Yesterday we arrived in Nanjing from Beijing. We took the high speed train which travelled at over 280km/h meaning we arrived in Nanjing in just over 3.5 hours. Once we got here and checked into our hostel we went out to discover the area. Nanjing (the former capital of China) has had it's part in Chinese history. Unfortunately most people only remember the Nanjing Massacre but it is also home to one of the oldest Confucius colleges in China - almost - 1500 years old.
Nanjing is very different to Beijing. First of all it is much smaller (not hard) and the way of life here seems so much more tranquil than that of Beijing. The people go about doing their daily tasks in a very relaxed manner. They all smile and are willing to stop and talk to you. I do that they are actually far more approachable than Beijjngers. Then again the foreign population in Nanjing is minimal so the Laowai community is still rather revered with a strong novelty among the locals.
Saying that though, you'd think that a smaller city would be cheaper but it's is actually not much cheaper than Beijing at all. In some places even more expensive. But the food is very good.
The weather is hot. Very hot. And VERY humid. Yesterday was a solid 28 degrees but the humidity is in its 90% leaving you soaked through and very sticky. I hear shanghai can be just as bad :/ the wearer forecast for today is currently showing 32 degrees with highs of 35 degrees, equal percentage of humidity with thunderstorms looming. Just a very wet place in general.
Yesterday we spent the day discovering the city, walking through Chinese parks and watching the locals do their thing. We sampled many street snacks and went for a promenade near the Fuzi temple at night which was beautifully lit up with Chinese lanterns, the old traditional buildings (refurbished) and reflections off the nearby river adding to the wonderful ambience.
For dinner we went to a wonderful restaurant which locals swear by. And I can see why. Fantastic food. The place was called 四川酒家 (Si4Chuan1 Jiu3jia1) where we sampled the spicy noodles, pressed duck (a kind of boiled and compressed duck dish) and some wonderful soup filled pork dumplings. We washed it down with a lovely cold Snow beer.
Today we are planning a visit to the the Nanjing massacre memorial hall. Should be very interesting. Then we will walk along the old city wall before taking a walk around the lake next to the wall located in the north of the city.
The evening will then be spent perusing through the local markets selling tidbits and souvenirs.
Time to head out. Speak soon!