First Impressions

The long anticipated one-week holiday break, China’s National Day (PRC), provided me with the opportunity to meet up and travel with my Nanjing church friend, 徐天成 (John Xu), he was kind enough to invite me to visit his home city at 都昌, but beforehand, we traveled to neighbouring cities along the way. As I got out of the Nanchang airport, it was great to see a familiar face in the masses of black heads. The weather was perfect, sunny  with clear skies, yet the temperature was still cool and the humidity was just right. Also, I got a chance to take pictures and video shots with my Samsung Note 5; the experience and the results were spectacular. I am so glad I purchased this smartphone prior to National Day.

Background 

-Nanchang, Capital of Jiangxi, denoting “a prosperous south part of China”, which clearly reveals the agricultural prosperity of the place. It was not just China’s communist birthplace but being almost 2200 years old it still captures the remnants of the Tang and Song dynasties which ruled from here.

-Built as early as 201 B.C. The city gained stature and significance during the Tang and Song dynasties. In history Nanchang is most famous, or in some cases infamous, as the birthplace of one of history’s most significant landmarks, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army”2015-10-06 18.10.112015-10-06 17.56.452015-10-06 18.05.15

Teng Wang Pavillion

Built in 654 A.D. By Tengwang of the Tang dynasty its tryst with men of letters began when the eminent poet called Wang Bo inscribed the “Essay on Tengwang Pavilion” on its pillars. It faced its highest tragedy at the hands of fire which broke out here in 1926 during the war between the Northern warlords. Rebuilt in 1989 the modern structure has become even more splendid. Today eminent works of significant men of letters embellish the columns of the pavilion.

滕王阁

“江南三大名楼”之一的腾王阁,屡毁屡建达二十八次之多。新落成的腾王阁,较一千三百多年前的建筑更嵯峨雄壮,充分表现“飞阁流丹,下临无地”的气势。投资建造了“马当神”号豪华游艇供游客畅游赣江;建造了滕王阁宾馆、贵宾宴会厅、仿古展演厅、名人字画厅等。登楼眺望,南昌景致尽收眼底。

“滕王阁之所以享有巨大名声,很大程度上归功于一篇脍炙人口的散 文《滕王阁序》。传说当时诗人王勃探亲路过南昌,正赶上阎都督重修 滕王阁后,在阁上大宴宾客,王勃当场一气写下这篇令在座宾客赞服的 《秋日登洪府滕王阁饯别序》(即《滕王阁序》),王勃作序后,又有王仲舒作记,王绪作赋,历史上称为“三王文章“。

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Shengjin Tower

(Rope and Gold Pagoda) stands on the east side of Shengjinta Street, Nanchang, which was built in late Tang Dynasty (A.D. 904-907). It is said that centuries ago, a monk found a iron box buried in the ground by accident, which contained 4 sets of golden ropes, 3 ancient swords and a golden vase full of Buddha’s relics. Thus the tower, which was built on the very place years later, hence the name.

绳金塔

绳金塔坐落在南昌市西湖区绳金塔街东侧,原古城进贤门外,始建于唐天祐年间(公园904~907年)。相传建塔时,掘地得铁函一只,内有金绳四匝、古剑三把(分别刻有“驱风”、“镇火”、“降蛟”字样),还有舍利子三百粒,绳金塔因之而得名。 据史料记载,历史上绳金塔多次建筑。塔身每层均设有四面真门洞、四面假门洞,各层真假门洞上下相互错开,门洞的形式各层也不尽相同。第一层为月亮门;第二、三层为如意门;第四至七层为火焰门,三种拱门形式集于一塔,这种做法是不多见的

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Rushing to Catch the Train!

Since it was National Day week in China, the streets were flooded with rows upon rows of cars stretching as far as the eye can see, in between, motorcycles and people filled the crevices as everyone was trying to bustle to their next destination. In this chaotic setting, my friend and I rushed for our 20:40 train, we had 40 mins to get there. First, we took a taxi, but we weren’t moving so we got off and traveled to the train station on foot for a short instance (luckily the train station was only 2000 meters from our current destination at the time); lastly, we took another taxi to make the last distance to the train station. Upon arrival, well this is what happened:

Final Thoughts

Extremely thankful I had the chance to visit a friend and explore cities and local historical sites and monuments in his home province. If the opportunity arises again, this is a trip I am willing to embark on once again.

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*Majority of contents are derived from the sources provided in the hyperlinks. Thus, the credit goes to the original authors of those links.

*These experiences were made possible by the Gilman Scholarship 

南昌 10-3-15