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Serviced by two high-speed train stations, Nanjing offers tourists an easy point of access to cities such as Changzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuxi, and even Shanghai.
Visit Changzhou to take the kids to the well-known Changzhou Dinosaur Park – part museum and part theme park; Hangzhou to take in the utter beauty of West Lake; or Suzhou to pay a visit to one of the nearby ‘water towns’ that do their best to imitate Venice.
Entrance to the park is free, and you can easily spend 4-5 hours wandering over its arched bridges and exploring its wooded islands.
This is cheating, but Nanjing is so well-connected to nearby cities that you’d be crazy not to venture a little farther afield and see what else China has to offer.
You can also take boat rides along the Qinhuai River canal, which is a fun experience. Students of Confucianism studied at this site as far back as 1034, and the temple is a short introduction to the history of the school and the region.
From 1927 until the break up of China (which former Taiwan and the current China) in 1949, the capital of China was located in Nanjing – and not Beijing or Shanghai as many might have believed.
Fuzimiao (Confucius Temple) is a bustling market district centered around a number of historic buildings and temples not too far from the heart of Nanjing.
Tickets range between 80 and 120rmb () and the high-speed rail takes only ninety minutes to reach Shanghai, two hours to get to Hangzhou, and less than an hour to reach places like Suzhou and Changzhou.
Fuzimiao is particularly beautiful at night, when the place really comes alive as a night market and the fairy lights set the traditional buildings ablaze with colour.
The site itself dates back to 314AD, although the buildings on the site these days are less than two hundred years old.
The park’s lighting has been set up to be as eye-catching and artistic as possible, and in summer old men fly motorized, lit up kites to add to the effect.
The park also offers stunning views of the sun set and the Nanjing skyline, which is dominated by nearby Zifeng Tower – the 9th tallest building in the world.