Nanchang is the capital of Jiangxi province and has a population of about 2 1/2 million. The first settlement in this area has been proved to have existed 5000 years ago. It became the town of Nanchang ("flourishing town of the south") in the 2nd century B.C. It is referred to in the guidebooks as gray and drab and certainly it was when we were there in March during "the rainy season". We had temperatures in the 40's to low 50's. Summers are reported to be "unbearably hot and humid" and autumn "pleasantly warm and dry".
Nanchang Photo Archives Over 80 photos of Nanchang city!
HotelsJiangxi Huaxin Hotel (sometimes referred to as Jiangxi Hotel or Huaxin Hotel)
I thought the food was good. (I did gain a pound while I was gone). Both lunch and dinner at the Jiangxi Hotel were off the same menu for ordering (had selections also listed in English). A meal ranged about $5-$8 US in 1996. It looked a lot like chinese food we get here but tasted a little different, ie the sweet and sour sauce was more like a ketchup sauce and the noodles were greasier. It did get old eating off the same menu twice a day for six days, so we finally got our guide to take us out to a few other places. The food at these places was even better, and less expensive, then the hotel's. The best way to do this is to offer to pay for the guide's meal. Their meals at the hotel are already paid for and it's a lot of money for them to eat out. If you're paying they're very happy to go somewhere else with you.
"There was a small shop next to the Jiangxi hotel lobby that had chinese formula, baby rice cereal, and apple juice." (JR) There were also snacks such as crackers, candy, and beverages.
There was a department store half a block away which was quite large, I think at least 3 floors. We also went to the friendship store which was several blocks but within walking distance. It was even bigger. There was quite a variety of items at both places. I bought some kids cloths and some souvenirs. I didn't look for formula, diapers, or strollers but I suspect they were available. One family did see "baby bottles, feeding sets, and other small baby stuff" (JR). Did any others travelling find these supplies?
We felt very safe while traveling, almost too safe. There was always two guides, the local one and the national one, and they took care of most things. It would have been fun to have more experiences where you went out on your own and tried to get by by pointing at questions and answers in your phrase book. Even carrying nearly $5000 in cash was not as intimidating as I expected. The Chinese were very friendly, they all crowded around to see the babies. We had little cards in name badge holders that said: "Adopted Girl from Welfare Institute" in Chinese. They would read this and give us big smiles and the thumbs up sign.
International Phone Cards
Converters/Recharging Video Batteries
This is response by a parent on the a-p-c list to questions on using and recharging video camera batteries while in China. "Most newer units come with a charger that may be used on a wide range of voltage. In the US, the voltage is about 120 and in China it is about 220. Look at the back of your charger. It may say something like "110 - 240 volts, 50 - 60 Hz". If so, you can use it in China without a converter. You must, however, have a plug adapter to plug it in. A kit with about 4-5 types for use throughout the world was around $5 at Radio Shack. We only saw one plug type in China and that was the one the kit prescribed for use there." "If your charger is not made for 220 volts, you must use a converter. There are 2 basic types that I have seen. One is fairly cheap ($20 ?) and is *not* for use with electronic devices. We used this one for our "hot pot". The other converter type is over $50 and will power a wider range of devices." (Is a battery charger considered an "electronic device" ? It doesn't seem like it would be that sensitive.) "BTW, many hair dryers have a switch on them for selecting voltage and require only the plug adapter for use in China. But, don't forget to set them for 220 in China!" (AS)
Sites to Visit
Some of the places visited by families traveling to Nanchang include:
Teng Wang Pavillion - There has been a pavilion at this site on and off since the Tang Dynasty (roughly 1200 years). The most recent one opened in 1989. Great view of the town and river from top floor balcony, cultural show, and lots of neat places to buy souvenirs. There were also some street booths outside where you could bargain for nick-nacks. They usually went down to less than half so I started at about a third of the asking price.
People's Park - "This was marvaleous--just beautiful to walk around in, lots to see and do. We enjoyed watching the Tai Chi classes and the children running around were adorable!!" (KB) "Visit the parks, especially People's Park and August 1 Park. The former has a zoo with pandas. At both you'll see Chinese families out leading their lives, especially if you visit them on the weekends." (SH)
Gao Village - several miles out in the country. "The people there were fabulous--so excited that we had come, they welcomed us and were very happy to see the babies." (KB) Also told later that Ms. Chen felt some of the babies had come from this village.
Ancient Painter's House Click for more info
Farm in the country
Shopping (department store, friendship store, also a bookstore near the friendship store where we bought chinese tapes, chinese kids books and even chinese computer CD's.)
University - one of the local guides taught there and took a group to see the university and also her room where she lived there.
Jiangxi Province Children's Hospital
Hopefully if you're visiting here it is just for a tour. But one family
adopting in May 1997 had a daughter who required treatment here. From her dad,
"The Jiangxi Children's Hospital is primitive and a bit scary to those of us used to
western hospitals or standards. Nevertheless, the staff was terrific in all respects and
the medical care was appropriate. The director of the hospital's pediatric intensive care
unit had briefly studied in the States and spoke good English." (HS)
Kinde Jia Kid's Services: Jason Xiao, a Nanchang resident, will try to answer questions about China or Chinese culture, or about Nanchang and Jiangxi Province. Along with Steven Hardy, a Jiangxi adoptive father, he offers products and services for families who have adopted or will adopt children from China
"Tourist Guide to Nanchang City" Tourist info (pictures)
"Nanchang, My Home Town" describes some sites to see.
Holt Travel Info (may be useful to families even if they are using a different agency)
We would love to hear from other families with children from an orphanage in this area. If you'd like to share any information, ask questions, or post your child's photo on this site please e-mail me at email@example.com.
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