That night we met some friends who play in musical band. They were playing at a hotel, which was just a short walk from our hotel. After the last set, we enjoyed the night life of the lively 1912 historic area until the early morning hours.
The next day was spent along the Qinhuai River. It is a bustling area filled with many shops, snacks, and restaurants housed in buildings of traditional Qing architecture. The Confucius Temple is also there. You can meander through the streets or take a boat ride along the historic river. We enjoyed a delicious lunch at a traditional Nanjing-style restaurant. The duck soup dumplings were the best I have ever tasted!
We then made our way to the Zhonghua Gate, the main gate of the walled city. The gate consists of 4 walls that created inner chambers to protect the gate from invaders. It was quite impressive and it gave a nice view of the city.
After the gate, we ventured toward the Avant-Garde Bookstore, which is considered one of the Top 10 bookstores in the world according to CNN. There are several locations in Nanjing, but we visited the most famous one located in a former factory building. It is not the biggest store but it is known for a large black cross hanging from the ceiling at the ends of the store. The bookstore had a nice sitting area for readers and guest authors.
Our last night was again enjoying the sights and sounds of 1912 but the night ended much earlier than our previous time there! Our last day was spent enjoying the rich history of Nanjing, a former capital city of many Chinese dynasties. We toured the impressive Presidential Palace, which is historically tied to the efforts of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, and Chiang Kaishek. The different architecture in the palace reflects the changes in the history of the country.
Nanjing is a great city filled with culture and history yet with a current vibrant undertone. The different architecture represents the ancient traditional culture, the open views of the Nationalist Party, advanced technology, and current modern designs. It is clearly my favorite Chinese city to date.