Confucious and Boating: Nanjing continued
Trip Start May 05, 2012
54Trip End Mar 01, 2013
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After a good spot of shopping and haggling (my new favourite thing to do in China – Evan) we found a place for tea. We ended up at a Korean BBQ restaurant and had no idea what a Korean BBQ involved
We spent the rest of the evening doing more shopping and haggling around the small shops. On our way out we went passed under a grand arch that, upon reflection, was probably the main entrance to the Confucian Temple area
The next day was a Monday and we had planned on seeing Sun Yet Sen’s mausoleum on top of Purple Mountain but in China, Monday is the day off for people who work in the tourist industry. So deciding that we didn’t want a trek up a mountain in the blazing sun to see a mausoleum that wasn’t open, we decided to check out the Xuanwu Lake Park instead. This is a massive lake just outside the Nanjing City wall and it borders the Purple Mountain (we think). The day was beautiful and so we decided to do the tourist thing and hire a little electric self-drive boat to go out on the lake in. The boat was great fun if a little slow, but the lake and adjoining park area were very beautiful, check out the pics.
Tuesday was our final day of holiday and we had decided to take the bullet train back to Tianjin. The train left at 11.20 and we made it into Tianjin about 3 o’clock. It’s pretty good going when you consider that we travelled about the length of NZ in just over 3hours. The train cruised at 306km/h most of the way (Yay! – Evan) and it was really cool to see a good portion of the Chinese countryside up close. We both now understand why tourists get so excited when they see the NZ countryside/bush
Returning to Tianjin was a bit difficult, although we were both looking forward to a good night’s sleep (I never thought I would call ChengJi a quiet place!). The feel of Tianjin is completely different from Shanghai and Nanjing, and although it is a city of 12 million, compared to Shanghai it felt like a large village. I think that if we were to come back to live in China again, we would go to city that felt more alive than Tianjin. However, having sampled the heat in the South, I’m not sure we could last a whole summer! We were also happier to leave Nanjing than Shanghai because they were obviously not so used to foreigners. We were told that Nanjing was a tourist city, and it was – but almost all were Chinese tourists. We saw maybe three other Western foreigners the whole time we were there. This meant a whole lot of staring and photos everywhere we went, and the feel of constantly being on display got old pretty quickly! At least Tianjin is mostly used to white faces- we don’t feel like we are an exhibition in a zoo quite so much here.
Now we are back to our second programme of summer school, but because most of our other classes are on holiday, we both have a very light schedule. We are looking forward to having lots of free time this weekend – something we have never had before!