Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[travel] Nanchang day 8

Today we had our lightest day yet on this trip. In the morning, we flew to Nanchang from Chengdu. As it happened, that consumed most of the day. We had a latish start from the hotel in Chengdu. The Sichuan Airlines flight was delayed leaving Chengdu. We finally arrived in Nanchang about 2:30, and were met by our local guide before being driven into town to our hotel, the Gloria Plaza.

Us catching the plane.

Our hotel.

The view from the twelfth floor elevator lobby.

Once we were settled in, we walked to the Tengwan Pavilion. This site is 1,300 years old, though the structure has been rebuilt many times due to fire, warfare and periods of neglect. It is currently in Song Dynasty style, and has always been a place of entertainment, as opposed to having religious or political significance. It's a pretty, six story building overlooking the Gan River, with good views of the surrounding portion of the city.

The Tengwan Pavilion.

Flowers on the pavilion grounds.

Me, ringing the bell. I paid 10 kwai for four strikes.

Afterwards Mom shopped for the porcelain for which the region is famous. We then had a mediocre Western style dinner in the hotel restaurant. Afterwards I went for a walk, as this was our first day in China without substantial exercise. No one else joined me, so I strolled solo through the dark on a busy street which was very Chinese. It was breezy and cool (also for the first time here). I happened upon a pedestrian mall, which I followed for the better part of a mile before turning back.

Talk about the New China. Western style shops, with mostly Western style goods, but completely aimed at the local market. Not high end stuff, either — no Armani here, or even Ralph Lauren. Rather, China brands for China consumers. Young people everywhere, lots of pets (which is a recent development), incomprehensible music blaring, people barking their deals from shop doors (which is classically Chinese), food stalls, the whole business. If it had been more crowded and raining, I would have felt like I was on the set of Bladerunner. Quite a cultural experience. I drank it in, took a few iPhone shots, then took myself home for an early evening.

The pedestrian mall.

Old China peeking through, a classic tattoo parlor off the pedestrian mall.

Alleyside restaurants just off the mall. Note the guy cooking skewered meat on the back of his bicycle.

Tomorrow morning we're off to Nanfeng, the_child's home city, to visit her orphanage. We're bringing a substantial load of school supplies donated by the_child's class. This will be a very emotional day, and it is the core of our journey to China.

Originally published at jlake.com.

Tags: child, china, personal, photos, travel

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