If you are visiting Nanjing you know that some of the most famous tourist landmarks are the city wall, the museums and the temples…. But there is one spot that I love and that is totally underrated: the great wall just outside Nanjing is the best place to visit if you want to experience both nature and architecture (I am not saying "history" as the wall is a recent construction).
The wall is actually inside the Pearl Springs Scenic Area, a huge park with springs and lakes where you can enjoy a walk in nature (most of the time, at least) and a pick nick.
Unfortunately there some attractions that are nor ethical (like a zoo - you won't see it as it has an independent entrance and ticket) nor relaxing (as an amusement park) ... But you can just skip them to find yourself almost alone. In fact this is the less crowded place I have seen in China, that's one of the reasons why I like it so much, and the views are just ASTONISHING!
To get to the wall you first need to pay 40 rmb to access the Pearl Spring Scenic Area, and the 25 rmb at the gate of the wall.
How to get to Pearl Spring
Getting there is easy but time consuming, I need to be honest. Here you can see the exact location on google maps.
I have experienced various routes and combinations of metro + metro + bus and metro + walking + bus.
What I recommend is that you use BAIDU (app or desktop) to see which is the best way to reach the place from where you are.
As far as I am concerned I think that the best option if you live in the center or east town is taking metro line 2 towards YUZI, stop at JI QING MEN DA JIE (集庆门大街) station, walk south towards D58 bus stop and hop on the bus. You will have to ride until almost the last stop, you will see the entrance at your right. Be sure to always check your location.
Check the blue cross on this map.
JI QING MEN DA JIE station is also where you need to stop if you want to eat at SUMANXIANG restaurant, so there’s nothing better than have a nice day out walking on the wall and then have dinner at the most amazing vegan buffet! Check my video of the restaurant here
How to get to the wall
Once you are inside the Pearl Spring Area just follow the signs for the cable way, they are easy to spot everywhere. Once you are there and you want to walk just follow the road leading uphill, you will have the cable way above your head. There is no way you can get lost, signs pointing to the wall are everywhere from now on.
It will take you 3 hours to complete the visit once you pass the first ticket point, with time to sit down, relax, take pictures….
PS: looking for a hotel? Check out how to book as a foreigner