Our second trip was to Nanjing, which served as the national capital for six dynasties and now as the capital of Jiangsu Province. Overall, I really enjoyed Nanjing. We were able to visit a lot of places and experience as much of Nanjing in two days.
Our first visit was to the Dr. Sun Yatsen Mausoleum, which was probably the most memorable highlight of Nanjing. The place was huge— covers 80,000 square meters and the memorial hall of Dr. Sun Yatsen was approached by 392 granite steps. The walk up was a bit of a struggle, especially with the hot weather, but once you reached the top, you were offered a very rewarding view of the mausoleum and Nanjing’s landscape.
The white statue of Dr. Sun Yatsen was also another highlight . Not only was it huge in size, but it was a neat experience standing in front of the statue of the found father of Republic of China and China’s Democratic Revolution. The statue was situated in a domed circular hall and replicas of his will were on exhibited. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take photos inside the hall.
(The journey upwards)
(Dr. Sun Yatsen)
Our next stop was the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, which is the tomb of the Hongwu Emperor, the founder of the Ming Dynasty. Unfortunately, the path leading to the tomb was closed off due to construction, but we were able to get a glimpse of the main gate.
When we approached the main wall, I initially thought we were approaching a fortress of some sort. The wall wasn’t particularly big or tall, but it still resembled intimidating barriers I would only see in Lord of the Rings movies. I only discovered later on that in order to prevent robbery of the tomb, the construction of this Mausoleum was under heavy security, involving more than 100,00 laborers and 5,000 troops.
Next stop was a cruise around the Qinhuai River and it was a brief yet relaxing ride. It was a simple cruise that took us along the river, and we were able to pass by different style restaurants and festivities that were taking place.
The next morning, we visited the Nanjing Massacre Memorial. Due to respect for the happenings of the Nanjing Massacre, we were instructed not to take photos inside the museum.
The museum itself was set up very nicely. Each room had multiple features, whether it was photos from the war, personal accounts of survivors, or just basic information on the war and massacre. The lighting was set very dim and I just found myself reflecting on the atrocities and suffering innocent Chinese citizens faced.
(Nanjing Massacre Museum)
We were then scheduled to visit the famous Zhonghua Gate, but due to the heavy rain, we had no choice but to return to Shanghai.
(We were able to drive by the Zhonghua Gate)
Next post will be on our trip to Suzhou!