Maanshan and the Tang Dynasty Poet Li Bai

Maanshan and the Tang Dynasty Poet Li Bai

The city of Maanshan is located in Anhui Province alongside the Yangtze River and only 30kms from Wuhu and 40kms from Nanjing the capital of Jiangsu Province. The city is home to well over 1 million people.

The city is mostly known for it’s steel and automotive industries, although it remains a city with a liveable feel.

As for tourist attractions, the most notable is the Cai Shi Ji Scenic Area at the base of Cuiluo Mountain. The scenic area is quite large and can easily consume the best part of a day just wandering the traditionally landscaped gardens and exploring the temples.

The area also features an art gallery dedicated to Li Sanzhi reputed as a master of calligraphy.

Theres a wooden walkway hanging above the Yangtze River from the side of the mountain which also leads to the Emei Pavilion, also seemingly hanging from the side of the mountain above the flowing water below.

An ancient tale has it that a famous Tang Dynasty poet, Li Bai (701-762), fell to his death here, lost to the murky depths of the mighty river, while ‘trying to embrace a reflection of the moon’ . Some say that perhaps he may also have been drunk and fell in while gazing at the moon, while finding words for a new poem, all of which he had a great passion for, apart from falling. There’s a tomb here which holds his garments, and memorabilia of the famed poet.

A statue of Li Bai and the painting of mountain area.

At the top of the mountain is Santai Pagoda was built in 1642 and later reconstructed in 1999, it’s 30 metres high and being on top of the mountain it provides amazing views over Maanshan and the Yangtze.

More photos of Maanshan and Cai Shi Ji Scenic Area.

Map featuring Ma’anshan Hotels

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The Presidential Palace Nanjing

The Presidential Palace Nanjing

The Presidential Palace could be thought of as Nanjing’s version of the Forbidden City in Beijing with it once being home to ancient emperors and later political leaders. The palace was also the base for Dr. Sat Yun Sen when he led the Kuomintang party to power in China.

Presidential Palace entry at night


Officially, it is now called the China Modern History Museum yet its history dates back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) when it functioned as a royal palace. It was taken over during the Taiping Rebellion and for ten or more years it served as a base for that revolutions leaders until the Qing government reclaimed Nanjing in 1864.  It was also the KMT’s (Kuomintang) headquarters from 1927 to 1949 from which it ruled the country until Mao Zedong and the CCP took over control and declared Beijing as the capital once again.

All of that is a very long story, but one can understand, this place has a played a very special part in what were defining periods in China’s history.

Inside of the walls, you can still find the imperial palaces and gardens built many years ago and also buildings added in the 1930’s that housed the revolutionary government.

The famous courtyard at the Presidential Palace

Inside the rooms of the several original buildings are interesting displays, such as the emperor’s throne, moving into the newer buildings the many rooms are filled with displays of artifacts, photos and storyboards of the then revolutionary government that led China from 1911 to 1949.

There’s also the former home of Dr. Sat Yun Sen to wander through, and the many nooks and crannies of the garden shouldn’t be missed as it’s hard to beat a garden built that was originally built for an emperor. Especially a garden that features a mini-lake with a boat made of stone.

one section of the impressive gardens
the small lake

Alongside the Presidential Palace is whats known as 1912 (南京1912街区), a cluster of charming old buildings now packed with bars and eateries (Chinese/Western). You can find a Starbucks and Costa Coffee here, several bars and night spots, hot pot restaurant, Pizza Hut, KFC.

1912 Commercial Street

Across the street is the Nanjing Library (南京图书馆) which is actually at exit 5 of the subway station so take a peek before you head over to the palace, and a few minutes walk away is the Jiangsu Art Museum (江苏省美术馆), across from which is the Six Dynasties Museum (六朝博物馆).

There are a LOT of hotels in this area, unfortunately, most won’t accept foreign guests. My three picks for places near here are Crowne Plaza Nanjing Hotels & SuitesThe Grand Mansion, and the Jinling Hotel.


Admission: 40 RMB

Open Hours:  Mar-Oct 8.30 am to 6.00 pm Nov-Feb 8.30 am to 5.00 pm

Getting there: You can take metro line 2 or line 3 and get off at Daxinggong Station and take exit 5.

Chinese Name for taxi: 中国近代史遗址博物馆 – 总统府 (China Modern History Museum – Presidential Palace) 

Address: 292 Changjiang Rd, Xuanwu, Nanjing

Official website:

Map featuring Hotels near the Presidential Palace


Presidential Palace map

there is a large map board at the site, as pictured below, which will ensure you catch all the key sites in the palace. Click for larger image.

Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall

Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall

In 1937/38  Nanjing was witness to one of the worlds haunting events, being the massacre of some 300000 people at the hands of invading forces. At that time Nanjing was the capital of China and Japanese forces had taken control of the city and during the first six to eight weeks of their occupation had performed indescribable atrocities according to Chinese reports.

The memorial was built in 1985 and later updated and expanded to cover 28000 square meters. It’s located on the original site where the holocaust took place.

Large granite statues and structures and the thoughtful use of significant spaces make for a solemn place of reflection. Inside the buildings, there are collections of artifacts from the time, exhibits, along with a documentary that runs on a large screen.

One purpose built building serves as a tomb, upon walking through and looking down from the railing onto the exposed ground the many remains of those ill-fated can be seen (not pictured).

The memorial serves many purposes, along with being a tomb and memorial, there are strong messages made of the need for international peace. It also serves as a national education base for patriotism.


Admission: Free

Hours: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (closed on Monday)

Address: 418 Shuiximen Street (near Yunjin Road) 

Chinese Name for taxi: 侵华日军南京大屠杀遇难同胞纪念馆

Getting There: take metro line 2 and get off at Yunjin Road Station (云锦路). Take exit 2.



Where to stay in Nanjing? See my picks for the top hotels in Nanjing city.

Nearby: very near the memorial is the China Nanjing Yunjin Museum (中国南京云锦博物馆) which focuses on brocade art and is the #1 museum in China for such artifacts. A little further up Shuximen Street and you will find Wanda Plaza (南京万达广场) which is a large modern mall offering plenty of cafes and eateries.

Also see: my intro to Nanjing, the top ten local foods to eat, and the key attractions here.





Nanjing Museum

Nanjing Museum

The Nanjing Museum is quite famous having had many exhibitions abroad and well known for holding some quite rare and valuable pieces of Chinas history, so, better take a look.

Entrance to the museum
One of the large number of porcelain displays
an ‘earthen stand’ from the Neolithic era – 3500BC

The museum features several halls all with different themes including an ancient Chinese jade exhibit, ancient Chinese silk, Chinese copper and bronze works, Ming and Qing period porcelain works and more. There was also a Chinese Lacquering exhibit, which at first doesn’t sound that interesting until you see that some of the items on display date back thousands of years.

Admission: free

Address: 321号 Zhongshan East Road  Xuanwu, Nanjing

Chinese Name: 南京博物院

Getting There: take the Metro Line 2 to Ming Palace Station (明故宫). Get out from exit 1 and walk straight down Zhongshan East Road for about 300m.

Official website:


On the map, I have shaded the entire museum grounds in blue, placed a pin on the entrance gate, and the main building as many get confused about where to enter. The main building is the only place of interest excepting when there are special exhibits in other buildings.


Nearby Hotels: Grand Metropark Hotel Nanjing is just steps away, and a great base for a visit to the city being near the metro.

Nearby: The Nanjing Ming Palace Museum Relics Park (明故宫遗址公园) is right at the metro station you’ll be hopping off at, so go for a stroll but don’t expect much. Zhongshanmen (中山门) is near. The Ming Dynasty Wall (明城墙) is a short taxi ride away.


Confucius Temple Nanjing (Fuzimiao Scenic Area) [Travel Tips & Key Info]

Confucius Temple Nanjing (Fuzimiao Scenic Area) [Travel Tips & Key Info]

A shopping market packed inside the historic buildings surrounding the Confucius Temple, aka Fuzimiao, makes for a popular place to visit in Nanjing, be it night or day.

The entry gate

It was night when we first strolled into the area and after passing the traditional old Chinese gate and past the Pizza Hut, KFC, and various clothes shops that have wiggled there way into the old buildings we were met with a river alit with color.

The Qin Huai river

Cobblestone streets run alongside the Qin Huai river and old stone bridges run across which made a perfect place to enjoy the colorful display of lights on show and the performance taking place on the boat. Not sure if it happens every night but it was on this particular Sunday night. You’ll also notice a long screen wall featuring dragons along the bank of the river near Wende Bridge (文德桥).

It’s a great place for a casual stroll, light shopping and there’s plenty of options for lunch or dinner including western or Chinese style. You can find lots of curios, trinkets, and clothes here but perhaps more appealing to local visitors.

the market area

We went back the next day to take in the temple itself, which is not large, but quite interesting.

The murals inside the Confucius temple


A statue of Confucius himself stands tall at the temple entry

The Jiangnan Examination School is a museum of the imperial examinations that took place in China’s ancient days. The exams held here would determine who would enter the ranks of government.

Whilst it’s free to wander around the market area and the river, there is a charge for entering the Confucius Temple itself albeit not too expensive. There is also a large modern mall, Nanjing Aqua City, nearby on Jiankang Rd.

Admission: the pedestrian area is free, but at the temple itself (夫子庙 – Dacheng Hall) it will cost 30 RMB and 25 RMB for Jiangnan Examination School (南京科举博物馆).

Address: 秦虹路1号 Confucius Temple Scenic Area Pedestrian Street, Qinhuai, Nanjing

Chinese Name: 南京夫子庙-秦淮风光

Hours:  08:00-21:00 for the paid attractions, shops will open later

Getting There: Subway Line 3 to Confucian Temple Station (夫子庙)

Map featuring hotels near the Confucius Temple


Hotels nearby: My personal picks would be JI Hotel or the Holiday Inn Nanjing Aqua City.

Nearby Fuzimiao: A little further along Jiankang Road, you’ll find Aqua City (南京水游城) which is a modern mall offering lots of shops, eateries, and cafes. There is a Zara, H & M store, Starbucks, and cinema here. Not far, perhaps by taxi, from the temple area, you’ll find Egret Island Park (白鹭洲公园) and Bailuzhou Park which is quite nice, and further down the road is Zhonghua East Gate (中华东门).

Confucius Temple map

this useful map scanned by provides a guide to the temple itself and some historical insight. Click image for larger version.

Zhonghuamen Gate Nanjing [Key Visitor Info + Map]

Zhonghuamen Gate Nanjing [Key Visitor Info + Map]

Like many of Chinas ancient cities Nanjing was once a walled city. The walled city featured sever gates but the south gate is quite special for a number of reasons. One visible reason is that it looks more like a castle than a gate.


It took over 20 years to build beginning in 1366 and features an entry with four arched doorways, three internal courtyards, storage tunnels and wide ramps either side of the courtyards leading to the top of the wall.

It remains standing today some say due to the high importance placed on quality of construction, if you look closely at the walls bricks you can still see the individual markings on the bricks identifying the bricks maker.


There is a great hotel option nearby, Nanjing Loquats Garden Hotel which consistently gets great reviews. and has an old-world feel to it almost matching the feel of the gate itself.

Admission: 50 RMB

Address: Zhonghua Gate Castle, Qinhuai District, Nanjing – Located at the river end of Zhong Hua Lu.

Chinese name: 中华门

Getting There: take metro Line 1 to Zhonghua Gate Station (中华门) and you can walk for 15 min, or take a short taxi ride for about 11 RMB. Or, catch a bus to 中华门城堡 station (which is right at the gate) via any of these buses 2路;16路;49路;63路;202路;302路;701路;d18路;g5路;y14路夜间;y20路夜间;y2路夜间.

Open hours: 8:30 am to 8:00 pm


Nearby: Da Bao’en Temple (大报恩寺) featuring the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing is well worth strolling over the river for.

Also See: my intro to Nanjing, the top local foods to try and the must-see attractions here.


Welcome to Nanjing – The Top Ten Attractions, Hotels, Must Try Foods & Transport

Welcome to Nanjing – The Top Ten Attractions, Hotels, Must Try Foods & Transport

Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province, is a beautiful, charming and ancient city that has a progressive feel. It has a long history dating back as far as 472 BC and has been the home of many of China’s emperors thus giving the city a rich treasure trove of cultural relics and historic sites. 


Dr. Sun Yat Sen Statue


Nanjing’s rich history traces back to 495BC and has been the country’s capital on more than one occasion. It was the capital of the Ming empire from 1368 to 1421 during which time it was also believed to be one of the largest cities in the world.


Confucius Temple


In 1842, during the Opium War, British troops invaded Nanjing and the Treaty of Nanjing was drawn between the Chinese and the British.

In 1911 the city was central in the revolution led by Dr. Sat Yun Sen which led to the downfall of Chinas last emperor and the Qing Dynasty. It was at that time the then-new Republic of China was formed. Chiang Kai-shek took over leadership of the Kuomintang (KMT) political party led by Dr. Sat Yun Sen in 1925.


Archways through South Gate


As much as the city has seen some great times in Chinas history, it has also seen some of the worse. The year was 1937 when the Japanese, just after taking control of Shanghai, invaded Nanjing and in a bloody battle took control of the city. During their 6 week occupation the Japanese were brutal, inflicting was is now referred to as the Nanjing Massacre where it’s claimed 300,000 Chinese died.


Nanjing Massacre memorial entry statue


Not long after the Japanese occupation had ended, old political battles re-ignited, and the growing Chinese Communist Party (CCP) led by Mao Zedong, which had played a lead role in driving the Japanese out of the country, was keen to see the in-power KMT party step aside. After failed negotiations of the Americans for peace between the two groups in 1946, a civil war saw the demise of the KMT party. The KMT party fled to a nearby island and formed what is now Taiwan.

As you can see, Nanjing, for better or worse, has been part of several major events in history and in the forming modern China itself. For its historic attractions, its place in Chinese history, and it’s modern rebirth, it’s on my list of the top cities to visit in China.


Nanjing Eye Pedestrian Bridge


Today, Nanjing is a modern metropolis home to over 8 million people. Nanjing is a major education center, transport hub, and tourism center.

More posts about Nanjing
Zhonghuamen Gate – South Gate, Zhonghua Lu
Nanjing Museum – 321 Zhongshan Donglu
Presidential Palace – 292 Changjiang Lu
Confucius Temple (Fuzi Temple) – Qinhuai
Memorial Hall of the Nanjing Massacre – 418 Shuiximen Street.


The Top Ten Attractions & Things to do in Nanjing

1. Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum(明孝陵)
Address: Xuanwu, Nanjing
Opening hours: 06:30 – 18:00
Admission:70 yuan

2. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum(中山陵
Address: 7 Shixiang Road, Xuanwu District, Nanjing
Opening Hours: 08:30-17:00
Recommended Visiting Time: 2 hours
Admission:80 yuan

3. Presidential Palace(总统府)
Recommended Visiting Time: 1-2 hours
Address: 288 Changjiang Rd, Xuanwu Qu, Nanjing
Admission:40 yuan

4. Qinhuai River(秦淮河) & Fuzimiao Confucius Temple
Recommended Visiting Time: 2 hours
Address: Confucius Temple Scenic Area Pedestrian St, FuZiMiao
Confucius Temple Admission:40 yuan

5. Purple Mountain (Zhongshan Mountain National Park – 紫金山)
Recommended Visiting Time: 4-5 hours
Address: Mount Zijin is located in eastern Nanjing City
Admission:Free – Admission to the Purple Mountain Observatory:15 yuan

6. Linggu Temple(灵谷寺)
Address: Zhongshan Scenic Area – Xuanwu, Nanjing
Admission:15 yuan

7. Nanjing Qixia Mountain(栖霞山)
Address: Qixia Mountain is located 22 kilometers (13.67 miles) northeast of Nanjing City
Admission:20 yuan

8. South Gate of City Wall(中华门)
Recommended Visiting Time: 1 hour
Admission:25 yuan

9. Xuanwu Lake(玄武湖)
Recommended Visiting Time: 3-4 hour

10. Yuejiang Tower(阅江楼)
Address: Located at the top of the Lion Mountain in the northwest of Nanjing
Admission:40 CNY


There are many more historic sites and places to see in Nanjing including:

Botanic Gardens – Zhiwu Yuan
Nanjing Treaty History Museum – 116 Chao Yue Lou
Ming Palace Ruins – Zhongshan Donglu
Yangzi River Bridge and Bridge Park
Martyrs Cemetery – Yuhua Lu
Zifeng Tower (one of the worlds tallest) near Gulou Metro Station
Hunan Road – shopping and food street at Shiziqiao Street
Zhenghe Memorial Park
Drum Tower – 6 Zhongyang Lu
Bell Tower – Beijing Dong Lu
Mochouchu Park and Lake – Hanzhongmen Street


The Top Ten things to Eat in Nanjing



1. Nanjing Salted Duck (金陵盐水鸭)
2. Tangbao (汤包)
3. Duck blood soup (鸭血粉丝汤)
4. Dumplings in red-bean soup (赤豆元宵)
5. Zhuang Yuan Dou (状元豆)
6. Fried Bean Curd in Chicken Soup (回卤干)
7. Rice Cake (糕团)
8. Tofu jelly (豆腐涝)
9. Hairy crab (固城大闸蟹)
10. Pan-fried beef dumpling (牛肉锅贴)


The four top food streets are Shiziqiao (狮子桥), Confucius Temple (夫子庙), Sanpailou (三牌楼) and Mingwalang (明瓦廊) where you can find a cluster of street food stalls and restaurants offering local specialties.


Map of Attractions plus the Top Ten Nanjing Hotels



Alternate picks for the top Nanjing Hotels based on guest reviews.



Transport in Nanjing


Nanjing Lukou International Airport is one of the main air hubs in the country. You can fly domestically and internationally to over 70 destinations. CN Website only: The airport is located around 43 KM from the city center and there are two shuttle lines operating between the two, each cost 20 CNY per trip. A taxi from the airport will cost around 100 CNY + to the city center. You can also take the metro line S1 to South Railway Station and transfer to either line 1 or 3 depending on your final destination.


The city has two railway stations being Nanjing Railway Station and South Railway Station.

You can take metro line 1 to Nanjing station and catch the newer D and G fast trains as well as the slower K and Z trains to numerous destinations inc. Shanghai, Suzhou, Ningbo, Beijing, Chengdu, Nanning, Guangzhou, and Xian.

You can take metro line S1 (Airport Line), Line 1 or Line 3 to South Railway Station and catch D and G fast trains to numerous destinations inc Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Wuxi, Changsha, Xian, and Xiamen.


The city has 5 dedicated tourist bus lines servicing all the major attractions as follows

Y1: Nanjing Railway Station (07:30-16:30) – Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum (08:15-17:15)
Nanjing Railway Station — Zhongyangmen — General Bus Station — Xuanwumen — Drum Tower — Jiming Temple — Sipai Building — Presidential Hall — Ruins of Ming Palaces — Zhongshanmen — Weiqiao — Meiling Palace — Nanjing Underwater World — Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum

Y2: Yuhua Tai (08:00-16:20) – Nanjing Underwater World (08:40-17:00)
Y2-1: Yuhuatai — Zhonghuamennei — Changle Lu — Sanshanjie — Confucius Temple (Fuzimiao) — Yanggongjing — Daxinggong — Presidential Hall — Jiefang Lu — Ruins of Ming Palaces — Zhongshanmen — Weiqiao — Mt.Meihua — Meiling Palace — Nanjing Underwater World
Y2-2: Yuhuatai — Zhonghuamen Chateau — Changle Lu — Confucius Temple (Fuzimiao) — Yanggongjing — Daxinggong — Presidential Hall — Jiefang Lu — Ruins of Ming Palaces — Zhongshanmen — Weiqiao — Qianhu—Shixiang Lu — Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum — Nanjing Underwater World — Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum — Shuixie — Linggu Temple

Y3: Hongshan Zoo (08:30-14:45) – Linggu Temple (09:15-16:30)
Hongshan Zoo — Huangjiayu — Nanjing Railway Station — Huamu Company — Xinzhuang — Suojin Village — Taipingmen Lu — Mt.Zijin Telpher — Liaozhongkai Tomb — Zhongshan Botanical Garden — Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum — Nanjing Underwater World — Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum — Shuixie — Linggu Temple

Y4: Nanjing Passenger Port (07:45-18:30) – Yuhuatai Cemetery (06:30-18:00)
Nanjing Passenger Port — West Railway Station — Rehe Lu — Yancangqiao — Dingshan Hotel — Dinghuaimen — Northern Station of Shicheng Lu — Southern Station of Shicheng Lu — Caochangmenqiao — Guofangyuan — Hanzhongmen — Jinling Building — Kangyi Garden — Jiangdongmen — Mochou Lake — Shuiximen — Sanshanjie — Zhanyuan Lu — Fuzimiao — Zhonghua Lu — Yuhuatai — Gongqingtuan Lu — Yuhuatai Cemetery

Y5: Suojin Village (08:30-15:30) – Mingwenhua Village (10:30-17:00)
Suojin Village — Gangzi Village — Mt.Fugui — Houzaimen — Northern Station of Qingxi Lu — Qingxi Lu — Zhongshanmen — Weiqiao — Weigang — Nanjing University of Science and Technology — Xiaolingwei — Dazhamen — Nanjing Academy of Agricultural Sciences — Wukesong — Zhongshan College — Maqun — Maqun Park — Baishuiqiao — Qixi Lu — Qilinmen West Station — Qilinmen — Jinxiu Garden — Xicun — Jinsigang — Yangshanbeicai — Mingwenhua Village


The flag fall for taxis is 2.9 CNY and 2.4-2.9 CNY per KM + 1 Fuel Fee. You will see taxis as pictured and also British style black cabs.


Metro (subway)
The metro is a very affordable way to get around being CNY2 for the first 10km (6mi), CNY3 for 10 to 16km (6 to 10mi) and increasing gradually in a similar fashion.

Nanjing Metro Map


Useful Nanjing Resources

Official Tourism Website (English version) –



Watch this video from the English service of China’s national broadcaster. In this Travelogue episode, presenter Tianran explores the city of Nanjing in Jiangsu Province.