No-Nonsense Nanjing

Trip Start Apr 16, 2010
Trip End Jul 24, 2010

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Flag of China  , Jiangsu,
Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Howdy folks,
                 While the greeting may seem rather strange it is rather apt due to the arrival of our American friend Jon. Even though he is from the plush planes of Cali-forn-i-a, America is America and so a more southern greeting is still more than suitable.

So last time the boys left the blog with a 18 hour sleeper train, but after an arduous 20.5 hours and a questionable braised beef pot noodle for breakfast (the noodles had an almost plasticky feel) they arrived in the warmer and more southern city of Nanjing. It was then that they hailed down the first cab driver in sight, and headed for the Sunflower Hostel. Unforntunately they couldn't put them up for the first night, so the lads ended up roughing it for the night, but dawn approached so quickly that it actually made for a pretty comfortable night. Nah, twas all in jest. On arrival the extremely helpful and generous staff quickly found the exhausted boys a hotel for the night, and put them up for the following two nights. Rather relieved, the group lugged all their belongings up a few stair-cases, and took a well deserved shower. Later that evening they took a stroll along the bustling hutongs of Nanjing. They were really attractive, the river meandering through really exemplified the cities beauty. About half an hour later, the musketeers settled down in a square full of all sorts of food. It was there that they endulged in some road-side treats, the meat skewers providing the most satisfaction.

The next day the boys awoke at 10am, ready to explore Nanjing's most famous attraction: The Purple Mountain. They may have got up slightly earlier if it wasn't for Stef quizzing Jon on American culture into the early hours of the morining. But he was more than satisfied, having finally discovered what a semester was. They caught bus number 2 and 40 minutes later, the boys had arrived into the wilderness, enjoying an abundance of trees and plants. It was there that they visited Dr Sun Yatsen's Mausoleum, he was some what of a Chinese guru, The Beamless Building(rather self-explanatory), Lingu temple and Lingu pagoda. The pagoda was a real highlight; an octagonal building which towered above the trees and provided a spectacular view of the National Park and a slightly hazy view of smoggy Nanjing. After some pretty dismal hacky playing, they left the park and headed for a dumpling restaurant, rather embarrased by the days performance. 50 dumplings, 30 kebabs and 2 chicken soups later the boys were bloated.

The last day in Nanjing saw the group experience what travelling is all about. The day started with a few tube stops to Xuwumen park, reknowned for it's lakes. It failed to disappointed and within 20 minutes the boys had hired a Chinese style motor boat and set sail. As anticipated Ollie was up to his usual antics, rocking the boat from side to side and giving Jon quite the scare. Despite a few words from the crew, Ollie took a more mutinous approach and persisted in rocking the boat, if not a litter more viciously. A few mintues later,  there turned out to be a bigger surprise. After a 5 Yuan bet, made by Stef, Tim scaled the roof of the boat going from one side to another. This was whilst the boat was both rocking and moving - what a crazy minx!
What followed was pretty average, but interestingly it wasn't the poor hacky playing that brought the boys some unwanted attention. A Chinese girl, after much deliberation with her associates, approached and rather cheekily asked Stef for his bracelet. AS IF! Astounded, Stef shook his head and the girl retreated sheepishly. Later that day a few members of the group visited Confucious Temple, while the others took a stroll once more over the blissful hutongs of Nanjing. In the temple Dan was back exhibiting his comical prowess, and what followed was some really entertaining video footage.

Now, however, it has come to the crux of the blog; the reason that the lads have enjoyed Nanjing so much... Not surprisingly it has been meeting Chinese people in the hostel, both the staff and fellow lodgers. We have been shown fantastic generosity and kindness here! From being shown to a nearby cheap hotel when they were full, to handing out snickers/sweets/ducks necks and hearts in the bar (which we dutifully devoured), they have stopped at nothing to accommodate us. The boys have thoroughly enjoyed playing uno and pool late into the early hours of the morning with the hostel workers and chatting about what life is like in China. We particulary enjoyed yesterday night, where they were taken out by a few friendly faces to a local restaurant and helped us order a plethora of sumptious local dishes. Thanks Nanjing!

At 13:30 we leave for Huang Shan - widely regarded as THE scenic highlight of this land. It's a mountain. We're gonna climb it. Cause we're men!


Jon (It's a silent J)

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Frankie and Clemie on

Woke up and read the blog! Sounds awesome, amazing how welcoming locals were! Safe journey to Huang Shan. Look forward to hearing about the mountain climbing.

Lots of love xxx

Harry on

Tsssssk. Jon's making us all look bad with all his global commitment! I'd be there if I didn't spend all my money on charity and that.

Huang Shan looks like a dream world. Get some lovely photos!

lots of love xx

Ursula on

Some questions guys.....what is a hutong and what are ducks necks - apart from the obvious, and I'm sure you weren't eating those! Hi to Jon (with the silent J)! Hope you've made it down from today's mountain climb and have found an equally friendly hostel to stay in for tonight. xxx

nick , ewa and christian on

its good to see you all chilled out and enjoying yourselves. VERY brave of you Stef to eat ducks heart , not sure i could, glad also to hear that nobody has a tummy bug anymore.
take care xxxxxx

Sue on

All sounds fantastic. Loving these blogs. Have been checking out Huang Shan on the web ....looks absolutely amazing! What a remarkable place - can't wait to hear all about it and see the pics! Well done guys. Xx

D(j)ots on

Oh yes it was duck neck. You had to eat around the spinal column. Tasted like a peparami, only better!

Ursula on

oooh - well I'm glad the necks were nice - I thought it must be some kind of sweet! How wrong I was. Still none the wiser about hutongs (pronounced hut or hoot..) I shall have to consult google.....xxxx

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