Nanjing

Nanjing is situated in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and is the central city of the lower Yangtze Basin. It is a renowned historical and cultural city and was the capital of several dynasties over the course of Chinese history.

Subcategories

Once an imperial examination testing center for the entire Jiangsu region, Confucius Temple comprises a tiny fraction of the once-massive original buildings. The rest of the site is a massive, labyrinthine market; a top tourist draw in Nanjing and a place where you can get all your haggling out of your system. Get your picture taken with the Confucius sculpture and grab some tea on one of the gondolas on the canal. On the southern side of town next to Zhonghua Gate and the Taiping Museum.

QiXia Temple. A one time retreat for Emperor QianLong, the temple at the foot of maple forested hillside now draws hoards of less exulted visitors to clamber along the network of trails connecting fancifully named pavilions, ponds, tombs and natural stone features. The temple itself is not extensive, having only a pair of identical looking bell and drum towers in front of an austerely large hall, embedded with elegant lacquer-red window frames, containing a relatively contemporary, yet gracefully benevolent looking gigantic Buddha seated on a golden lotus. At the rear of the hall is a pair of intricately carved cabinets of a more impressively authentic vintage housing stone Buddha and Guanyin statues. The temple allegedly has an ancient bone relic purported to be from the historical Buddha, though it is kept well hidden. Further up the hill is a cluster of stone formations bifurcated by a steep canyon, believed to have been split in antiquity by mystical forces, that enables accent up a stair way to a pavilion and a high view over the valley. Higher up the hill are the crumbling remnants of group of buildings used by Qianlong’s army. The best time to visit is during autumn when the maple trees are radiating orange or Spring when the peach blossoms are loaded with pink and white flowers.