Nanjing Travel Blog

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We took the fast train to Nanjing in the morning and arrived 2 hours later. The first thing that notices you when you arrive another city outside shanghai, is actually how bad the air is in Shanghai. Nanjing is a big city also, but coming here seems like going to the mountains smelling fresh air. So living in the centre of Shanghai is probably not something I wanna do in the future.

The reason I want to visit Nanjing is mainly because of what happened here during some 6 weeks in 1937/38.  The Japanese invaded Shanghai first, and then Nanjing. After the invasion, they killed some 300.000 Chinese in a few weeks, making it one of the darkest chapters in modern history.

And the way they killed all those people is beyond my imagination. The research on bacterial warfare, experimenting on farmers on the Chinese countryside, is something so horrible you won’t even believe it. I thought both Hitler and Dr. Mengele were some pretty bad guys, but this is dark part of Japanese history is just awaful.

We didn’t learn much about this in school (or maybe I was sleeping...) and learning about this now is really interesting. It happened before WW2, and still the Japanese has not admitted that this actually happened, nor apologized. So no wonder why so many Chinese hate Japanese people.

So we went to the museum first, and used 2-3 hours there. There’s a lot of both photos and videos of what happened in Nanjing, and walking in the modern city later makes you really think a lot. Seeing the old city wall today, and remembering some of the pictures from the same place actually makes you feel that you can imagine some of the horror taking place.

But horror and killings aside, after the museum we went to a hill with a great temple on the top. Amazing how the Chinese can build big things. The big lake in Nanjing is man made during the Ming Dynasty and it’s fascinating to think that someone actually can build a lake like this by hand.

In the evening we went to visit the city and have some food. No less than 80 (!) dishes were on our table before we started eating. I think we finished 76 of them before capitulating. We also went on a river trip, and the river was up lit by lots of lights. Really a great experience!

So if you want to see something different than Shanghai – try Nanjing. It’s highly recommendable if you are interested in history.

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photo by: aleksflower