Nanjing, China

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Away from the rampant development further down the Yangtze River in Shanghai, Nanjing, with its plum orchards and coloured lanterns of the river boats, represents a divergence from the rest of the country and a unique experience of tranquillity and authentic Chinese culture.

Small, traditional eateries sit side by side with fashionable restaurants and chic bars, and you will see some evidence of Nanjing’s commercial influence and economic clout, even though most of the city still flies under the radar. A genuinely multinational city, Nanjing is a safe haven for expats, be it the academics who have come for one semester or the ‘lifers’ who arrived long ago and couldn’t bring themselves to leave.

Nanjing is steeped in a rich a vibrant history, having been the southern capital of China and at two separate points the country’s premier city. The monuments and temples fit perfectly with the verdant parks and wide avenues. Relaxed and friendly, the people at the heart of Nanjing’s reputation for a comfortable pace of life will be delighted to welcome you to their city; though some relationships can take time to mature. Once they do, you’ll find yourself surrounded with well-meaning people in the exception that proves the rule to China’s frenetic and hectic style.

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