China Travels: The Lights of Nanjing

Nanjing, particularly famous for being the former capitol of China, amazes with its historical sights and its traditional architecture intermingled with the seemingly untouched nature.
Nanjing is a city that has something for everyone.
We were there on a tight schedule. Our only full day would be Saturday, so we wanted to see as much as possible.
In this post you can find out about how to spend a weekend in beautiful Nanjing.

Day 1, Friday, July 10th:

we took the train at around 6pm and until we arrived in our hostel it was already past 9pm. Our hostel was really close to the Metro Stop, so we didn’t have to walk a lot after exiting the metro. It was also very central, which we realized when we finally saw these beautiful lit-up buildings. It looked like a fairytale. Convince yourselves:

That day we only strolled around this temple area which is also the main street of Nanjing for shopping and food. We were hungry so we got some Fast Food. We were too tired to wait in a restaurant.
The next day we would wake up early enough to do all the sight seeing we wanted to do.

Day 2, Saturday, July 11th:

We woke up early and got ready for the day. First we planned to go see the city wall since it was quite close to our hostel.
This remaining pieces of the wall were important for the history of Nanjing, especially during the war against Japan since a part of the wall was destroyed during that time.

There was this man making these animal candies :)

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The rest of the Nanjing Wall

Trying to find the entrance up the wall

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A little girl waving
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Arrow lessons
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Nice bin

On top of the wall we could have nice view over Nanjing and there were some war tools like catapults and canons you could look at.

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The view over the city from the wall

At the end of this display, there was a stand with bicycle rentals. The others really wanted to bike on the city wall and I had to agree. I was a bit reluctant since it’s been about 9 years since the last time I rode a bike. But I thought it would be easier without the traffic. So lending the bikes for 1 1/2 hours was about 80 rmb. I was better than I thought at first, but soon it started to rain so heavily, that I had to take off my glasses and cycle half-blind. In the end, we had a lot of fun and even took a group picture with the guy who rented the bikes.

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Just ignore our looks. We look like wet dogs :’D We just look horrible xD I even had to take off my glasses because I couldn’t see anything
 After that, we headed to the XuanWu Lake. The guy helped us with the way by surprising us with his cart and taking us to the exit of the wall.
The lake was a big surprise. It was really beautiful.
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The garden before we entered the lake area

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Entrance to the lake area. It was free
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Gloomy lake view

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I found a dead bat on the ground :'(

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These were wish trees. I love the ribbons
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Wish boards

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The view on the lake through red wish ribbons

So as you can see there was a park next to the lake and people hung up those red ribbons on the trees. I really wanted to do that as well, but we didn’t know where to buy and hang them up. So we just took some photos and left the area again. But it was a really beautiful place.

Next, we finally went to the Scenic Area where the Ming Dynasty Tombs were. That area had the freshest air I have come across in China. After entering, there were many trees we crossed until we arrived at the square with all the directions to the different places.
We then headed for the tombs because they were quite close.

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The place was really peaceful and the air so clean and fresh

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The entrance to the tombs

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My friends knocking on the door
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Tunnel views

The natural surroundings looked really nice but we weren’t able to get into any buildings so that was a bit disappointing. I think this part is not very important to visit if you are in this scenic area.
When we were unsuccesfully trying to find the Sun-Yatsen Mausoleum, which was already closed unfortunately, we came across a lake, called Purple Lake. It was small but the gloomy weather created a mysterious atmosphere that I tried to catch with my camera, as good as possible.

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Purple Lake. It was beautiful and calm, but it was not really purple :D
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The Sun Yatsen Mausoleum, but it was already closed unfortunately.
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Random lake which deserves the name purple lake more :D

After we realized that we couldn’t enter the Mausoleum, we left the scenic area. It was getting dark already so we hurried up. We had to walk all the way to the metro station though which was a bit of a long way. We were already super tired but we finally made it to the temple area.

There we decided to take a relaxing boat ride to end our day in a beautiful way. It wasn’t that expensive and you share a boat with many people. The surroundings were amazing. Be sure to take the boat ride when the buildings are still lit up.

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I love these lanterns

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Rainbow wall
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After the ride

We also had a not-so quick dinner at a chinese restaurant where you directly choose your food at the counter and they cook it in front of you. Because it was already quite late (almost 10pm), they didn’t have a lot of food left anymore. That’s normal in chinese cities which is a bit annoying. In western countries restaurants are still busy at 10pm. Anyway, I got fried rice with vegetables and some steamed buns.

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Our trip came to an end, unfortunately. The next day we would head back to Yuyao which had suffered from a Taifun at the weekend. We went to the train station in the morning and waited there for quite a long time. We were tired so we rested at Starbucks and Costa Coffee and had some snacks and drinks. This was the last view from Nanjing in the morning.

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Final rating:

Sightseeing: 5/5
Food: 3/5
Shopping: 4/5
Nightlife: 4/5
Transportation: 5/5

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