By syw on Nov 12, 2007
The Confucius Temple (夫子庙) area reminds me of ShangHai's City God's Temple (城隍庙). It stands, non-participatorily aloof amidst the touristic crowd, on the banks of QinHuai river (秦淮河): the entertainment center of the capital for hundreds of years. This area is known for great foods, hedonistic music and dances, drunken social elites, and, of course, beauties who sank rich into rags. Confucius would hardly approve.
The long queues at the stinky tofu (臭豆腐) stand got me curious. I have always been a big fan of stinky tofu and naturally cannot resist. Well, they are not that, eh, aromatic. But fried to perfection: crispy on the outside, tender and piping hot inside. I had two orders.
Every corners has a big sign saying they have the best duck blood rice noodle soup (鸭血粉丝汤). I hestitated and eventually dared one. I can see it as a comfort food for local, but not something for tourists to remember the trip for.
ZhongShan area (钟山风景区) is a must-go. Ming Xiao Ling (明孝陵) buries the founding emperor of Ming dynasty, the last dynasty by Han people. Zhong Shan Ling (中山陵) is the tomb of Dr. SUN Yet-Sat: the one who ended China's monarchy. There is also LingGu Temple (灵谷寺) that has a very interesting, and rare, brick building. In additonal to historical signficance, these are among the finest monumentary archtectural designs. I found Parasol trees (梧桐) romantically autumn; acres of Osmanthus (桂花) gave a pleasant sweet aroma — a surprise.
NanJing feels calmer than Beijing that has been caught in the renovation and modernization frenzy. People here seem to long for the ShangHai-style glory and growth. I found them lovely and friendly, foods very agreeable, and rivers attractively charming. The city's history also gives it the cultural depth.