As summer s heat begins to turn to pleasant autumn weather, what better way to enjoy the cooler temperatures and clearer skies than to spend some time outdoors? For those looking for a weekend excursion, a trip to
The new express G train shortens the trip between
The city may be best known for its historical past as one of China s ancient capitals, but
Most visitors start their outdoor excursions at
The lakeside tree-lined sidewalks are great for a bike ride or a casual stroll. Paddleboats are available to rent for those who want an active row around the lake, while the nearby amusement park and zoo offer alternative entertainment.
Another attraction is the
Along one part of the city wall is the
The temple was last rebuilt in the 1980s, but its calm, serene atmosphere and its location by the scenic lake, with Nanjing s soaring downtown as a backdrop, makes it a special place.
Even after the temple closes at night, visitors linger for the other highlight of the area - the famous snack street. This diner s paradise offers a cornucopia of Chinese cuisines including many local delicacies such as pineapple cakes, the Chinese hamburger called roujiamou, meat skewers and duck blood soup, a
After gorging on snacks, walking around the area s extensive shops is an ideal way to ease a full stomach and lose some of those extra yuan weighing down your pockets. From T-shirts to tea to trinkets, these shops offer an array of interesting souvenirs to take home and it s a good opportunity to hone bargaining skills.
The tense traveler may opt for a visit to the Tangshan Hot Spring Resort far outside the city wall. This retreat is a 40-minute drive from downtown
It has warm pools filled with varied spa treatments, green landscapes and hillside views. Guests are treated like the ancient imperials that once enjoyed these same
Some of the pools reportedly have medical benefits.
The tea-infused pools moisturize and hydrate your skin as you soak in what seems like a mug of steeping tea.
Fragrant flower-infused pools calm the nerves while a soak in the mud bath rejuvenates body and skin.
But for the truly exotic, try an unusual exfoliation in the fish pool, where tiny fish nibble off dead skin on feet, legs, stomach and even underarms. An hour in the fish pool and your skin will feel totally renewed.
The spa stays open until 1 am daily and guests can indulge in complimentary fruit, cookies and drinks.
For both veteran expatriates and new arrivals to
If you go
Trains: G trains depart for Nanjing from the Shanghai Railway Station and Shanghai Hongqiao Station almost every hour starting at 6 am with the last one leaving at 9 pm. Travel times vary for each train. Economy tickets cost 146 yuan. From Beijing, the D train, takes about eight hours, with three trains leaving in the morning at 7:45 am, 9:50 am, and 11 am and two at night both leaving at 9:45 pm.
Flights: Daily flights from