Features: China's four great classic novels are famous internationally, but do you know that the four great classic novels are also inextricably linked with Jiangsu? Watch the power struggles in Romance of the Three Kingdoms and the historical scenes of Water Margin, experience the classical characteristics of Dream of the Red Chamber and the romanticism in Journey to the West. Follow our steps, by understanding the relevant scenes of the four great classic novels and the authors' places of origin, feel the spiritual resonance between reality and the masterpieces through reading novels and being in the scenes of the novels, and appreciate the unique cultural landscape and local customs of Jiangsu.
Day 1: Nanjing
Attractions: Jiangning Weaving Museum, Cao Xueqin Memorial Hall, Zhan Garden
Nanjing, known as Jinling in ancient times, is the place where the story in Dream of the Red Chamber started. The site of Jiangning Weaving Museum was once the West Garden of the Jiangning Weaving House, the residence of the author Cao Xueqin, whose grandfather was once an official in Jiangning Weaving House. This place can be said to have witnessed the rise and fall of the Cao family.
The exquisite and prosperous scene in the Zhan Garden corresponds with the description of the Grand View Garden in Dream of the Red Chamber. This small garden located in the bustling downtown retains the grandeur of Jiangnan in the past. As ancient music is played, learned young men and beautiful ladies walk between the boat house and the pavilion to the music, everything is like a dream, which is relived in the "Jinling Dream - Zhan Garden at Night" live-action performance adapted from Dream of the Red Chamber.
After experiencing a day in the Red Chamber, you may go to Nanjing Impressions to enjoy some authentic Jinling cuisine.
Day 2: Nanjing
Attractions: World Literature Hall, Yuejiang Tower, Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties
As the "City of World Literature", literature is the essence and soul of Nanjing. The World Literature Hall is located at the southeast corner of the Jilong Mountain that is the part of Purple Mountain stretching into the city. In the Hall you can feel the aroma of literature. In the afternoon, you will go to the Yuejiang Tower and the Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The Yuejiang Tower is one of the "Four Famous Buildings in Jiangnan", along with the Yueyang Tower, the Yellow Crane Tower and the Pavilion of Prince Teng. Yuejiang Tower is built exquisitely with great care, and incomparably magnificent. It has been visited by many famous people in history who left their works there. The Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the most famous of the Ming Dynasty tombs in China, are majestic and the best in architecture and stone carving in the early Ming Dynasty. The Imperial Tombs were selected as a World Heritage Site in 2003.
Day 3: Nanjing to Huai'an by High-speed Train
Attractions: Former Residence of Wu Cheng’en, Liyunhe Cultural Corridor, China Canal Transport Museum
Want to know how Journey to the West, one of the four great classical novels of China, was written? Just pay a visit to the former residence of the author Wu Cheng'en, you can learn the story about the creation of the novel. Huai'an is a city of canal, with hundreds of miles of prosperous waterways and beautiful canal scenery. Qingkou Complex is listed as a world cultural heritage site, and you will be impressed by the wisdom hidden in this ancient water conservancy project. You may sightsee along the Liyunhe Cultural Corridor and explore the past and present life of the ancient canal at the China Canal Transport Museum. Huai'an is also the important birthplace of Huaiyang cuisine in China, where you can taste the authentic Huaiyang dishes like Pingqiao Tofu, Ruandou Eel, and Qingong Meatball, and savor the best tastes of Huaiyang.
Day 4: Xuzhou
Attractions: Xuzhou Museum and Yunlong Mountain
The famous story of “Liu Bei Declines to Take Xuzhou Thrice” in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms has made this city an important part in the novel. The first stop is the Xuzhou Museum, which has a rich collection of cultural relics, including ceramics, pottery figurines, jade and stone artifacts, gold and silver wares, copper and iron wares, imperial seals, paintings and calligraphy. Such collection shows Xuzhou's long history of Han culture. The second stop is Yunlong Mountain, which is a famous mountain in the north of Jiangsu Province and one of the important scenic mountains in Xuzhou, and has always been called the best of Xuzhou's scenic spots. Yunlong Mountain is lofty and winding, famous both for the natural scenery of well-known mountains and rivers as well as the cultural landscape with a long history. Especially the calligraphy and stories of Su Shi, the great writer of the Northern Song Dynasty, have given the mountain a long-standing reputation.
Day 5: Lianyungang
Attractions: Donghai Crystal Museum, Mount Huaguo Scenic Area, Yuntai Mountain Scenic Area
When you enter the Donghai Crystal Museum, you will marvel at the crystal’s beauty and infinite charm; you may climb up Mount Huaguo to have a glimpse of the magnificent rocks and ancient monuments, and listen to the myths in Journey to the West; or you can enjoy a stunning sunrise over the sea and the provincially unrivaled mountain and sea view on Yuntai Mountain.
Day 6: Yancheng
Attractions: Former Residence of Shi Nai'an, Shi Nai’an Memorial Hall, Shi Nai’an Park, Water Margin Culture Museum
Shi Nai’an, the author of Water Margin, was from Baiju Town, Dafeng District, Yancheng City (under Xinghua County in ancient times). Baiju Town is the birthplace of Shi Nai’an, and Huajiaduo, the western suburb of Baiju Town, is also the place where Shi Nai’an wrote Water Margin. The story of Water Margin is based on the uprising of Zhang Shicheng, a salt worker from the Huainan and Huaibei region at the end of the Yuan Dynasty, and many of the dialects and slangs in Water Margin come from the Dafeng area of Yancheng. Attractions to visit today include historic sites such as Former Residence of Shi Nai'an, Shi Nai’an Memorial Hall, Shi Nai’an Park, as well as the Water Margin Culture Museum which was built by Yancheng earlier this year.
Day 7: Yancheng - Shanghai
Attractions: China Sea-salt Museum, Huanghai National Forest Park, Tiaozini Wetland, Chinese Milu Park
When in the Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China (Phase I), the World Natural Heritage, you can explore the nature in the Tiaozini Wetland; or go to the Huanghai National Forest Park to enjoy a refreshing breath; you may go to the Chinese Milu Park and dance with the milu, to appreciate the natural beauty; or recall the past prosperity of salt transportation, to learn the origins of Yancheng and salt in the China Sea-salt Museum.