Nanjing ( 南京 Nánjīng)
Nanjing ( 南京 Nánjīng) is the capital city of Jiangsu Province in the People's Republic of China.
Nanjing, historically known as Nanking, 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.
Nanjing means "southern capital", Beijing "northern capital". Nanjing was the capital of several dynasties. It was the capital of the Republic of China from their 1911 revolution until the defeat by the communists in 1949. It is now the capital city of Jiangsu Province in the People's Republic of China .
How to Get to Nanjing City
There are currently no direct flights from Nanjing airport to Shanghai , but to Beijing , Hong Kong , and major cities abroad you will find plenty of airlines. The airport is best reached either by taxi or airport bus.
There are numerous daily departures to Shanghai , about two to three hours away. Keep in mind that soft seat (1st class) at 79 RMB is not that much more expensive than hard seat (2nd class) at 49 RMB and offers you much better equipment, comparable with a business class flight. The train cars are great as well, and much more spacious than those of an airplane.
There is a modern highway system between Shanghai and Nanjing , which will allow you to travel quite quickly from city to city. Keep in mind of traffic in morning and evening. If you're just one person, it's much cheaper to travel by train, if you're larger group, car gets cheaper. But keep in mind that you need to be a very experienced driver to participate in Chinese traffic, better use trains/buses between the cities and taxis in the cities, unless you're really on for a challenge.
It's not really possible to travel by boat to there, even though Nanjing is situated on the Yangtse river. The river is mostly used for transport of goods, not for persons. Better to use the railway.
Get around in Nanjing City
The bus network is comprehensive but the system really overloads during rush hour and the all-Chinese signs are confusing for foreigners. However, English-language maps with bus routes are available from larger hotels.
Not expensive and really the best way to get around town. Flag-down rate is 7RMB (relatively cheaper compared to 10RMB of larger cities such as Shanghai ). If you don't speak Chinese, make sure the place where you're going is written down (in Chinese characters), or bring a map and point out the place you want to go. Taxi drivers barely speak English and they pronounce/understand even familiar names (like the Sheraton) differently.
Bicycle rental is available from some of the smaller hotels. The cost is 15 yuan per day or 1 yuan per hour.
When to Visit
Nanjing is semi-humid and subtropical climate. There are four distinct seasons with very hot summers and cold winters. So the best time for a visit should be in spring and autumn if you want to stay comfortably out door and sight seeing during your stay.
Where to Stay
- Nanjing Danfeng International Hotel ( 丹凤国际青年旅館 ), 59-1 Yushi Street, North Floor 6. ( 三十路鱼市街站旁的华诚超市六楼 )
The Chinese name is "Danfeng International Youth Ho s tel", which should give you some idea of the English abilities of the staff, but this is easily the best budget option in Nanjing . Small dorm rooms (3 people/room) start at about ¥50/night, with larger single & double rooms starting at about ¥160/night. Private rooms are spotlessly clean, and excellent size for the money. Although their listing on numerous websites says it is "wireless", each room is equipped with wired internet connections. (You can borrow an ethernet cable from the reception desk.) Those without can share the communal computer for free. Don't share a private room with anyone you don't want to see naked, as the bathroom/toilet is housed inside a strange transparent glass enclosure. Call 025-83226770 (if you can speak Mandarin, or you're lucky enough to have their daughter pick up the phone).
- Sheraton Nanjing Kingley Towers, right in the middle of the town, offering you all the service you're used to have in a 5***** hotel, if you've a good guide you should get the rooms for around 400-500 RMB per night, including breakfast.
-Hilton: Went bankrupt a year before, now reopened, still in the city but a little bit more far away from the center. Good if you want to make business in the east of the town.
Nanjing is not as dangerous as Shanghai and not as safe as Hangzhou . Take care of your belongings, since there are quite a lot of pickpockets, but little violent crime.