Nanjing (meaning southern capital) is one
of the six ancient capitals of China, situated at the
south bank of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.
Today, Nanjing is the capital of Jiangsu province and
covers an area of 860 square kilometers with a population
of more than 5 million.
Various dynasties have made Nanjing their base. The
most famous of these periods is when Nanjing was the
capital of China; during the Ming Dynasty between 1368
and 1644 and the establishment of the People's Republic
of China in the early 20th Century. Many of the city's
historical sites are date back to these periods and
Sun Yatsen's Mausoleum and the Ming Tombs are examples
of the wealth of culture existing in this ancient city.
Today, the city is renowned for being an
educational and cultural center, with a large student
(foreign and native Chinese) population. Nanjing is
a pretty place, with tree- lined streets, hills and
lakes, making the intense heat of east China's summers
more bearable. The pace of life here is slower than
many other Chinese cities and Nanjing seems quite conservative
in comparison to the brash modernity of neighboring
Shanghai. Indeed the local's mantra "man zou"
(go slow) is a reflection of the cautious and reserved
attitude of many of the city's residents.
Like many Chinese cities however, the charm
of this place is being threatened. The developers have
moved in and the old streets and classical buildings
are being torn apart to make way for expressways and
For the time being, Nanjing remains a charming
city to spend a few days in, absorbing some history
and relaxing in the laid back atmosphere before it disappears