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Nanjing also known as Nanking or Langiin in the Nanjing dialect is the second-largest city in the Eastern China region and is the capital of Jiangsu province in PRC. The city is located in the Yangtze River Delta and is 300km from Shanghai. The city reserves a prominent place and is an important part of Chinese culture and ancient history. It served as the capital of the Ming Dynasty, kingdoms and various governments dating back from the 3rd century right up to the year 1949. It remains a major hub of Chinese culture, trade, education, research, tourism, and politics. It is also an important center for the business being one of the world’s largest inland ports. It enjoys being the title award holder of the 2008 Habitat Scroll of Honor of China among other awards and recognitions. Nanjing is also home to many prominent universities and research institutes and boasts itself as being among the top three research centers in China.
Nanjing has been China’s most important city for centuries and is recognized as one of the greatest ancient capital cities of the country. It is also recognized as one of the ancient world’s largest cities that has been prosperous inspite of the many wars and destruction that it has seen in the last 1000 years. It served as the capital city of Eastern Wu from year 229 under various dynasties in China including the Ming Dynasty (1368-1421) which for the first time rules over entire Chinese territory. It remains the capital of the Jiangsu since the formation of PRC. Home to many heritage sites and cultural places, Nanjing is a delight for tourists who want to have a peek into Chinese culture and rich ancient history.
Nanjing is a good place for your vacation and has a humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons. Spring and autumn are the best seasons with plenty of sunshine. It is a desired holiday destination with family and friends with plenty of things to discover and take a deep dive into Chinese history.
Tip: The city is humid hence it is recommended to pack a lot of cotton clothes avoiding the synthetic ones for comfortable daily wear.
Nanjing Lukou International Airport doubles up as the domestic as well as an international airport for the region. The airport hosts flights to Nanjing from more than 85 national and international destinations from across the world including Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, the US, Germany, and many other countries. The airport is 29 Km from the city center and is well connected by road and railway. There are many convenient direct flights to Nanjing from cities like Shanghai, Singapore, Thailand, and other southeast Asian cities. A direct flight to Nanjing takes around 1.15 hr of travel time. Shanghai Airlines, Thai Air Asia airways, China Southern Airways are few of the many flights that operate in this route.
Tip: If you are planning to travel to Nanjing, you should book your ticket 90 days in advance to get the best fares for your flight.
Nanjing has many tourist attractions that you can visit. Among the few that are most visited are the Memorial of the Nanjing Massacre that was built to honor the victims of the atrocities done by the Japanese army during the war. Another place worth visiting is the Sun Yatsen Mausoleum that is the resting place of Dr. Sun Yat Sen who is considered the “Father of Modern China”.
A visit to see what is inside the walled city is a must if you want to see the ancient imperial architecture way back from centuries. You can visit the City Wall of Nanjing that is a Ming Dynasty wall that surrounding Nanjing city. Close by is the Gate of China that was also built to protect the city from enemies. Nanjing Museum gives you a deep dive into the rich Chinese heritage and culture way back from ancient times to the modern.
Another tourist attraction is the Nanjing Fuzimiao temple that is located on the banks of Qinhuai River and is more than 1000 years old.
Visit the Xuanwu lake if you enjoy the greenery and would want a boat ride. Enjoy the cherry blossoms in the garden and Lotus flowers in the lake as you enjoy the serene atmosphere in this lake garden.
One of the not to be missed activities that you should do while you are at Nanjing is to take a boat cruise along the River Qinhuai. You can see the villages as we cruise along and the historical sites with sights on the culture. You may also enjoy the in-house music and traditional local snacks as you take the ride.
Other places of tourist attractions are the Presidential Palace, Ming Palace, Porcelain Tower, Stone City, and Purple Mountain. Do also make sure to visit the Nanjing Art Museum to see the beautiful Chinese art and culture.
Tip – Take part in the Lantern festival in the Fuzimiao temple that is very famous in Nanjing. It happens in the first month of the Lunar calendar.
If you are traveling to Nanjing and looking from budget accommodation there is an International Youth Hostel on Pingiiangfu Road that is close to the Qinhuai River that provides economical rooms. For more luxurious hotels head out to the city center. There are many hotels in the Gulou district if you want to stay close to the shopping areas in Nanjing.
When in Nanjing, try only Chinese cuisines. Try one of the many noodle restaurants on Qingdao Lu. For some authentic Japanese food, head out to the 1912 district.
Tip - Where ever in Nanjing, try the Tangnao, Shredded tofu in chicken broth and Duck soaked in brine.
The local language that is widely spoken in Nanjing is Nankinese which is a dialect. While most youngsters can understand and speak in English you may have to navigate with gestures and broken Chinese if you can pick up for ease of communication locally.
Tip: With little English, you will do just fine in the city. Take help from people in case you need directions as they are helpful.
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