Things to do in Nanchang
For most of us, we eagerly await the announcement of new flight routes so that we can expand our #wanderlust repertoire and conquer more unknown lands. So when Scoot announced its new flight to Nanchang, capital city of Jiangxi, we were intrigued to see what this fresh destination offered.
Imagine our surprise when we hopped onto the plane and landed right…in a Jay Chou MV. Like Dao Xiang amidst a field of golden flowers, or Fa Ru Xue as we strolled along ancient villages straight out of a Chinese period drama.
The good thing is: one-way flights start from just $188 – that’s even less than some fine-dining meals. So take the road less travelled, whisk yourself away on this non-stop flight and unlock some tourist-untouched adventures.
1. Visit China’s Bermuda Triangle, Poyang Lake
Poyang Lake is China’s largest freshwater lake which is almost three times the size of London. But besides its impressive water body, Poyang Lake is also known as China’s Bermuda Triangle, with ships mysteriously disappearing here since the 60s.
Unfazed by the myth, we took a boat ride (50¥/person) and ended up in Poyang Lake National Wetland Park. Look out for the long corridor specially created for lake-watching – it’s considered to be one of the best areas to see the lake.
That’s not all. Walking along the corridor feels like a stroll around a beautiful garden, with a spectacular view of water lotuses and migratory birds flying across the sky.
Local name: 鄱阳湖湿地公园
Getting there: Take a long-distance bus from Xufang Bus Station in Nanchang to Poyang.
2. Surround yourself with golden flowers at Jiangling Village
Come Springtime, and you must get that ‘surrounded by flowers’ shot for your IG. We recommend popping by Wuyuan County and making a beeline for Jiangling Village.
There, you can expect to see beautiful canola flowers in full bloom all over the terraces. Just the thing for that Dao Xiang MV.
Image credit: @healthandswellness
Image credit: @meng.dada
Jiangling Village is nicknamed “Heaven on Earth”, and photos of their golden fields speak for themselves. So, it’s no wonder that tourists and professional photographers flock to this mountain village during the short blooming season from March to early April.
Image credit: @discoverjiangxi
Local name: 江铃
Getting there: Take a high-speed train from Nanchang to Wuyuan.
Admission: RMB60, Village Packet ticket RMB210
3. Pose with murals and phone booths at Tai Ping Xin Jie
If you fancy yourself a true hipster, head to artsy neighbourhood Tai Ping Xin Jie which is a hidden gem tucked inside Meiling National Scenic Area.
Here, colourful murals add character to the street. We especially loved the one that looked as if we were in an aquarium:
If you like photos that looks a lil’ more dynamic than your usual ‘lean against the murals’, stroll into this old-school ‘telephone booth’ – which is in fact, a bookshelf! Think those iconic red telephone boxes from London, but with a more vintage touch.
Image credit: K.Sina
Bonus: Get #reflectiongram shots and check out FREE attractions
As you stroll along, look out for this bridge that looks straight out of a period drama.
Angle it, and you’ve got yourself a #reflectiongram.
Insider tip: We hear from locals that the paid attractions around Meiling National Scenic Area will be FREE after 5PM, such as the Lion Peak (50¥) – a steep, 260m high mountain you can hike up. So if you’d like to check it out, this can help you save some moolah.
Local name: 太平心街
Address: Taiping Town, Wanli District, Nanchang, Jiangxi, China
Getting there: You can take public bus 540, but it’s best to just take a taxi directly from the city which takes about an hour. The district is in Meiling National Scenic Area, a forest park located in the west of Nanchang.
4. Gaze into a mystical sea of fog at Wulao Peaks
Jiangxi is packed with national wonders, such as mountain Lushan, which is a bonafide UNESCO World Heritage Site and lauded as *gasp* a spiritual centre of Chinese civilisation and landmark of Confucianism.
So it’s no wonder even us couch potatoes got up and plunged into the chilly air at Lushan just an hour or so from Nanchang. The cool 25°C here was a welcome respite from the summertime heat of the city (39 degrees!), but be prepared to sweat as you scale up Wulao Peaks, which is one of China’s tallest and stands at 1436m tall.
Wulao Peaks loosely translates to Five Old Men. And no wonder – 5 peaks are lined up in almost a straight row, and from a distance, they look like five wise old men sitting together.
Image credit: Top China Travel
You might get foggy weather like we did, making it difficult to see the vast mountain ranges. But there is something about the fogginess that makes the view mystical – it felt like we were enveloped in snow-like mist!
Local name: 五老峰
Address: Lushan, Jiujiang, Jiangxi, China
How to go: Take a high-speed train from Nanchang to Jiujiang Train Station. There’ll be tour buses (130¥) there that can bring you to and around the spots in Lushan.
5. Take a hike to uncover the hidden Three Step Waterfall
Plenty of waterfalls can be found at Lushan, but if we had to pick just one, it’d be Sandiequan aka the Three-Step Waterfall.
Due to its rather secluded location, Sandiequan was only discovered during the Song Dynasty, but lo and behold, it’s now the “Number 1 Wonder of Lushan” and has inspired many poets.
As its name suggests, there are three natural tiers to this grand waterfall before it plunges down to a small lake right below. The gushing waters from up high make the surroundings misty and it gives the place an ethereal feel – you gotta see it with your own eyes!
Just a note – you might want to ready yourselves for lots of walking to find this gem. It took us almost 2 hours, but that’s because we kept pausing to look at scenic spots along the way.
Like this photogenic bridge:
6. Get mesmerised by animal-shaped mountains at Longhushan
Longhushan literally translates to ‘Dragon and Tiger Mountain’ in English, but nope, we didn’t spot any of the two around.
What did catch our eye though, was a majestic Elephant Trunk Hill. Shaped like an elephant’s body and trunk, the resemblance is so legit it left little room for imagination – except to wonder how such a strange, natural sight is even formed.
Image credit: @milesguic
While we toured the area by foot, another way to explore Longhushan would be via bamboo rafting along the Luxi River. Remember to check the weather forecast before heading down – it shouldn’t rain heavily the day before as flooding might make it unsuitable for rafting.
Address: Guixi, Yingtan, Jiangxi, China
Getting there: Take a high-speed train from Nanchang to Yingtan Railway Station. Then take a long distance bus to Longhushan (5¥)
7. Wish for good luck at Shangqing Ancient Town
Shangqing Ancient Town is a picturesque thousand-year-old town which really took us back in time. It’s known for its colourful Taoist practices, but one does not need to be religious to appreciate or participate in their activities.
One such practice: writing wishes written on red ribbons. We won’t tell you what ours was, lest it doesn’t come true.
A large drum displayed atop a tower piqued our interest. As explained by an elderly lady manning the drum, visitors can hit the drums, and each hit symbolise a kind of blessing you’ll get. Of course, good things seldom come free – but they can be cheap. Every hit costs 1 yuan, which is just S$0.20!
Translated, 1 yuan = 1 hit = your life will be full of peace. 4 yuan = 4 hits = money will come rolling in. I mean, 10 yuan to have all things go perfectly for you? Take my money.
If you’re lucky, you may chance upon dancers in traditional costume performing on the stage near the town’s entrance!
Local name: 上清古镇
Getting there: Take free tour buses from Longhushan to Shangqing Ancient Town.
8. Step into a Chinese period drama at Likeng Village
If you hate having your photos hijacked by yet another tourist, Wuyuan is where you should head to. Set in the beautiful countryside, this reclusive county is packed with over 50 ancient villages that will whisk you away to dynasties before.
The most iconic of them all is Likeng Village, a quaint little town where you can find shophouses with well-preserved Huizhou-style architecture. Think whitewashed walls with streaks of muted grey:
Another feature you’ll notice are the building’s sloped roofs, with lanterns hanging off from them. Just like the streets of Spirited Away, or of Jay Chou’s Fa Ru Xue MV.
Insider tip: If you’d like to stay the night, the streets of Likeng are lined up with many houses opening their doors to provide food and accommodation, so just hit up any one and tada, you’ve got your overnight plans settled.
Villages in Anyi County are over a thousand years old
Image credit: @mila_zzz
Insider tip: If you can’t get enough of such charming villages – or are on a tight schedule – head to Anyi County. It’s about an hour’s drive from downtown Nanchang versus Likeng village’s three hours, and is a cheaper option at 30 yuan/entry.
Do note that the place is rather ulu with few cars around, so you might wanna get your taxi driver to wait for you and bring you back to the city area after.
Local name: 李坑村
Address: Likeng Village, Wuyuan County, China
Getting there: Take a high-speed train from Nanchang to Wuyuan.
Local name: 安义古镇
Getting there: Take a taxi to Anyi County. There are few cars around the area, so make a deal with your driver to wait for you and bring you back to the city area after.
Scoot to Nanchang
Nanchang might not be a city you hear of frequently, much less a holiday destination that crosses our minds. But hey, let’s leave that in the past. Scoot now has three-times weekly flights from Singapore to Nanchang, so you can explore all these scenic sights in less than 6 hours away!
Yep, that’s us. And it can be you, too.
As we took their inaugural flight to Nanchang, there were special in-flight activities organised by the Scoot crew that made the flight a memorable one for us all. We sang songs, had a lucky draw, and took photos with their photo props – it felt like a mini party on the plane!
The journey to and from Nanchang were also made comfy with Scoot’s in-flight meals. Whether it was their Signature Mee Goreng with Beef Cubes or Teriyaki Chicken with Rice, the chunks of meat were tender and juicy, and filled our bellies with delight.
The Signature Mee Goreng with Beef Cubes Premium Meal came with water, salad, and a cup of Häagen-Dazs ice cream, which makes it feel much more atas than the usual in-flight meals.
We also ordered the Signature Nasi Lemak and Makhani Chicken with Basmati Rice, that both came with a nice spicy kick. These meals are also all halal.
Mmm. Check out the succulent chicken meat of their Signature Nasi Lemak dipped in sambal chili.
With such a short flight, it’s easy to seek out the natural sights and charming streets of Nanchang. Besides, with it being a relatively new and untouched destination, you’ll be blazing a trail and leaving your friends curious about the geotags on your pics.
No need for a fat wallet to get there, either – remember that Scoot flies 3x weekly direct to Nanchang from just $188 one-way. So book your tickets and pack your luggages – it’s time to be the star of your very own MV.
This post was brought to you by Scoot. Photography by: Dominic Shimizu.