Our first stop in Nanjing was Purple Mountain (Zijin Mountain). The mountain is huge and is worth at least one full day, if not more than that if you want to see every single sight on the mountain. We started our day around 10:00 with a cable car up to the top of the mountain. The ride up was nice, but we found there wasn't much at the top so I'm not sure if I'd recommend it to other travelers.
At the top of the mountain, there was one small park. Besides the nice views there wasn't much to see, and not worth the entrance fee. This Buddha was the most interesting thing in the park. There are much more interesting things near the bottom of the mountain.
We hiked down and found ourselves at the tomb of the first emperor of the Ming dynasty.
The place was huge and quite impressive. We spent about half an hour walking around the tomb area plus more time in some of the gardens. Because we wanted to see the rest of the mountain, though, we missed quite a bit. This part of the mountain alone could be worth a whole day trip.
The next stop was the Sun Yat-Sen mausoleum. This seemed quite a bit more popular than the Ming tomb. We saw lots of school groups and group tours here.
The actual resting place of Sun Yat-sen at the top of the mountain was the main attraction here and people flocked to the entrance to get a glimpse of the tomb. I guess when we went it was not a busy day, but we saw an area to form a line outside the tomb for busy days. The actual tomb is not visible, it is located in the doors behind this statue.
Next stop was the Linggu Temple area. Here there are several sights, it was actually my favorite part of our visit to Purple Mountain. First stop was the Wuliang (beamless) Hall. This hall is famous for it's unusual beamless architecture.
Then we walked over to the actual temple area and enjoyed the sights here.
Last was the Linggu Pagoda, a pagoda built in 1929 as a memorial for soldiers who lost their lives in war. We climbed all the way up to the top of this 9 story pagoda for some amazing (though smoggy) views of the city of Nanjing.
If you happen to be in Nanjing, be sure to stop by Purple Mountain. You can arrive here by subway or bus, and there are hiking trails and bus routes around the mountain.
Admission prices (in RMB):
Cable Car: 35/70 (one way/round trip)
Park at the top of the mountain: 4
Ming Tomb: 70
Sun Yat Sen Mausoleum: Free