Nanjing Lukou International Airport, built in 1995, is located in Lukou Town, the Jiangning District of Nanjing, China. It serves the city of Nanjing (meaning Southern Capital in Chinese), and is the capital of the Jiangsu province in Eastern China. The airport offers both domestic and regional flights, connecting to cities in the Asia Pacific such as Bangkok, Seoul, Singapore and Sydney, to name a few. As of July 2014 Nanjing International consists of only one terminal, but an expansion project involving a second terminal is currently underway.
To get from Nanjing airport to the city of Nanjing, passengers can choose to take a bus or taxi. The express buses connect the airport to downtown Nanjing and arrive half-hour intervals, with fares at about 20-25 yuan for the hour-long ride. Alternately, one can grab a taxi straight from the airport that will get them to the city in half the time the bus takes, but at around 100 yuan or so.
Once you’re in Nanjing itself, getting around is a breeze. With a clean, efficient and extensive public transport system, you can get anywhere in the city with public transport. Nanjing boasts a cheap and safe metro system with 2 train lines that cover a wide area of the city, and with services that run every 6-8 minutes there’s no need to worry about long waits. Alternately you can take a bus to areas that are inaccessible by metro – it is also a good way to see more of the city, as well as mingling with the ordinary working-class citizens of the city.
If you’d be in Nanjing for a while, do buy a Jinlingtong card from any metro station – it can be used on almost all public transport systems and even some on some taxis, making your journey a lot more hassle-free as you won’t have to worry about buying a ticket.
What to see and do
The city of Nanjing has been central to many events that are of great historical significance to China, was the capital of many dynasties, and is today home to many historical sites – some of which are classified as UNESCO World Heritage sites. One of such sites is the Ming tombs, which contains the remains of Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty. Enter this huge mausoleum to pay your respects to the ancient emperor – but first, you must get through the 600m-long ‘spirit path’, guarded by imposing stone statues of elephants, camels, lions and other mythical animals that supposedly drive evil spirits away. There are also multitudes of naturally-formed stalactites and stalagmites on the walls of the structure for your viewing pleasure.
After you emerge from the ancient tomb vault, some fresh air and greenery will no doubt be welcome. Fret not; just nearby, the Linnggu Temple scenic area awaits. One of the most serene and quiet spots in the city, the scenic area consists of a multitude of historic buildings set up in front of a beautiful mountainous backdrop. Historic buildings include the Linggu Temple, once declared the ‘number one Buddhist temple under heaven’, the eccentric Beamless Hall that was built in 1381, astonishingly spots no beam supports and also acts as a memorial for war deaths, as well as the beautifully-named Pine Wind Pavilion, dedicated to the goddess Guanyin.
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