Nanjing travel guide
Nicknamed the land of fish and rice since long ago, Nanjing has been the envy of all that surround her. Fertile, lush and wealthy, Nanjing grew rich on fish, rice, salt and silk which was transported all over the country on the Grand Canal and the Yangtze Rivers. Today, Nanjing is still as rich as she was in antiquity, only she has boosted her coffers with a treasure chest of cultural attractions, vibrant restaurants and many other things to do.
A city guide to Nanjing is essential if you want to explore everything this marvellous place has to offer you. Your first port of call is the Purple Gold Mountain – it cannot be missed as it dominates the skyline east of the city. The cable car takes 30 minutes to reach the top and the views of the mountains and dense forests are simply breathtaking.
But it is not simply a place to go to experience exquisite views. There are various historical monuments to see. On top of the mountain is an observatory with fascinating displays of bronze instruments from the Ming and Qing dynasties used by Jesuit missionaries.
But it is the Sun Yatsen Mausoluem which attracts visitors. This is the tomb of the famous Dr Sun, the father of modern China who passed away in 1925. His tomb is located in the middle of the mountain but you have to climb 392 steps to reach it. The gateway is impressive, made from marble and glazed blue tiles from Fujian and inside is a gigantic statue of the well-loved man.
Dr Sun is not the only person to be buried here. The only Ming Dynasty Emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang, to be buried outside of Beijing can be found here, along with his wife, the filial empress. Their tombs are located at the end of a spirit path – a path lined with statues of creatures who guard them from evil spirits.
Nanjing is also known as the Heavenly Capital, named after the Taipings who rebelled against the Qing government and declared it the capital of their kingdom. The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom History Museum takes you on a fascinating journey of what happened during this period with their wonderful arrays of collections.
After this, head to the Heavenly Dynasty Palace. This is a complex where most buildings were constructed in 1866 in order to teach the aristocratic children how to behave at court.
The Ming Palace Ruins are a breathtakingly beautiful place to visit. Commissioned by Hongwu, it was based on the Imperial Palace in the capital. Unfortunately, only a few landmarks are left – the Five Dragon Bridges, the Wu Gate and the colossal column bases – makes for a hauntingly beautiful photo shoot.
There are many temples to visit in Nanjing but Jiming Temple is one of the best. You will find it situated near the Xuanwu Lake and the Ming Walls. Dating way back to 527 CE, it has seen many restorations since the Three Kingdoms period, but each restoration makes it even more eye-catching.
Restaurants in Nanjing can be found on every street and in each one you will find something guaranteed to take your tastebuds on a quick journey to heaven. Try one of the local delicacies – duck blood noodles or tangbao.
Hotels in Nanjing cater to all budgets and comforts. Whether you are looking for a budget hostel, a comfortable family friendly hotel or lavish accommodation designed to take care of your every desire, it can all be found in Nanjing.
You will find that Nanjing is a fantastic place to spend a week or two. When you arrive here you will find yourself in awe of this beautiful city; indeed, it really is a heavenly place.