18 Sep 2009: Departing Singapore

Left my home at 2.45 pm. The departure time of the flight (SQ818) is 1655h. It was rainy... but I didn't know how heavy it was until I stepped out of the house.

What was I doing the whole morning? Well, started the day working on a collaborative task with Jo (yes, still on-going... and it's going to be an 'overseas' collaboration - I guess you already know what I've packed in my haversack, which weighs about 3 kg). Sending one email after another, for a number of just-in-case. Also started making a couple of appointments. So, spent the entire morning and earlier part of the afternoon in front of that little screen. Yes, more importantly, got my luggage packed (in 2 hours) and called to process the Travel Insurance which I almost forgot... Thanks to all those past experiences! I'm seasoned :D

Travelling alone again... to China... am thinking, on the way to the airport, how different will this experience compared to the previous one (to Beijing). As mentioned in the tweet, the experience starts from the airline counter staff. Well, of course, SQ did not disappoint me :D

Next... started my shopping spree! OK, mum's fault, asking me to get the perfume & frangrances, and I ended up buying things worth almost my accommodation cost! and yes, first time having a carrier with me as I depart the country and start my exploration!

In fact, am accessing the free internet from Terminal 3. Hm... Pretty fast... Now it's 3.50 pm. Heading to the Boarding Gate now... Bye... and the next time I blog, I guess, I'm in Nanjing...


18 Sep 2009: In-flight

This time, put everything in the overhead cabin, including the camera... so, no photos taken for the in-flight meal. Ordered the non-carbo meal... really no carbo - no rice, no noodle, no bun! First time have agar agar... oh, it also comes with ice-cream as the desert! yummy...

Was thrilled to find a number of new movies available... caught a few
Laughed through the first two - pretty funny though the ending for both are quite predictable! Whereas, I was glad I didn't get the ticket to watch Da Vinci Code though I got the book because of the places when the story took place - Really, mystery is not my cup of tea... Yup, I stopped halfway and switch to something else (which I couldn't remember).

18 Sep 2009: Arriving at Nanjing

The plane landed at Nanjing Lukou International Airport at around 10 pm. Yes, it arrived early.

An announcement came, something like "Please remain seated as officials will board the plane to check the temperature of all passengers. The 'qualifying' (safe) temperature was 37.5 degree celsius. Wow! In my heart, I thought, it's so stringent and so, it's not just say say (as reported in the newspapers). So, sat down; while the local chinese already stood at the aisle. So kiasu! and the entire flight cabin filled with noise and could sense the impatience! Hey, why so impatient?

After a while, the line started moving. So, they are not coming up to the cabin to check the temperature? Huh? Hey, make announcement! Stood up, but the passenger in front blocked the way and attempted to remove the luggage from the overhead cabin. Then came the very first rude encounter since arrival - the impatient woman scolded, "Move!". That triggered my reply, "Can't you see that's someone blocking my way!" "No manners!" my heart scolded. Why so rude!? If you've wanted to be amongst the first to leave, by all means get a front seat if you were capable of!

That episode did not end here... the next was the luggage collection belt where the locals simply pushed their way through.... Hey, hey, hey... you mean, by pushing people aside, your luggage will come first? And the loud dialogues again! Hey, you mean whom you were talking to was half deaf or totally deaf? The whole world needs to hear what you say? Could find any demonstration of graciousness in the airport.

The area simply turned into a market place, from far, people calling, "老黄" here, "老黄" there. Yes, yes,... "老黄", you are the first person I "know" since I touched down! For sure, I was caught in moments of shock! You mean I've arrived at an International Airport??? or I was in a fish market?

OK.. despite of these episodes, the immigration clearance was a smooth one. Oh yes, something interesting at the back of the immigration card. So, there's a "new definition" to the word "alien"?

Leaving the Airport to the Hotel...

Saw my name, clearly printed on a sheet of A4 paper held up by a man in his late 20s. Yes! That's my airport transfer. Well, it' was a pleasant ride to the hotel, giving me sometime to recover from the shock. Well, the one-way ride cost me RMB300. Anyway, as long as I could reach the hotel safely, I don't mind paying a little more (that's my basic operating principle when overseas). The driver was chatty, sharing that the hotel is one of the finest in Nanjing, and surprising, it's owned by a Singaporean! (well, I forgot the name already). Anyway, he also mentioned that's where MM Lee stayed when he visited Nanjing. Wow! It can't be too bad, afterall (Thanks to Ching Ya's recommendation!).

Another good news! The Internet connection in the hotel is free!!! Wow! I love it! Couldn't wait to do the setting up - not too difficult (If I could do it, it's not a challenge to others! I'm sure.) However, to my horror, the login pages of Blogger and Facebook could not be accessed! Not even my blogs!!! (Basically, they blocked everything bearing the name "Blogger", I think). Also encountered problem with PICASA through managed to login... No Facebook either! (Luckily I'm no longer addicted to Farming, else will be so distress!!! hahaha) What a shame! The consolation was, I could access email and GChat... and diligently, I sent an email over to Singapore at around 1 am.

19 Sep 2009: Breakfast

A heavy breakfast before setting off for lots of walking for the day. A mixture of international and oriental breakfast. Ate quite alot... including a bowl of noodles, some buns and yes, a bowl of soya milk.

Notice the yellow noodles there? They called it "Singapore Style" noodle. Well, it's our usual dan-dan noodle (Chinese) fried with curry powder (Indian style). Hey, we can't find some hybrid in Singapore! Oh yes, also ordered a bowl of soup noodle, which is really just noodles in the soup. Added the mushroom and springonions to make it look better :D

19 Sep 2009: Roaming Around...

Have planned this day to be free-and-easy... recee the area around the hotel. Well, this is one of the popular areas in Nanjing, indeed. Right turn, KFC and Burger King greeted me!

Turn right further... walked into a street known as “老街”(Old Street) which was made up of a number of narrow alleys. The first one came across was the littered with pet shops! Birds, rats, and even squirrels in cages, little puppies got chained to poles, goldfishes in bags (see the ones lying on the walking path in the photo?). In the middle of the photo, see the man with the big parrot? Paused and ponder... should I talk a close-up shot of the parrot. Before I could think further, a rude voice's heard “不准拍照”(No phototaking allowed). Oh! Great Deal!!!??? You think this is the only parrot in the world? So precious? Then don't let it out in daylight! Simply can't take it... Why are these people so rude? You mean, the “礼仪廉耻" mentioned in the chinese literature and culture are all for-show? What a disappointment (to such behaviour)!!!

19 Sep 2009: Imperial Examination College 江南贡院

This is the first item in my itinerary - 江南贡院. Yes, this is where the "状元"s (i.e. the Number One Scholar (in the imperial examination) are "produced"! For years since the examination system was established, scholars from all over China set foot here to take the Imperial Exams, which led to appointments as magistrates and some even become the "驸马"s (an emperor's son-in-law; a consort prince).

Because of this, many historical figures that we came across in literature like 李白,唐寅, 王羲之 and 朱元璋 (just to name a few) were lived here (for long or short stays!). Interesting! Isn't it? Hey, I could be tracing some of their footsteps now!

李白: Famous Tang Poet... of course, the famous poem “静夜诗”,
唐寅:That is famous for the 唐伯虎与秋香's story
王羲之: Doesn't ring a bell? Well, I remember the passage read in Primary 2, about a young poor shepherd who learnt to draw lotus flowers in the pond... and subsequently become a great painter
朱元璋: The first Ming Emperor who rose from the commoners

View the photos to read more about what I saw in 江南贡院.

19 Sep 2009: Confucius Temple 夫子庙

Visited the Confucius Temple on the first day...

Confucius, the great philosopher and scholar! This temple was built in 1034 (during the Song Dynasty). However, it was destroyed and went through re-builing process several times since then.

Similar to other Confucius Temple else where, there are several key structures:
  • The first was the "Lingxing Door" "棂星门" (棂星,即灵星,又名天田星,古人认为它“主得士之庆”。古代祭天,先要祭祀灵星。孔庙设门名灵星,是说尊孔如同尊天), that marks the entrance to all Confucius temple.
  • The main building is made up of 2 parts - the temple in front, followed by the school behind 先庙后学宫.
  • Leading to the main hall, along the path are 8 statues, each representing Confucius students (the more well-know 8). Inside were 4 other famous ones.
  • In the main hall, 大成殿 (孔庙的主殿) were people pay respects to Confucius. There's also the altar that displays the items and musical instruments used in the rituals. The walls in the hall was also lined up with artpieces (made of precious stones) that tell the stories of Confucius - from his birth to his delivery of teachings, till his death.
  • The back of 大成殿leads to another hall, known as the 文德堂,which was a Study Hall converted into an area where we watch how the 'Confucian' instruments come to live!


19 Sep 2009: Exhibition 夫子庙民间文化展览

Just behind the Confucius Temple - a display of lanterns and artworks by the locals.

19 Sep 2009: Wuyixiang 乌衣巷

The place has an interesting name - a direct translation is "black/grey clothes alley". Why this name? 'cos it was formerly a place where the soldiers lived and their attires were in grey colour!!!

One famous landmark here is "王导谢安故居" - home to 2 famous people in history.
See a later post on these 2 people.

19 Sep 2009: LiXiangJun Home 李香君故居

Only came across this historical person while doing research of places to around the hotel... and then discovered that this area was actually the "Red Light District" in the old times, when brothels lined up along the Qinhuai River (秦淮河). Well, some famous names surfaced - 陈圆圆,马湘兰, 董小婉... who were amongst the 江南八大名妓!(8 famous prostitutes in Jiangnan)

Buying a ticket to enter the place was to "kill" curiosity - wow! an old brothel!? hahaha... how did it look like? Hm... pretty smaller, narrow walkways... and interesting, there were rooms for different purposes - bedroom, room to meet up with friends, room to sing songs and recite poems! From the entrance, it seemed to be a 2-storey building... but further exploration showed there's a basement - that led to a landing area for people to arrive by boat!

See the captions in the photos :D

19 Sep 2009: Nanjing Museum 南京博物院

Read about the Nanjing Museum in the internet. Looked grand and having lots of antiques to see. Indeed, was expecting something close to Beijing's Palace Museum's!

It's was around 2.30 pm in a Saturday afternoon. Hopped into a cab and thought it won't take long to arrive (according to the map). Indeed, it was not far and cost only RMB16 (approx. SGD3). Nevertheless, the traffic condition was terrible! The entire journey was accompanied by 'horns' (that reminded of Bangalore!). Was wondering why people were so impatient!? And where on earth these vehicles heading to? It's Saturday afternoon... It already past lunch time so long! Workers would have left the workplace long ago. Right?

At last, arrived where the Museum was... but it's the opposite! And the cab stopped!!! "What? You mean You wanted me to alight and cross THAT road?????" That was the biggest horror I faced! How could I cross such a busy road??? 2 way traffic with no road divider!!! There wasn't any traffic light!!! How to cross????? That was so terrifying!!! But the cab driver insisted, " Get out and cross the road... follow those people out there!". What else could I do? Get stuck in the middle of the road was not joke! At last, it took me more than 10 minutes brave through heavy traffic to cross the road... That's one of the most hairstanding encounter here! I felt as if it was longer than a day! At one point, even thought of backing up... but it won't work 'cos the return direction was opposite... Still have to cross and take a cab from the opposite road! Sigh...

After wiping my cold sweat... at last arrived at the Museum... Quiet... there wasn't any sign that said "Ticket booth". So entered... There's a security checkpoint set up. As I walked forward, that security guard raised the voice and uttered a string of words in a very unfriendly manner with his finger pointing at the entrance. Hey, what were you trying to say? You expect visitors to under your string of words that came out at bullet-shooting speed? Though I'm Chinese, I'm not a local... I couldn't make out what you were trying to say!

Back to the entrance, at last, I saw a booth that issued tickets - free tickets! Really don't understand why bother to ask visitors to collect a ticket and drop it at the security checkpoint while the entrance is free? I really couldn't understand! The saga continued when I was about to send my bag to go through the scanner. The guard impatiently signal me to walk through the security 'gate' and carry the bag with me! Wow! What an experience! One big question mark: What's the point of having that security checkpoint when it wasn't put to its rightful use? Or was it because I look Chinese and therefore, Chinese needed not go through the same SOP? Really puzzled over it.

It's not doubt, the collection was rich... and I saw one difference between the oriental and european 'wall art'. Read about it in the photos.

Shopping for postcard was always the last ritual in any museum visit. Same here. Bought a stack of postcard that cost me about RMB15 (I think). Handed over a RMB20 note and cashier rejected... why? It was because it's too giam-cai. So, they reject their own currency notes! Was it because it's a 'high class' place so only clean notes were accepted? Well, well... that's the impression I brought with me, at least... Ha! what a joke!

19 Sep 2009: Dinner at 晚晴楼

Heard much about the snacks before coming to Nanjing. Indeed, saw a number of stalls in the Fuzimiao area selling such snacks... However, looking at the way it's being served - the amount, as well as the packing (which expected one to eat on the spot or eat-as-you-walk), I decided to hop into one of the restaurants. Ok, I'm a comfort creature... especially when it comes to eating. Walk-and-eat is really not my style (and it could be pretty messy too!).

So, walked into 晚晴楼. one of those mentioned in the guide. A set meal that came with 16 dishes at RMB 128 (about SGD25). Indeed, couldn't even finish, so packed some of the desserts to hotel.

20 Sep 2009: ChaoTianGong 朝天宫

It's one of those places where the first Ming Emperor gathered his people and got them to pay respect to him. It's called 朝天宫 because emperors are considered 天子. So, it's the palace whereby commoners learnt the proper etiquettes to greet to him.

Indeed, it's now a museum where relics and antiques from the past were exhibited. Saw some of them (similar ones) in the Nanjing museum the day before. But I thought the trip to here (with a guide to explain the exhibit pieces) was a good one. Would not have enjoyed and learnt that much if I were to come the day before :D

20 Sep 2009: ZhongHuaMen 中华门

It's one of the most well preserved city wall that I saw so far... after visiting several countries, including a few in Europe. It's grand... It's huge!

It illustrated the intelligence of the great in terms of strategies they use and how they had catered to various uses and means of communication! Wow!

Of course, it's also where the Nanjing Massacre took place, sadly...

Though I read about the place and thought it was reachable by the Metro, unfortunately, it wasn't the case.

20 Sep 2009: MochuoHu 莫愁湖

There were 2 stories that arose from this place:
  • One of them is about the lady called 莫愁who jumped into the lake, in protest to the emperor who wanted to take her in as a concubine. Well, the story did not end there. Indeed, the emperor even got someone to write a poem to push the blame to her father-in-law!
  • Another story is about Ming Emperor (明太祖朱元璋) who actually gave the park to his general (开国元勋中山王徐达) as a prize of a chess game. From what's exhibited, it's pretty obvious that 徐达was extremely clever! He lost the game with the words "万岁"left on the chess board!
Can read more about the story here.

20 Sep 2009: ZhanYuan 瞻园

瞻园 is one of the 4 well-known parks in Jiangnan. 3 others are 无锡寄畅园、苏州拙政园留园. Once again, it's the home to 徐达. It's grand and obviously, fengshui was a big part to the design and the structures. It integrates "北斗七星阵" design into the way the passage ways looked like in the park. The heights and water, etc... wow! no wonder several of 徐达's generations prospered!

Sometime impressive at the entrance. The dragon diagram:
At the top of the picture - on the left of the pair of dragon eyes as a bat (蝙蝠) while on its right is a coin (钱). So, when put together, it's read as "福在眼前". So, the chinese were really very clever, right?Of course, there were more to it if we analyse the full diagram carefully.

We also watched a performance in a tea house. While the setting was like the Chinese Teahouse style, the performance was too modern... somehow, it lost that 'touch-and-feel'.

20 Sep 2009: Bailuzhou gongyuan 白鹭洲公园

The park's pretty big... but only part of it was opened. There's a stage with some decorations, so I presume there were some performances staged at night. Must be more colourful at night, I think.

In the park, we were taken around by a guide (free, and yes, he emphasized a few times that he was a volunteer who bring visitors around). The impression was, the other famous piece in this park is the monastry where Ming Emperor stayed for 3 years, and according to what's shared, these 3 years of immersion in Buddhism had changed the way he managed matters. So, naturally, the monastry was one of the highlights, which we spent most of the time there.

Well, it also happened that a few highly respectable monks were in the monastry conducting some rituals (puja) and he emphasized a few times that the visitors should not miss the opportunity to meet and be blessed by them. Well, well... a number of people indeed went ahead to meet up with them.

Good that I didn't come on my own. Not worth the amount of walking (all the way from the hotel) and the ticket fee.

20 Sep 2009: WangXie Guju 王谢故居


Learnt about these 2 famous people only while surfing the internet to find out what's available in the 夫子庙area.

20 Sep 2009: Dr Sun Yat-Sen's Mausoleum 中山陵

The mausoleum was designed by Lu Yanzhi, an outstanding Chinese architect who was concurrently the architect of tomb construction at that time. The plane of entire mausoleum ensemble looks like an alarm bell with a far-reaching significance. 700 meters long with a 70-meter difference in height, the path from the mausoleum gate to the tomb-chamber has 393 steps and 10 platforms.

Read more HERE.

21 Sep 2009: Jinjuesi Mosque 净觉寺

Chanced upon this mosque on my way to the metro station. Thought it's some kind of temple, but turned out to be a mosque. There so some visitors, and indeed I was quite tempted to enter further to explore what it was exactly... but I stopped.

Something unusal (to me) was seeing a few Chinese donned in the Muslim attire and spoke fluent Mandarin! Wow! Eye opener! ^.^ The entire encounter is so different from what we have back in Singapore.

21 Sep 2009: Nanjing Olympics Stadium (World Games) 南京奥运体育馆

It's the 1st place according to the MRT trail - at one of the terminal stations. The station was huge and there wasn't much people.

The exit of the stadium led to the Western Gate. Well, for a while, I wonder... Is the stadium open or close? Anyway, just follow the road and walk towards the stadium. Another structure emerged! It has a high-tech look - white, grey, red... wow! what a structure. So, that's the one mentioned in the website that I could view part of Nanjing from this tower.

It's dead quiet... There saw a security officer... The interaction was a pleasant one! I guess she might have encountered some visitors (like me) who just want to see what's the stadium is like. Very clear directions given to me to go reach the lift lobby where I met another security officer.

To my pleasant surprise, instead of just can't wait for me to pay the RMB10, she actually informed me that I might not have a clear view because of the rainy morning. Wow! Thankful to her 'forewarn' but I would not want to miss the chance to see see look look since I came all the way from Singapore (anyway, she didn't know I was a foreigner, I think).

The view was not very spectacular, partly because it was masked by the mist... However, it provides an overview of how the entire stadium looks like. It's grand! Really... and it added the millenimum look and feel. On the other hand, I also saw the new housing developments that are still taking place - just like housing estates. Guess it's one of those areas under residential development. On the other hand, it suddenly reminded me of the recent news that a couple of the buildings collapsed just before completion. That's scary!

Looking far... there's a river... Yes, accordingly to the map, it must be the Yangtze River (i.e. 长江 a.k.a. 扬子江). Thought of going to the park to view the river. Ok, I decided, I shall not...

21 Sep 2009: Xuanwuhu gongyuan 玄武湖公园

Another location that could be easily reached by the metro. From the map, it's the largest park/lake in Nanjing City - with 5 islands interlinked by bridges/roads. The 5 islands: 环洲,樱洲,菱洲,梁洲 and 翠洲.

Perhaps it's a Monday afternoon, or because of the morning rain? The park was pretty quiet. Got the ticket and paid for the ride. Well, was the only person on the tram, so I got a 'personal' guide cum driver (小刘)! She drove along and shared some highlights in the various islands in the park. For instance, it's where the archive library which stocked up resources dated back to Ming Dynasty, one of the islands belongs to a prince, etc.

What did I see? Perhaps I was not the kind knowing how to appreciate nature - what I gathered were: Greenaries and Water... Indeed, I think it's a place that could be given a miss.

22 Sep 2009: The Last Day...

I covered almost all the items on the intended list except the following:
  • Bridge Park 大桥公园
  • Memorial Hall to the Victims of "Nanjing Massacre" by Japanese Invaders侵华日军南京大屠杀遇难同胞纪念馆
  • Rainflower Terrace Cemetry of Martyrs雨花台烈士陵园
Indeed, I have some 2nd thoughts after the visits in the past 3 days... what will I see at those places? How else are they different from what's saw then?

One of the initial intent is to see 长江, where one of the early civilisations was. Wow! Must be so historical. However, apart from its breath and length, what else would I get from this developed area? Had a faraway view from the stadium. I think that's enough. Perhaps, there are more well-defined locations in other parts of China where I could see and feel the link between the life of river to the growth of the civilisation. I shall also not take the risk to take a cab there and not being able to catch any cab back.

As of the invasion of Japanses in Nanjing, the massacre actually took place at ZhonghuaMen 中华门. So, it's not necessary to visit the museum read the posters and photos. Agree that there could be much to see - for instance, some of those weapons or equipments that the Japanese used, the remains of some of those who sacrificed, etc... ok... enough... knowing myself well, I won't want to bring nightmares home! So, eliminated this place from the list.

The last one -
Rainflower Terrace Cemetry of Martyrs雨花台烈士陵园 - one of the last-minute places included in my itinerary - mainly because of history. However, after visiting the historical places, think I've an overdose! Moreover, from the metro trail I had the day before, think it's not so accessible, too...

So, there went these 3 places.

One other thing I wanted to do but didn't - the boat ride along the Qinhuai River 秦淮河. Partly because of the weather, there wasn't any ride in the morning or early afternoon - I made an attempt to ask! So, they needed at least 4 people before setting off. Think about it... in fact, I saw the night scenary, though on the walkways. Yes, it's beautiful because of the reflection of the neonlights on the river. Hm... let me made a comparison... so, it's close to that in River Seine? (Paris). Yes, except River Seine's was painted with golden brown - for both buildings and river water while Qinhuai River 秦淮河's more colourful. Fine... I could give it a miss since I walked up and down several times since arrival.

So, what else did I do for the rest of the day since the flight only depart at 11.55 pm?
It was a long day! The day began with a heavy breakfast...

What else I've not bought? or where else I've not visited? I wonder... not really... So, I ended up spending most of the time crafting and replying emails, chatting with peers back in Singapore!

Indeed, I was glad that the brought the computer with me! It really helped to kill boredom. The only thing I didn't anticipate was being unable to access Blogger and Picasa in Nanjing. I should have activated the posting-by-email feature. OK, I shall do that next time.

What I had for lunch? Burger King! Yes, a meal like this cost me less than RMB20. It's the 2nd time I had fast food here. Well, it served me well...

22 Sep 2009: Heading the Airport and the FINAL Nanjing Experience...

Checkout at 5.50 pm and hop into the cab at 6 pm. Things went on very smoothly. The cab driver was quite chatty... talking about the country's 60th birthday and how the people going to celebrate. Oh yes, I recall seeing the decorations at the various places - including the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum, and also the special edition metro tickets as well as the postcards! Wow! the locals are going to have 8 days of celebration (i.e. public holidays!). No wonder so many people were queuing up for train and ferry tickets!

Arrived at the airport at about 7 pm and the sky was dark already. It was a long ride, partly because of the heavy traffic in the city area. It was a pleasant one, afterall. It cost me RMB150. Anyway, it's still very much early! The airport was big but it didn't come with lots of choices, from a shopper's perspective.

Walked into a bookshop - there, I bought 2 books. Couldn't resist buying as it's what-you-see-is-what-you-pay, and it's in RMB! Well, my luggage could afford it - not only the space, but also the load.

There wasn't any option - in terms of food. One's upstairs, but the escalator was not in operation. Climbing up the steps with that luggage (and can't imagine having to manage it when coming down)? I dismissed the restaurant at level 2 and went into the cafeteria beside the bookshop, settled with RMB100 (78 for the buffet while 22 for a drink). For sure, the range and quality of food it offered didn't worth the amount it charged. I guess, what I needed more was actually the space which I could sit down and work with the computer.

By the time I finished crafting the old grandmother story, it was amost 9.30 pm. I guess, the checkin counter should be opened. In Nanjing airport, the checkin counters for the domestic flights were all 'outside' - just like any airports that we were; whereas for international flights, we had to walk through a gate to enter another section.

To my surprise, there was already a long queue... as I scanned - ha! there's this counter for Internet Checkin! Glad that I did the checkin the day before, including confirming my seat! Well, joined the shorter queue. Unfortunately, it didn't move as quickly as it should have! There was a long delay - guess there's problem with the checkin of this local. Anyway, the time took to process hers was almost twice of those in the general checkin counter! Well, well... So I learnt that going through internet checkin did not necessary imply shorter processing (hence waiting) time... and to be more specific, depending on which airport we were at! Count myself lucky (or it's expected), it took me less than 5 minutes to get everything cleared, with my check-in luggage weighed slightly over 18kg. (What a low record!).

More queues as I went through the immigration checkpoint, then the scan, etc. but everything's smooth. As I walked towards the gate, notice that all the shops were already closed!!! So early??? It's slightly past 10 pm! Fortunately, I'm not a compulsive shopper (haha!) else I'll be extremely disappointed! I guess it's not worth the manpower and effort to open so many shops for that one-and-only-one international flight at night??? Luckily I bought what's necessary before departing Changi Airport on 18 Sep! else I'll be home empty-handed!

The wait was long... Especially when a local tour group settled at the bench where I had comfortably parked myself. The noise level was something I really couldn't tolerate! It really reinforced the fact that many locals had no sensitivities towards personal space! They just raise their voice when talking, worse still, criticising!!! Some of the things that tour leader told the people in her group about Singapore:
  • There wasn't much to see in Singapore - very small.
  • (It happened that there were a few Muslim Chinese in the group) It's very hard to find muslim food in Singapore, so please bear with it. It will be totally different when we proceed to Malaysia.
  • Imported goods in Singapore's cheap! But you'll need to check out the brand.
  • In Singapore, if you want to buy fruits, it goes by kg. They couldn't do the mathematics when you want to buy other amounts.
  • and of course, there were more...
Then she continued to talk about Thailand which the group will spend 50% of the time there.

For goodness sake! If there's so much things you feel that Singapore could not offer, why come??? Take with some sensitivities in your head! The basic principle, when you visit a place is to discover and enjoy what the country could best offer. Stop painting such an unfair picture! This is poisoning and undesireable! Do the necessary homework and demonstrate the desireable professional etiquette!

It's just the same when I have to bear with the stunning behaviour and etiquette I encounter with you locals! So, is this the problem with the Chinese or it's just my luck that those I met or encounter belong to the same kind???

The entire experience did not end until the very just moment - the queues to the plane. At least, there's some order, when I saw 2 queues leading to the departure gate. To my horror, as the line began to move, the 2 lines became a large mass of people!!! 2 of the officials had a hard time to plea the crowd to queue and remain in an orderly manner. Some thoughts came immediately:
  • What a hell these people are rushing for? Don't you know that you are already allocated a seat? By pushing and rushing doesn't mean that you will get a better seat! For goodness sake, can't you behave in a more socially acceptable manner? The flight will wait for all to board before it departs!
  • Is this what's meant by moving towards a gracious society with gracious mannerism? I applaud the amount of effort the government had put in to promote social graciousness, but how successful it is? It's really measured by the kind of behaviour its people exhibit.
  • I also pity the officials who were trying hard to keep their cool. I guess, that's the standard that the SIA has set for its ground crew - being polite and patient. But I really take my hat off for those who served in this airport.
In fact, I came out from the queue (hm... I should say, the mass, as I described earlier). Yes, will let you people rush your way to your seats first... by all means... the plane could not take off until the last checkin passenger is on board!

Really, impression counts... Apart from the rich history and culture I learnt in the past few days, another thing that will not be forgotten is really - its People - how those I crossed paths had portrayed themselves as the people of the country.

23 Sep 2009: Home, at last...

It was a 5 hour flight. Hardly sleep... Caught 2 movies:
The saga at the boarding gate did not end there... on-going, could see the air stewardees busily moving up and down because of the various requests like having "cup-a-noodle" (oh yes, the fragrance!), requests of beer, etc... I simply found it funny...

The plane touched down 5 minutes to 5 am... the arrival hall was quiet... yes, I was ahead the rest... I just want to quickly collect my luggage and zoom back...

My FootPrints...

View 2009 September Nanjing Trip in a larger map




  • "一绝"为魁光阁的五香茶叶蛋、五香豆、雨花茶
  • "二绝"为永和园的开洋干丝、蟹壳黄烧饼
  • "三绝"为奇芳阁的麻油干丝、鸭油酥烧饼
  • "四绝"为六凤居的豆腐涝、葱油饼
  • "五绝"为奇芳阁的什锦菜包、鸡丝面
  • "六绝"为蒋有记的牛肉汤、牛肉锅
  • "七绝"为瞻园面馆的薄皮包饺、红汤爆鱼面
  • "八绝"为莲湖甜食店的桂花夹心小元宵、五色糕团。






Source: 多媒体教室


  • 约20万年前 和县人生活在江浦县一带。
  • 约11000年前 溧水人开始进入氏族公社的生活。
  • 约5000年前 北阴阳营原始居民进入母系氏族公社。
  • 约4000年前 晚期北阴阳营氏族进入父系氏族公社。
  • 约公元前21世纪 夏朝建立,南京属扬州管辖。
  • 约公元前16世纪 商朝建立。
  • 约公元前11世纪 西周建立,南京属吴国。
  • 公元前570年 衡山之战。
  • 公元前541年 吴国在今高淳县境内筑固城。
  • 公元前495年 吴王夫差在冶城山设立冶炼作坊,铸造兵器。
  • 公元前472年 范蠡在今中华门外长干桥西南筑“越城”。
  • 公元前333年 楚威王灭越,在石头山建“金陵邑”。这是南京名“金陵”的开始。
  • 公元前210年 秦始皇东巡,经过丹阳(今江宁县的小丹阳),改金陵邑为秣陵县。
  • 211年 孙权将政治中心从京口迁来秣陵,并改秣陵为建业。
  • 212年 孙权在石头山筑石头城,并置烽火台,作为水军基地。
  • 229年 孙权在武昌称帝,国号吴。不久迁都建业。为封建王朝在南京建都之始。
  • 230年 孙权派卫温,诸葛直带领万人船队到达夷洲(今台湾)。
  • 265年 东吴后主孙皓迁都武昌。次年又还都建业。
  • 280年 晋军攻占石头城,孙皓投降,吴国灭亡。
  • 282年 西晋设秣陵和建邺两县。
  • 313年 因晋愍帝名司马邺,改建邺为建康。
  • 317年 司马睿建立东晋政权。
  • 327年 历阳镇将苏峻叛乱,经三年东晋才平定。
  • 330年 东晋重建建康宫,修苑城。
  • 420年 刘裕称帝,改国号为“宋”。东晋灭亡。
  • 446年 筑北堤,立“玄武湖”,这是玄武湖名称第一次出现。
  • 527年 同泰寺建成,建康佛寺达700余座。
  • 549年 寿阳镇将侯景发动叛乱,攻陷建康,城池遭到严重破坏。
  • 578年 陈宜帝阅兵于玄武湖。
  • 589年 隋军攻占建康,陈后主被俘。隋文帝下令全毁建康城。
  • 726年 唐代大诗人李白首次游金陵。
  • 937年 李昪建立南唐。
  • 943年 李昪死,葬于南郊祖堂山。
  • 975年 宋兵攻入江宁府,后主李煜投降,南唐亡。
  • 1034年 北宋健文宣王庙(今夫于庙)。
  • 1076年 王安石任江宁府知府,开始实行新政,泄玄武湖水,填湖为田,分给贫民耕种。
  • 1129年 金兵渡江,镇守建康的大臣杜充弃城逃走,通判杨邦义坚贞不屈,被金兵剖心。
  • 1130年 岳飞与金兵大战牛头山。
  • 1275年 元兵攻占雨花台,入建康城。改建康府为建康路。
  • 1279年 建康设东,西织染局。
  • 1366年 朱元璋攻筑应天府城。
  • 1376年 开始营建“明孝陵”。
  • 1385年 建成鸡笼山观象台。
  • 1402年 燕王朱棣率兵入城,自立为帝,即明成祖。
  • 1405年 郑和首次下“西洋”。
  • 1408年 浡泥国王麻邦惹加邦来南京访问。我国古代最大的一部百科全书——《永乐大典在南京编成。
  • 1421年 明成祖迁都北京,改京师为“南京”。
  • 1431年 报恩寺琉璃宝塔建成。
  • 1627年 胡正言编印的《十竹斋画谱》刊行。
  • 1645年 清兵入南京,福王朱由崧被俘,改南京为“江南省”,应天府为“江宁府”。
  • 1688年 孔尚任来南京写《桃花扇》。
  • 1727年 江宁织造曹頫(曹雪芹之父),被革职抄家。
  • 1736-1750年 吴敬梓寓居秦淮河畔写成《儒林外史》。
  • 1842年8月 在南京下关江面英舰“康华丽”号上签订《中英南京条约》。
  • 1853年 太平天国定都天京,颁布《天朝田亩制度》。
  • 1856年 天京事变。
  • 1859年 洪仁玕到天京,被封为干王,总理天国朝政。
  • 1864年 清军围攻天京,先后攻陷天堡城和地堡城,六月初六日破城占领天京。
  • 1865年 李鸿章创建金陵机器局。
  • 1881年 南洋官电局创办。
  • 1886年 马林诊所开设,南京始有西医院。
  • 1894年 兴建南京第一条马路(从下关码头到通济门)。
  • 1896年 金陵机器局工人罢工。 清政府创办南京第一所新式学校——江南水师学堂。
  • 1896-1898年 谭嗣同在南京著《仁学》,推动维新。
  • 1897年 南京邮局设立。
  • 1898-1902年 鲁迅在南京就读。 南京第一所高等学校——江南高等学堂设立。
  • 1900年 南京创办磁石式电话通讯。
  • 1911年11月 徐绍祯发动秣陵关起义。
  • 1911年12月 江浙联军攻克南京。
  • 1912年1月 中华民国成立。
  • 1913年7月 “二次革命”中,黄兴在南京独立讨袁。
  • 1919年5月 南京大、中学生6000余人在小营操场召开国耻纪念会,会后示威游行、请愿。南京万余人举行国民请愿大会。下关码头工人拒卸日货。
  • 1919年6月 全市工人,商人和学生举行“三罢”斗争。
  • 1922年秋 中国共产党浦口小组成立。次年,又成立南京党小组。
  • 1923年2月 浦镇,浦口铁路工人举行罢工,声援京汉铁路总工会“二七”罢工。
  • 1925年3月 孙中山在北京逝世,南京各界举行悼念活动。
  • 1925年8月 南京各界人士声援上海人民的“五卅”反帝爱国运动。
  • 1927年3月 国民革命军攻克南京。
  • 1927年4月 蒋介石制造“四·一○”反革命事件。蒋介石在南京成立国民政府。
  • 1929年6月 孙中山灵柩安葬于中山陵。
  • 1931年12月 国民党军警镇压各地来南京的要求抗日的爱国学生,制造震惊中外的“珍珠桥血案”。
  • 1935年12月 南京学生积极响应北平学生的“一二·九”运动,形成抗日救亡运动的新高潮。
  • 1937年8月 中共全权代表周恩来,朱德,叶剑英等到南京,与国民政府商讨合作抗日。路军驻京办事处建立。
  • 1937年11月 国民政府从南京迁重庆。
  • 1937年12月 日军侵占南京,制造了惨绝人寰的南京大屠杀事件。
  • 1938年5月 新四军东进,在江宁,溧水,高淳等地建立抗日民主政权。次年又进入六合、江浦两县。
  • 1940年3月 汉奸汪精卫在南京成立伪国民政府。
  • 1945年8月 日本宣布投降。
  • 1945年9月 “中国战区日本投降签字典礼”在南京举行。
  • 1946年5月 以周恩来为首的中共代表团到南京,进驻梅园新村。
  • 1946年6月 “下关惨察”发生。
  • 1946年11月 伪国民大会制订伪宪法。
  • 1947年1月 南京大专以上学校学生两次游行,抗议美军暴行。
  • 1947年3月 日本战犯谷寿夫等在南京伏法。
  • 1947年5月 “五·二○”运动暴发。
  • 1948年 蒋介石在南京任“总统”,李宗仁任“副总统”。
  • l949年4月 发生“四一”惨案。
  • l949年4月 人民解放军占领南京。南京作为中华民国首都的历史宣告结束。中国人民解放军南京市军事管制委员会成立。
  • l949年5月10日 南京市人民政府成立。刘伯承任市长。
  • l949年10月1日 中华人民共和国成立,南京为中央人民政府直辖市。
  • 1951年1月 市郊开展土地改革运动。
  • 1951年4月 全市开展镇压反革命运动。
  • 1951年12月 “三反”运动全面展开。
  • 1952年1月 开展“五反”运动。
  • 1952年9月 江苏建省,南京为省会。
  • 1956年1月 社会主义改造基本完成。
  • 1957年 在1952年工农业生产恢复的墓础上,南京社会经济在1953至1957年第一个五年划建设期间稳步发展,人民生活得到改善。
  • 1966年-1976年 “文化大革命”。
  • 1978年 中共十一届三中全会后,南京社会主义建设事业出现了前所未有的蓬勃发展的局面,并取得了巨大成就。

Source: 多媒体教室