of the most charming aspects of Nanjing is the laid back atmosphere in
the city. This relaxed feeling can be best appreciated in the area
popularly known as Fuzi Miao or the Qinhuai River
The Qinhuai river is actually a tributary
of the Yangzi river and passes through Nanjing in the area surrounding
Temple. Since ancient times, this has been a place where merchants
gathered and culture and arts thrived. In 1985, the authorities
decided to "renovate" and, although this may have ruined
some of the authenticity of the district, it is still a very popular
and pleasant area to walk, eat, drink and shop! Today, the atmosphere
here is vibrant and fun.
It is a traditionally intellectual
district, home to many learned scholars and Confucian educationalists.
Jiangsu traditional opera is performed in the courtyard in front of
the temple during festivals and the streets here are filled with
vendors and hawkers.
This is also a popular place to take a
boat trip down the river. There are some pleasant journeys available
on the "Qibanzi" boat, a kind of small boat with a roomy
cabin and cane chairs on the deck. There are also various paddle boats
available for hire which are cheaper than the "Qibanzi", but
don't travel very far or fast due to their miniature size and the fact
they require man power (or rather leg power) to steer them!! There are
many tourist shops and stalls around these parts and it is worth
bargaining before you buy.
There are various places of historical
interest dotted about including the Confucius
Temple , Egret Isle (the Chinese quarter in the
17th Century) and the Taiping History Museum.
The nicest time of day in Fuzi Miao is
evening. When the sun sets over the river, the streets fill up with
stalls for the night market and the restaurants and
tea houses burst with people and noise.