Nanchang, China: Pavilions, City Chaos & Alleys…

Being within China's vast Mainland has given me the opportunity to visit many Chinese cities that aren't well known to the tourist masses. Yes, I'm feeling thankful! Embracing Nanchang, Jiangxi was a no-brainer, located within easy reach from Wuhan, I made my two year anniversary in China count! Just for the weekend, Nanchang's Jiangxi  showed me everything!

Reserving my DiDi taxi before work on Friday 16th June 2017, I was very much prepared to catch my Nanchang train from Wuchang. Upon leaving Wuhan that evening there were no stress as I made my way to China's Jiangxi Province. Sure, I was getting used to things, life in Wuhan felt normal to me. Keeping costs down, I stayed in a Hanting Hotel, a Chinese budget hotel that possessed a prime Nanchang location. Seizing the next morning, Tengwang Pavilion was on my radar without a doubt! Resembling Wuhan's Yellow Crane Tower, I didn't mind that similarity whatsoever because it wasn't mad like that Wuhan attraction usually is. Dating back to 653 AD for Prince Teng, otherwise known as Li Yuan Ying who was affiliated with Emperor Tai Zong of the Tang Dynasty. Reconstructed too many times to say, I was over those periods of beautification, sitting on the banks of the vast Gan River I simply enjoyed the view and that change of scenery. For six pounds, I saw an impressive sight within a lesser known Chinese city. 

Taking some time at the Pavilion of Prince Teng, I decided against climbing the stairs to see the view, the riverside from ground level appealed more to me at that time. The everlasting Gan River spanned for what looked like forever, that Nanchang skyline had a long way to go, only a handful of shiny glass and steel towers lined the waters of that Jiangxi waterway. Leaving the pavilion behind me, I made my way for the bus to my next Nanchang find. Not being a famous city, I really had to do some thorough research! Catching one of the many buses, I had earmarked that I would end up close to Qingshan Lake. Feeling peckish I found a standard looking restaurant that looked really busy during that lunch time hour, enjoying my chicken, rice and a bottle of Nanchang beer, it was all good from where I was! Qingshan Lake gave me everything that I had wanted, set within a park that I had found, telling the truth I forget what calm feels like. From an intriguing pavilion to a peaceful lake, I was living for Nanchang, China!

Ba Yi Square, the symbol of Nanchang stood out to me during my research period regarding that Jiangxi City. I had dragged my heels, I had waited quite some time before booking that trip, I was intrigued to see that square. After making my way back down from Qingshan Lake to Ba Yi Square, I grew closer to the Monument of August 1st. If truth be told, I couldn't get over the amount of scaffolding that surrounded the vast square that was boxed in by a manically congested intersection that had motorbikes, cars and every other vehicle imaginable crisscrossing each other in every direction. No pre warning was issued that Nanchang's provincial square was undergoing a mammoth makeover, I wasn't happy about missing out on the square and to see the red flagged monument up-close. Fearing not, I did my best to turn the beat around! After half circling the right side of Ba Yi Square, I settled for my strained view, getting the right angle for my photo was the one! Within the thick of it, I genuinely felt content!

Walking back to Ru Zi Road, I crossed a manic road that provided the perfect scene of the monument from a favourable distance. Even though the construction altered my view and plan, I still got what I wanted in the end. Did I not elaborate on my time spent beside Qingshan Lake? I must have been in some sort of hurry? Before I reached the calamity of Ba Yi Square, the tranquil energy of the lakeside views that I was being served really gave me life. Poyang Lake was the original plan but I only had a short amount of time in Nanchang, it may not have been a view to write home about but it gave me a sense of chill, I was in need of that different view because life in Wuhan can get chaotic because she's a city never stop moving! I know the combination of calm and crazy was appreciated during that Nanchang weekend! The future projects of the new Ba Yi Square and monument looked to be very spacious and open plan, almost with an air of European splendour. Nanchang's people will be the judge of that project upon its completion. 

I was satisfied by the three sights that I had seen during that packed Saturday in Nanchang. I was half deciding to walk back to my hotel for a rest before grabbing some food, but I stumbled across an area that oozed 'Urban Decay' Realness! At first, I wasn't going to take any photos because it seemed like a normal residential community and people can get annoyed by a foreigners snapping photos. Taking a few photos, I made my way through the tight alleyways, people didn't mind that I was taking photos because they looked quite curious. Content with my snaps I made my way towards Xiao Tao Hua Alley to get back to my hotel, a friendly looking middle aged Chinese man tapped me on the shoulder and asked me why I was so interested in an old looking neighbourhood? I explained that I would always pay extra attention to China's older structures. He wanted to show me a part of that city community that dated back to the past Dynasties! So, would they be either Ming or Qing Dynasty? Regardless, I had been schooled! N!

Walking down that alley felt very strange because it was home to normal people, I almost felt like I was trespassing but the friendly man assured me that it was not a problem. He went onto tell me that the buildings were from Qing Dynasty dated back some 150 years ago. He then told me that their days were numbered as the whole area was supposedly set for demolition! Peering into a courtyard, yes it was someone's home, sure it looked amazing to see such a normal setting. It was sobering to see that people in this modern time still lived in buildings that held a lot history! Catching some time back at my hotel to publish my Enshi blog, I then decided it was time to head out for some food. I turned my back on any western chain restaurants in-favour of some noodles from a local looking cafe. The vibe of Nanchang's Ru Zi Road area gave me life with those lights, smells and bustling brickwork style. Picking some savoury bites after my noodles, I found a random freezer shop that sold every type of ice cream! Sure, it was amazing!

Trust The Underdog!

Joseph Harrison 


  1. I'm glad you took those pictures anyway😅 The one you have posted is beautiful😍💕 I also love interesting urban-scapes like that.

    1. Definitely! I was pretty new to the Chinese only apps where its impossible to find English, it was a chance well took. Nanchang had many secrets, well worth my weekender visit.

      Thanks for your comment!



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