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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NANJING MING CITY WALL and Xuanwu Lake


Many old cities in China had city walls but only a handful of them survived time due to both natural and man-made reasons. Even Beijing's city walls didn't get spared. Thanks to China's Communist Governments disregard for cultural heritage.

Nanjing on the other hand prides itself from still having its city walls intact. While many sections also got ruined, the walls are restored to its former glory.
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 Xuanwu Gate of Nanjing's Ming City Wall


We were supposed to go to Zhonghua Gate in the South otherwise known as Jubao gate where one of the original city gate still exist but we opted to go to the restored section in Xuanwu Gate because of two reasons.

1. It is very accessible via subway ( Xuanwumen Station).
2. Xuanwu Gate leads to Xuanwu Lake which is a very famous attractions in Nanjing.

This lake gives Nanjing and edge over Shanghai, and yes, even Beijing.
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There are three small islands on the lake. I am not sure if they are man-made or not but we strolled each of them as they are connected by small bridges. One can take the link from one side and exit on the other side.

We took our time and made sure we appreciated nature and the beautiful spring weather.

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An interesting place because from here you can see the two faces of Nanjing. Fronting the lake, the view is dominated by the water and the lush mountains in the background. Walk into the first island and you can feel lost in nature. Look back once the island you the can marvel at the sprawling skyline of Nanjing beyond the walls.

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The lake is quite huge that being on its bank feels like being next to the sea. It was a bit windy when we arrived to the force of the wind generated small waves towards the shoreline that reinforced the feeling of being next to the sea.

There are a few food stalls near the gate and boats that one can rent. Very Burnham Park Baguio feel.


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Nanjing is a big city but this lake gives it a space to breath and the citizens to enjoy a laid back atmosphere. Many people go here, pethaps 99% local, and enjoy a variety of activities. Many enjoy the stroll, many groups do exercises and a bunch of other things.
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What I love is the walkway on the edge of the largest island and the benches they put up on the lakeside. We sat in one of those benches for almost an hour looking at the city skyline until it was a bit dark and the building start to light up.
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It was not my plan to walk through all three islands an go around the other side but my wife persuaded me to do so. It was an experience to remember. We felt like locals and just enjoyed the lazy stroll. It was our first of two days in Nanjing and there were more attractions to see but we didn't bother staying here long.
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I didn't expect the walk to be a bit long. Quite tiring if I may say for somebody who has been touring Shanghai City and Nanjing by foot. As if kulang pa,lakaran? But we enjoyed it. Buti nalang perfect ang weather. It was breezy most of the time and the air was cool so I loved it. It was already dark when we got to the other side. We followed the wall until we reached Xuanwu Gate again.
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Xuxua Lake is one of the reasons why Nanjing is our favorite among the three cities we visited in China ---Shanghai, Nanjinh and Beijing. In my next few posts, I will show you more reasons how that is so. ^^


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2 comments:

  1. i wanna go there. you have a nice blog, btw.

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