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Nanjing by Night, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China - 3rd-9th October 2006

Nosher achieves something of an ambition in finally scoring a working trip to mainland China. Following a day in Hong Kong to sort out a visa, it was off via Dragonair business class from Hong Kong to Nanjing, to work on handset software integration for a week and spend a spare hour-or-so in the evenings wandering around. It's not easy, as Nanjing is off the beaten track as far as foreign tourists go, and there's little in the way of English (quite right too), so Nosher roams around with nothing more than a small map from the hotel, a recollection of which way the hotel might be and a copy of "Instant Chinese". The nights are warm and lightly smoggy (although much more comfortable than Hong Kong) and there's a lot of activity at street level. However, the view from the 46th floor of the hotel is curious, as much of the city looks dark, with only small pools of neon (which itself is mostly turned off after 10pm), however there are several occasions to witness distant firework displays - celebrating weddings, the national holiday or perhaps the lunar festival occurring during the week. On the streets, the relative lack of foreigners is apparent, as Nosher seems to present something of a passing interest, with many a curious look (much like Manila a couple of years before). However, the place feels pretty safe - there are people out for a stroll - and there are quite a few traffic police keeping an eye on things. Like Bangkok, night-time brings out even more street-side food stands, and the air is thick with the wafting smells of food. On one night, our hosts take us (for Nosher is in town with a couple of San Diego dudes too) out to a restaurant for an extra-special dinner. At one point, a sizzling dish is bought in: it looks really promising until it is revealed to be split fish-heads in sauce. Yum. However, there are several new things which Nosher gets to eat, including jellyfish.

next album: Nanjing by Day, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China - 3rd-9th October 2006
previous album: Wan Chai and Central, Hong Kong, China - 2nd-3rd October 2006

Sales posters, and the ubiquitous countdown timers on a traffic light

Our hosts take us out for a celebration nosh-up at a quality restarurant.

Fresh local (hairy) crab

Outside the restaurant, downtown Nanjing

Part of the view from Nosher's 46th-storey hotel window, looking towards the commercial district

Down on the streets, the first of many food stalls

Down a minor street, there are some open food and flower shops

A girl sits on the kerb, waiting for passing trade to buy stuff from her mobile stall

Doing the washing up, on the pavement

Traffic passes the food stalls by

Near the hotel, an illuminated arch and a cycle path

Cycles pile across a busy junction

In a covered walkway, a glum girl waits to sell things on sticks, whilst a passing woman throws some shapes to herself

Nanjing's version of Times Square or Picadilly Circus

The Chaotin Temple, lit up

A large and gaudy restaurant

A Chinese chatacter on the wall of the Chaotin Temple

Walking back up the street, there's some guy writing with water on the slate pavement

The crowd remain fascinated with the sidewalk calligrapher

Up the street, a vigorous game of Mahjong is occurring

Nosher ventures out into a local restaurant and armed with a few phrases ('I'll have that' [point]) and a nearby diner with some English, gets some great food

Busy roadside food

Open-air cafés in Nanjing's 'Times Square'

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Sales posters, and the ubiquitous countdown timers on a traffic light