what to know about Yuejiang Temple

There have been days in Nanjing when the pollution looks grim or I've had a to-do list simply insurmountable or the heat has been inexhaustible. It's in those moments when I force myself to go out and see something. Maybe it's the Brocade Museum. Maybe I take myself out to a cafe I found on Dianping. I might not even have a destination in mind, sometimes I hop on my bike and tire myself cycling the alleyways of the city until I stumble upon something interesting {although sometimes I don't find anything}. The other day, before I left Nanjing, I looked at Luke and said, "Pick something for us to do today, even if it's to do nothing." Give Luke an empty day and he'll fill it with waterfalls or temples, I would just about bet money on it. 

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So, we headed to Yuejiang Temple, a USD$1.75 cab ride from my flat. Sitting high on the top of a hill, we braved the many sets of stone stairs in the middle of a 38C day to see what Yuejiang had to offer. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much. Many of the temples I've visited in China have included souvenir shops, press penny machines, and admission fees that sit a little off with me. However, we were both in agreement that Yuejiang Temple {also known as Yuejiang Tower} is up there with Bao'en on our list of Nanjing attractions that met our expectations and that we'd recommend to others. 

Here's how to make the most of a visit to Yuejiang...

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ADMISSION //

Like the other temples around Nanjing and Shanghai that I've visited, you'll be asked to buy a ticket at a counter before entering the temple. Cost of admission for Yuejiang is 40RMB {roughly USD$6}. Cash and mobile pay apps are accepted {AliPay and WeChat}.  

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WHAT TO BRING //

You'll likely want to bring your camera as the views of the city and the temple's traditional architecture are impressive. Unless you want to spend a silly amount on lukewarm beverages, I'd suggest bringing your own filled water bottle. Like most everywhere in Asia, toilet paper comes in handy if you need to use the public restroom. Cash or your phone {for pay via AliPay or WeChat} is necessary for ticket purchase. 

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WHEN TO VISIT //

I wouldn't suggest making my mistake and going in the middle of a sticky summer day. Yuejiang Temple is open to the public from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  Last admission is sold at 4:30 p.m., but I'd say 30 minutes isn't worth your money. You'll want to visit when you have a few hours to check out every level and all the trails and walkways. 

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HOW TO GET THERE //

Nanjing has a pretty simple and straightforward metro system that makes getting around a total breeze. Unfortunately, there aren't any stations nearby. Take a taxi and save yourself some hassle. For DiDi you can use this address: No.202 Jianning Road, Xiaguan District, Nanjing 210015, China

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WHAT TO WEAR //

Unlike temples in Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, or Bali...there isn't really a dress code for the Chinese temples I've visited. Yuejiang is no exception. I went in a skirt {above my knees} and a tank top. Others were there in similar apparel. Do your research before visiting other temple locations, but rest assured that Yuejiang will allow you admission in shorts. 

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Yuejiang Temple did indeed sell souvenirs, but what I found on the other side of the ticket gate left me feeling like the stifling heat was worth suffering through for the views of the city. If you're having a day when you don't feel super inclined to explore, I suggest getting out of your apartment, throwing yourself into something your surroundings have to offer. And, if your surroundings are Nanjing, I highly reccomend Yuejiang. Time is short, moments are sweet. 

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