I really didn’t expect to be back in Nanjing anytime soon, but at life is it works in mysterious ways and I got a second chance to warm up to the city after my group trip last time to Nanjing 😀
This time I went with other students from the Kungfu School I am living in for a TV performance. This is if you want to know more about the performance (why wouldn’t you, I mean damn I was on TV 😉 ).
Travel in Nanjing
So being back in Nanjing, I have to say the city grows on me. By far not as stuffed as Shanghai, still plenty international and great street food. Nanjing being the city with China’s lowest crime rate is an extra bonus.
Sadly again there wasn’t much time to go exploring, but I have seen a bit more and well maybe I can make it back a third time, to finally really see everything I want to see.
This time I headed over to the Bazar around the Confucius Temple in our 5 hour break time on Saturday in between the performance training.
What to do in Nanjing
So according to my previous experience and the new things I saw two weeks ago, this is what I would recommend you for Nanjing.
First Nanjing isn’t a typical tourist city.
It has some great sights, but I don’t think you will need more than two Days. Depending on your interests even one Day could already be enough!
The Underground System is quite developed and you will get to mostly all major sights with either the Underground or a Bus. Taxi Fares are also reasonable and to my delight there where no discussions about special prices. Every Driver put the Meter on, without even asking for it.
So this is what I would do!
Start up with the park area and Sun Yat-sens Mausoleum (FREE) and if you like history stay there and check out the Ming Tombs, which did look super nice but where under construction the last time I was in the area. Both are found in the Purple Hill Area just outside of the city, with some other smaller attractions (like temples and such).
Just some interesting information: Sun Yat-sen is also called the father of China and was the leader of the Revolutions 1911.
In the afternoon go to the Nanjing Massacre Memorial. It documents the attack of the Japanese during the War. This event is also called the Rape of Nanjing. It will really help you understand why many Chinese still are not very fond of the Japanese. It is a sad place, but it teaches so much about humans and history, that I think it shouldn’t be missed (CLOSED on MONDAYS)
In the evening I would go to the area around the Confucius Temple. It is horribly touristy , but a drive with the Boat must be stunning at night. There are some great local snack places and you can go shopping to your heart’s content.
Here are some of my pictures to inspire you 😉
But I have to say the prices where actually higher than in Suzhou, Hangzhou and even Shanghai (20 Rmb for a Scarf that usually would cost 10 Rmb). Some vendors had signs saying that they where not willing to haggle. Mind you the signs where just in English, not in Chinese. So I would rather stroll. These are signs for me that you simply will be ripped of. No haggling at a Bazar? As if ! xD
Nightlife in Nanjing
IF you want to go out instead, 1912 District is the place for you to go!
Lots of Clubs and Bars, but careful, some are strictly Chinese. We went on a Sunday and there was still plenty to choose from. My tip for predrinking , head to Ellen’s (just ask around, mostly everybody knows it- that’s what we did) and get cheap beer and cocktails, before you head to the clubs. Depending on the day that place can be packed in the evenings. The music is older pop and hip-hop songs, which are fun to dance to and all in all it is simply a shabby student bar. Let’s put it this way, it does the job 😉
If you like it more sophisticated, many of the bars play live music and have food or snacks, but then also higher prices^^
All in all my tip, as always in China, follow the locals or ask the foreign crowd. Nanjing is an expat city, they will know best where to party^^
Do you have a second Day?
Lucky you =) Nanjing boast a ton of different parks to stroll through, which would be great after a long night out. Who doesn’t like a picnic in the park against the hangover 😉
My tip is the park next to the old City Wall!
In the afternoon I’d recommend the Presidential Palace. After all Nanjing (translates into South Capital as opposite to Beijing being the North Capital) has played an important role in China’s History more than once.
Who is Nanjing for?
I would recommend Nanjing to everybody interested in Chinese History.
It maybe has not the biggest sights, but it is a nice stop to relax in between a China Tour, to get away from busy Shanghai and Beijing or if you are living in rural China like us, to finally get a bit of big city feeling again 😉
Traveling in China can be really exhausting but travel in Nanjing is so easy. It is easy to get around, find food, meet people and relax, which makes it the perfect place to take some of the stress away, before you keep on going for your next China Adventure.
It is the city that allows you to take a couple of breaths in between all the Chaos 😉
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