurant where we enjoyed a simple twilight meal, before making our way to the train station for our nighttime high speed train to Nanjing. We arrived late in Nanjing and took the metro at our hostel, which bizarrely had a ludicrously expensive Belgian craft beer bar attached but was conveniently located in the touristy Confucius Temple area, a shopping district on the site of a giant former temple - very Chinese.

    We woke up slightly later than planned (as usual) and, with only a day in Nanjing (China's former capital and site of the WW2 rape of Nanking), hurried to our first sight of the day, the Jiming Temple. The temple was not as impressive as the Tibetan temples we had seen, but still featured some attractive Buddhist architecture and an ornate pagoda, as well as a constant flow of worshippers which added to its authentic feel. Round the back of the temple was one of the city's iconic landmarks, the intact Ming city walls, the longest in the country not to have been significantly rebuilt. Our walk along the wall in the spring sunshine, with the pristine Xuanwu lake on one side and the modern city foregrounded by trees on the other, proved particularly enjoyable, with the stone walls dotted with Ming dynasty cannons evoking a long lost China. After meandering along the wall for around an hour, we climbed down the ramparts to catch the bus up the nearby hill to Sun Yat Sen's mausoleum, passing the Ming Xiaoling Tombs which due to lack of time and money we had to skip. Sun Yat Sen's mausoleum was thronged with visitors, understandable as after Mao he is considered the father of the nation, due to his founding of the Republic of China, although the government's promotion of his legacy is somewhat confusing as he was part of the KMT, the communists' civil war rivals. Perched on a hill, up steep steps designed to evoke the nearby Ming emperor's tomb, the mausoleum loomed above us. Forcing our way through the crowds, with a few photos taken of us along the way, we clambered up the steps to the entrance of the mausoleum, where even the sheer numbers of people couldn't detract from the reverential atmosphere. Entering the tomb, we saw the simple yet striking white statue of Sun Yat Sen, below a beautiful ceiling carved with the rather attractive blue and white Republic of China flag. After walking round the statue in silence we left the mausoleum, to sweeping views of the forested mountain below, which we contemplated for a while before descending the steps and returning to the city center. With some time to kill before dinner, we relaxed in the park housing the ruins of a former Ming palace, along with old people playing cards and practicing their ballroom dancing. We then enjoyed a meal of Bibimbap after our preferred restaurant, a local favourite situated in a luxury shopping mall, had an hour wait for a table and then made our way to the train station for our hard seat night train to Beijing. It proved to be as uncomfortable as it sounds, with most of us only getting a few hours sleep on our 10 hour journey, crammed into clusters of 3 seats opposite each other, with the train totally full due to it being a national holiday weekend...
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  • Day3

    First authentic Nanjing food experience

    December 3, 2017 in China ⋅ 🌙 11 °C

    Vivian lead me to this awesome place. I would have never found it as just a tourist. It is close to Nanjing university, were you can obviously find lots of authentic Chinese food places in the rather dark side streets. We had Tofu, cooked fish heads, vegetables with lots of garlic and sweet & sour pork chops. Yummy!Read more

  • Day3

    Nanjing Street Life

    December 3, 2017 in China ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    1. Why not take a nap at the construction site?
    2. Why not work in the middle of a four way road?
    3. And you thought Munich streets are flooded with shared bikes?
    4. United we pull!
    5. And the last picture ... no words.

  • Day7

    Different day, differnt food

    December 7, 2017 in China ⋅ 🌫 8 °C

    There are great places for good food everywhere. In Nanjing, going out too eat costs about the same than just cooking at home (even though I becomes more and more expensive while salaries stay about the same). That’s why there are small restaurants in every corner. And like always, one has to take some dark side alleyways to find the best places. I always liked Chinese food back in Munich, but after I return I will have a hard time to find stuff as good as here ... take a Look!Read more

  • Day8

    Must try: chicken feet (or 凤爪)

    December 8, 2017 in China ⋅ ☀️ 7 °C

    “After an outer layer of thin skin is removed, most of the edible tissue on the feet consists of skin and tendons, with no muscle. This gives the feet a distinct texture different from the rest of the chicken's meat.” (Wikipedia)

  • Day10

    The Nanjing City Wall (南京城墙)

    December 10, 2017 in China ⋅ ☁️ 2 °C

    It was very impressive to walk the stairs up the wall and to get a feeling for its unbelievable dimensions. When it was build in the 14th century by emperor Zhu Yuanzhan, who made Nanjing the capital of China, it was the longest wall in China and belonged to the largest in the world. It was/is 48km long and took 21 to be built! Now, more than 600 years later, it is still in great shape.Read more

  • Day3

    On the islands of Xuanwu Lake

    December 3, 2017 in China ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Surrounded by a part of the large and strong city wall, Xuanwu (“the black tortoise”) Lake is a green and beautiful oasis in the loud and smoggy city of Nanjing. Five islands are connected by stone bridges and Ginko as well as Red Maple trees bring awesome autumn colors into the scenery!

  • Day12

    The People

    December 12, 2017 in China ⋅ ☀️ 9 °C

    During the first moments always hard to read, it is great to see how very skeptical faces turn into wide smiles. This is what happens to me many times each day. On the streets, in the metro, in restaurants or in stores. It’s like this:

    I look at someone.
    She looks back at me, pokerface.
    I smile.
    She smiles even more.
    I say “hello!”
    She cracks up laughing.

    Especially children are very interested. They sometimes just stare at me, especially if I am wearing my cap or even sunglasses :)
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  • Day14

    On the menu today: frogs.

    December 14, 2017 in China ⋅ 🌫 4 °C

    Alright, one step further into the world of eating animal parts. It is pretty common to eat frogs here in China, and they actually tasted quite nice. But frogs are also on the menu in many other countries of the world, also including Spain, Greece and, of course, France. There are sources that say that worldwide around 3.2 billion frogs are traded each year (!) By the way: the round vegetable that you can see in the picture is actually from the root of the Lotus.Read more

  • Day13

    Mobile first

    December 13, 2017 in China ⋅ 🌬 10 °C

    In China, money doesn’t count a lot anymore. It is all about the smartphone! Everyone is just paying via QR code, which is connected to WeChat or Alipay. Tencent and Alibaba are not only social media or e-commerce platforms anymore, they are actually very strong in financial services.

    If you go out for lunch or for some drinks after work in a group, one single person will take care of the bill and the others will just digitally transfer their share to that person’s account. This is very convenient and no one actually uses cash anymore (besides the weird German who still has Cash only ...)

    And if your smartphone ever runs out of battery ... the next charging station is only one store away :) and you will pay for the electricity by ... of course: digital currency.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Nanjing, نانجينغ, Nankin, Нанкин, Горад Нанкін, Nanquín, Nàng-gĭng, Ναντσίνγκ, Nankingo, Nankín, Nanjing Shi, نانجینگ, 南京, Nàm-kîn-sṳ, נאנגינג, नानजिंग, Նանկին, NKG, Nanchino, 南京市, ნანკინი, 난징 시, Nanchinum, Nankinas, Naņdzjina, നാൻജിങ്, Наньжин, नांजिंग, နန်ကျင်းမြို့, Nanquin, Lâm-kiaⁿ-chhī, नान्जिङ, ਨਾਨਜਿੰਗ, نانجنگ, Nanquim, Namkin, Nandžing, Нанкинг, நாஞ்சிங், หนานจิง, Нәнҗиң, نەنجىڭ شەھىرى, Нанкін, Nam Kinh, Nanzging

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