A 3-day Family Trip in Nanjing

Of all the cities in China, I finally chose Nanjing to spend my summer holiday with my family. The place was selected for several reasons: its richness in culture and history, the vitality of its modern life, the daintiness of all the snacks and street food, and most importantly, it's a paradise for children.

Confucius Temple

Confucius Temple – China town in Nanjing


Built as the site to worship the great Chinese thinker Confucius, the shrine known as Fuzi Miao in Chinese, has been the most bustling local cultural and commercial center since its establishment in 1034. Covering an area of 2.63 hectares with surrounding buildings in good harmony, it enjoys a typical architectural style from the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Historical Museum of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom

The Historical Museum of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom is the only national museum of particular history subject on the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. Its site, Zhanyuan Garden, is the only well-preserved Ming-style architectural complex in Nanjing. It was first built during the early Ming dynasty (1368 AD) by the general Xu Da, being a backyard garden of his residence. Since 1958, the Historical Museum of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom started to operate in Zhanyuan Garden. To this day, it has experienced the vicissitudes of the history of more than 600 years.

Jinghai Temple

The Jinghai Temple lies at the southwestern foot of the Lion Hill, with the Tianfei Temple on its east and the city moat on the west. The temple occupies a space of about 20,000 square meters, making it one of the largest temples in Nanjing. It was built during the reign of Emperor Yongle in praise of Zheng He for his merits in his navigation to the Western Oceans. The name “Jinghai” literally means “peace and ocean” in Chinese, which indicates the Emperor's blessings for the fleet.  Zheng himself lived in the temple to spend his later years as well.

Tianfei Temple

After Zheng He succeeded in returning from his first voyage to the Western Oceans, the Yongle Emperor of the Ming Dynasty ordered to build the Tianfei Temple at the foot of the Lion Hill, Gulou District, Nanjing. It was constructed to express thanks to Tianfei, also called as Goddess of the Seven Seas, for her blessing and protection of the safe navigation of the fleet over the oceans. It is now rebuilt as the witness of the great voyages led by Zheng He and part of the ancient Maritime Silk Road in China.

Nanjing Taicheng Wall

Located on the north part of the Jiming Hill and the south bank of Xuanwu Lake, the Nanjing Taicheng Wall is a section of the ancient Ming Great Wall extending westwards from the Jiefang Gate. While ascending the Taicheng Wall, you can revel in the vast scenery of its surroundings: look east to the verdure of Zhongshan Mountain, immerse yourself in the bells of the western Jiming Temple in the distance, enjoy the blue waters of the Xuanwu Lake in the north or turn around to embrace the stunning view of Jiuhua Mountain.

Ruins of the Ming Palace

Located on the northern and southern sides of Zhongshan Road, the Ming Palace covers an area of more than one million square meters, making it the world's largest palace in medieval history. Zhu Di, an Emperor of the Ming Dynasty, even built Beijing Imperial Palace in imitation of Ming Palace when he moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing. It exerts a profound influence on the architectural layout and form of many palace buildings, including not only royal buildings built in the Ming Dynasty but also those in foreign lands.

The Grand Baoen Temple Heritage and Scenic Area

The Grand Baoen Temple Heritage and Scenic Area is situated outside the Zhonghua Gate, the south gate of Nanjing City. The former royal temple in the Ming Dynasty is known as the oldest and largest temple with the highest standard in China's history. The glazed pagoda inside the temple used to rank among the seven wonders of the medieval world for its huge size. As a well-received iconic building, it was admired by Westerners in the Middle Ages and even printed on the take-out boxes that appeared in the Bing Bang, an American drama filmed in modern times.

Lion Mountain Scenic Zone

Lion Mountain is located in Xiaguan District of Nanjing, bordering the Yangtze River. As "One of the 48 famous Scenic Spots in Ancient Nanjing", it is called "Magnificent View of Lion Mountain".

There are numerous cultural and historical sites in Lion Rock Scenic Zone including Yuejiang Tower, Jinghai Temple and Tianfei Palace. And Yuejiang Tower is on the top of the Lion Mountain, where you can capture the epic scene of the vast Yangtze River. While looking at the other side, you will have a panoramic view of Nanjing city.