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When in the ancient capital of Nanjing, come and see its City Wall!

Written by Daniel Otero

Xuanwus idyllic park


By: Daniel Otero



With a space in circumference of 15 kilometers, Xuanwu Lake is one in touch with nature walks, runs, going into the Isle to view its man made stone gardens and greenery.  The artificial mixes in just nicely with the natural.


Life is beating constantly around the Lake and Nanjing Wall, considered by most a bird sanctuary.  A scenic panorama of romantic-long walks and boat rides.


For 30 RMB, 15 if you’re a child, tourists as well as locals can climb the old stone steps to the top of the Wall.  If there’s enough stamina to walk the 15K, then wow, that’s almost one-third of a marathon!


The entrance to Xuanwu Lake is just gorgeous and colorfully sexy at its top, with gracious Chinese architecture.


Only 200 meters from the Xuanwu Station metro line 1.


The Lake itself has shown special historical significance since the days of the Song Dynasty; where the Navy rehearsed and trained for battle.  After the construction of the Nanjing Wall, it remained a constant protection for the city and the longest uninterrupted city wall till the 17th Century.


The Wall and Lake in conjunction is a magnate for those who enjoy revisiting the past. While Xuanwu overlooks the Zifeng Tower (13th tallest building in the world) and further into the distance, there’s the Jiming Temple.


A must see and do when visiting or stationed in Nanjing.


Xuanwu is a great walkabout around the Lake and Isle, certainly.  And honestly, whether it’s to see it one time or the one-hundredth, it’s well worth the experience.


The negatives about Xuanwu Lake are the following: around the Lake it’s just too expensive and over-commercialized.


Sadly, it holds more kiosk promoting McDonalds than Chinese food.  If it’s not only the promotion of burgers, then but, there are hot dogs.  Excluding Chinese culture almost entirely from the mix!  It has turned more into a U.S. theme park, where the overpriced tickets are for the boat rides.  This has turned into a ‘Disney’ show and not a lesson in culture or for that matter, Chinese history.


Suggestions, whether it’s the first time visiting or the last; to be here in China is to learn more about Chinese history/culture and admire the beautiful views.  Therefore, the best way on spending money is climbing Nanjing’s historic and most beautiful wall, and walk the distance to contemplate on the gorgeous buildings, pagodas and temples far off into the distance.


Then it will be a true taste of China.

About the author

Daniel Otero

A New Yorker who has been living in China for the past 10 years. He's a freelance writer/journalist and ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher.

A former member of the military with extensive travel to 50 countries and has lived in six.

Lover of life, good food, travel, writing and dealing with social issues.