I checked in to my hostel – City Central International Youth Hostel. It’s industrial in scale, clean, close to the subway and has free breakfast. After that I went to the train station to sort out a ticket to Nanjing. If you want to take a high-speed train go stright to the self-service terminals – they’re in English and very easy. Otherwise take the south-east exit and find counter 10 of the ticket sales counters. If you’re in the building where the counters start at 30 you have to go to another building across the street. In the end there were no trains so I took a bus. The bus ticket sellers don’t speak English but do understand pointing to a guidebook. Success! I went on to the Old Town.
There’s not much to see unless you like shops selling plastic crap. The only reason to go in is to go to the gardens.
It’s quite large, but also popular. In the areas there is also a Taoist temple if you want to pay another admission fee.
Outside the main old town area there are shops selling little red books and paintings.
Go a bit further and it’s more authentic, but you’ll need to speak Chinese.
DO NOT USE THE BUS STATION TOILETS. This was the first place that I met the infamous doorless Chinese public toilet.