Skip Navigation

Nanjing

Photo © Michael C

Travel Guide Asia China Jiangsu Nanjing

edit

Introduction

Nanjing

Nanjing

© All Rights Reserved jamie_ca

Nanjing (南京), literally meaning Southern Capital, is one of the most important cities in Chinese history. It also an amazing place to visit and the current day capital of Jiangsu province. The city is located on the lower bends of the Yangtze River making its location extremely important throughout Chinese history. In addition to this these facts, that Nanjing was the capital of China for 6 dynasties and during the Republic of China only gives it more prestige.

Top

edit

Brief History

The city was first settled in 495 BC and became the capital of China in 229 AD during the 3 Kingdoms period. Although this title was lost at the beginning in of the Sui Dynasty in 581 AD when the city was brunt to the ground. During the late Tang Dynasty the city was rebuilt and it became the capital for the Southern Tang Dynasty (937 to 975). Although at the beginning of the Song Dynasty the capital was moved again. Nanjing then became the capital of China again during the early part of the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1421), until the capital was moved to Beijing.

The next major moment for the city's history was in 1910 when the Republic of China was founded. The capital was moved again in 1912 to appease the Emperor into abdicating from the thorn. In 1927 General Chiang Kai-shek moved the captial again to Nanjing and started what was called the Nanjing Decade, which lasted until the capital was moved because of advancing Japanese forces. The capital was relocated, briefly, to Nanjing, after the World War II until 1949. During World War II Nanjing was the site of one of the most horrific instances ever committed during a war. The brutality of the Nanjing Massacre, or Rape of Nanjing, can still be felt in the city to this day.

After the communist took power in 1949 Nanjing quickly became an important east coast city. Today it is a major economic centre and is also a very popular place with tourists. It is also an education centre because it is the home to several very high ranking Chinese Universities. Nanjing is a great place to spend two or three days exploring the palaces, gardens and even the wonderful green space of Purple Mountain.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

Observatory on Purple Mountain

Observatory on Purple Mountain

© All Rights Reserved heidigras

  • Purple Mountain, or in Chinese Zijin Shan (紫金山), is a wonderful green space located on the eastern side of Nanjing. This nice mountain covers an area of around 20 square kilometres. It is also home to many important historical sights dating from ancient China to the 20th century. One of these sights is the amazing tomb of Sun Yat-sen. Getting around the park itself is very easy with a convenient tourist bus system connecting all the important sights. It is also possible to climb the mountain for a good hike.
  • Linggu Temple (灵谷寺) has seen many different phases and was moved to its current location in the late 6th century. The temple has seen many different rulers and emphasizes. At its centre is the Linggu Pagoda, that was built in 1929 and has the speeches of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen carved into its sides. In the temple itself there is the Three Superb Tablet, which features a painting of Monk Bazhi by Wu Daozi, a memorial poem written by Li Bai and calligraphy by the famous Yan Zhenqing. The original tablet was destroyed during a battle and the current day one is a replica created during the Qing Dynasty.
  • Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum (明孝陵) is the tomb of Emperor Hongwu, a Ming Dynasty ruler. Construction was completed in 1405 and this amazing tomb is considered an UNESCO World Heritage Site with the other Ming Tombs outside of Beijing.
  • Purple Mountain Observatory (紫金山天文台) is an astronomical observatory located within the preserve.
  • Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum is an amazing tomb that is well worth the long staircase up to the top. This man considered the father of modern China, by all sides, and is greatly honored in this tomb. This is a must see on any trip to Nanjing.

Presidential Palace

Nanjing

Nanjing

© All Rights Reserved e1quarnst

  • Presidential Palace (Nanjing) (总统府) is now the China Modern History Museum and is an amazing place to see. During the Ming dynasty this place was the location of two successive ducal palaces then in the Qing Dynasty it was the office of the Vicerory of Liangjian. During the 1853 Taiping Revolution the palace was expanded and made into the home for the Palace of the Heavenly King. In 1911 it was designated as the Presidential Palace for the Republic of China, although it was not officially used in this capacity until 1927. When the communist came to power the palace was turned into government offices until 1980 when it was made into a museum. For more information read the offical Website: http://www.njztf.cn/
  • Xu Garden (煦园) is a wonderful classical garden and is incorporated into the Presidential Palace

Other Sights and Activities

  • City Wall was the largest city wall in the world during the 15th century.
  • Fuzi Miao is a nice confucian temple on the river.
  • Jiangnan Gongyuan is a nice city park
  • Jiming Temple
  • Jinghai Temple
  • Nanjing Massacre Memorial (侵华日军南京大屠杀遇难同胞纪念馆) is located outside the city and honors those that were brutally killed during this event.
  • Nanjing Museum Complex
  • Porcelain Pagoda (南京陶塔) is currently being rebuilt after being destroyed in the 19th century.
  • Qixia Temple (栖霞寺) is a nice temple located about 22 kilometres northeast of the city
  • Stone City (石頭城) is the ancient remains of a fortified city within the current city of Nanjing, all that remains are portions of the large city walls.
  • Zhan Garden

Top

edit

Weather

Nanjing has a humid subtropical climate. Summers are from late May to mid-September with average highs between 26 °C and 32 °C and lows of 20 °C-24 °C. Winters are from December to February with average highs between 7 °C and 10 °C and nights mostly around zero or slightly below. Some snow is possible during these months, though winters are comparatively dry. Most of the rain falls during the warmer months, peaking in June and July with almost 200 mm a month. Average precipitation a year is over 1,000 mm.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max7 °C8.4 °C13.5 °C20.1 °C25.3 °C29 °C32 °C32.2 °C27.2 °C22.1 °C15.9 °C9.7 °C
Avg Min-1.6 °C0 °C4.4 °C10.3 °C15.7 °C20.4 °C24.6 °C24.2 °C19.1 °C12.6 °C6.1 °C-0.1 °C
Rainfall29 mm48 mm69 mm87 mm96 mm159 mm188 mm124 mm95 mm60 mm56 mm25 mm
Rain Days7911121011131110886

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

Nanjing Lukou International Airport (IATA: NKG, ICAO: ZSNJ) (南京禄口国际机场) is located about 35 kilometres from the downtown area of the city towards the southeast. In 2008 the airport handled almost 9 million passengers and is one of the top 20 busiest airports in China. There are daily flights to almost every major and medium sized city in China with several flights a day to Beijing. There is also limited international service to Macau, Seoul, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Osaka, Tokyo, Frankfurt and Singapore. Recently cross-strait charter service has begun with Taipei, but these flights are very hard to book for international travellers.

For the more intense traveller there is direct bus service from Shanghai Pudong International Airport to and from Nanjing. Remember that this is a long bus ride that is 5 hours or more and might not want to be done if a long international flight is involved. Better to spend some time in Shanghai before or after travelling to Nanjing.

By Train

Nanjing Train Station (南京火车站) is one of the largest train stations in the area. It is centrally located and has connections to every major and minor city in China. Located near one of the few bridges over the Yangtze River this train station is a major hub. There are now fast trains connecting Nanjing with Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou. Remember that the taxi pick-up area is in the basement and the taxi's hanging near the ground level entrance tend to scam people.

By Bus

There are several bus stations in town but the main one is located near downtown and has several daily buses to cities throughout the area, including Suzhou and Shanghai.

Top

edit

Getting Around

By Public Transport

Nanjing is now home to a great subway system. Currently the lines are pretty limited but growing every day! Nanjing Metro Line 1, started service on May 15, 2005. Line 2 and the extension of Line 1 officially opened to passenger service on May 28, 2010.

Top

edit

Eat

Nanjing has a few culinary specialties that are typical of the region, with duck more widely available here than in most other parts of the country. Some of the specialities you should try are:

  • Duck Blood Noodles (鸭血粉丝汤, Yaxue Fensi Tang) - Cellophane noodles in a clear broth topped with cubes of cooked duck's blood, pieces of duck intestine, duck liver, and sometimes pieces of stinky tofu. Much tastier than it sounds.
  • Salt Duck (盐水鸭, Yanshui Ya) - Pieces of duck boiled in saltwater then sliced and served cold. Lighter than the greasier braised varieties.
  • Stinky Tofu (臭豆腐, Chou Doufu) - Fermented tofu with an appearance similar to blue cheese and a complex taste.
  • Xiaolongbao (小笼包) - Originally from Shanghai, these steamed soup-filled dumplings are widely available in Nanjing.

Top

edit

Nightlife

Fu Zi Miao

This has been Nanjing's traditionally nightlife area that runs along the Qinhuai River. These night markets, restaurants and pubs have thrived for several years making it a popular place. It is also a place that has traditionally been the home for upper-class prostitution until prostitution was banned by the Communists.

Nanjing 1912

This night life area is more popular with foreigners and younger Chinese. It hosts a variety of bars, clubs and restaurants that have a thriving younger culture. This place is fun every night of the week.

Top

edit

Sleep

Nan jing youth hostel

Nan jing youth hostel

© All Rights Reserved YvonneLiu

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Nanjing Fuzimiao International HostelFuzimiao, No.68 Ping Jiang Fu RoadHOSTEL70
Nanjing Jasmine International Youth HostelHeQun Xin Chun #7, Shanghai RdHostel76
Sunflower International Youth HostelRD.80 ZHANYUAN FUZIMIAOHostel76
Nanjing Tian An International Hotel apartmentNo 108 South Zhongshan RoadHotel-
Nanjing Li Jing International Hotel Apartmentwest of Dan Feng Road Gu Lou DistrictHotel-
Smart Inn ( Changhong Road )No.4 Changhong RoadHostel-
Travelers' Soul Inn NanjingB5, Chengguan Science and Creativity ParkHOSTEL71
Nanjing Time Youth HostelNO.6 MeiYuan New Village Yongyuan of Xuanwu AreaHOSTEL75

Top

edit

Learn

  • Nanjing University (南京大学), also known as Nanda (南大), is one of the best universities in all of China. This is an amazing place to study almost any subject. It also has good programs for teaching foreigners Chinese. Lastly there is also a joint masters degree program with John Hopkins in the United States in International Relations.

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

Wangba (联网) means internet bar in Chinese. Almost every town will have an internet bar or gaming center. The best way to spot an internet bar is to look for the 网(ba) character, which means net, and large digitized images of computer game characters. Often, there will be a sign saying Green Power in English at the entrance. Most gaming centers cost about RMB3 an hour. You prepay at the main desk and are then given a plastic card or a piece of paper. Once you are done you return the card or piece of paper and get reimbursed for the money you didn't spend. Be prepared for a place that might be dingy, basic and messy. Internet bars in China tend to get crowded starting in the late afternoon to the late evenings.

Some hotels provide access from the rooms that may or may not be free; others may provide a wireless service or a few desktops in the lounge area.
Also, quite a few cafes provide free wireless Internet service. Some cafes, even provide a machine for customer use.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to China is 86. To make an international call from China, the code is 00.

When making international phone calls it is best to buy an IP card. They typically have a value of ¥100 but sometimes can be had for as little as ¥25. The cards have printed Chinese instructions, but after dialing the number listed on the card English-spoken instructions are available. As a general indication of price, a call from China to Europe lasts around 22 minutes with a ¥100 card. Calls to the U.S. and Canada are advertised to be another 20% cheaper. There is no warning before the card runs out of minutes.

If you already have a GSM 900/1800 cellphone, you can roam onto Chinese networks, but calls will be very expensive (¥12-35/minute is typical). If you're staying for more than a few days, it will usually be cheaper to buy a prepaid Chinese SIM card; this gives you a Chinese phone number with a certain amount of money preloaded. Chinese tend to avoid phone numbers with the bad-luck digit '4', and vendors will often be happy to offload these "unsellable" SIM-cards to foreigners at a discount. If you need a phone as well, prices start around ¥100/200 used/new. Chinese phones, unlike those sold in many Western countries, are never "locked" and will work with any SIM card you put in them. China's two big operators are China Mobile and China Unicom. Most SIMs sold by the two work nationwide, with Unicom allowing Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan usage as well. There is usually a surcharge of about ¥1/min when roaming outside the province you bought the SIM, and there are some cards that work only in a single province, so check when buying.

Post

China Post (中国邮政) is the official postal service of the People's Republic of China, operated by the State Postal Bureau of the People's Republic of China (website in Chinese only), and has more details about price to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. The Chinese postal service is very good. Remember that in more remote places usually only one post office in a city can handle sending international boxes or letters. Also many times it might be worth having the name of the country you are trying to send to in Chinese characters, because small town people might not know what Estonia is in English. Post offices have a striking green logo and can easily be found everywhere in the cities. They are mostly open every day (including weekends!) from 8:00am to 6:00pm, though small offices might have shorter opening times, while the bigger ones in central and touristic areas are sometimes open during evenings as well.

Top

Quick Facts

[edit]

Coordinates
  • Latitude: 32.0556449
  • Longitude: 118.7977409

Contributors

as well as markseidel (2%)

Help contribute to this article to share the ad revenue.

Nanjing Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Nanjing

This is version 16. Last edited at 7:26 on Aug 21, 13 by Utrecht. 18 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License