While researching Nanjing attractions, one place was on my "backup" list: "Niu Shou Shan Sen Lin Gong Yuan," or NiuShouShan Forest Park.
It took a while to get there, as the bus that was supposed to have a stop there was re-routed, and I got very confused when looking on Maps and seeing the marker move further and further away into the Nanjing countryside.
I opted not to get out next to the highway but waited for the bus to enter a small town. There, I took a DiDi (Taxi) to the park.
This place is hard to describe, but I'll try it anyway; it's an underground religious complex (more than six stories underground) for the Buddhist religion.
Of all the places I've been to, this one feels the most expensive. It costs close to one billion dollars to create.
It starts with the above-ground 3-story building with a giant lying budda that appears occasionally and rotates slowly while being covered in myst.
You then lap the building and get to a place where you have to put on protective socks over your shoes to not damage the marble floors.
Then, you descend into the ground through many escalators to the bottom floor.
There you reach the main sight, and let me tell you, everything was just perfectly crafted.
I It felt expensive just to walk around.
Not a seam out of alignment, everything perfectly placed, expensive wood and marble, beautifully crafted statues everywhere, etc.
After surfacing, I headed back to the hotel to grab my bag; it was for another train, this time to Hangzhou, south of Shanghai. It's the last stop before heading inland to the mountains.
I missed my originally booked second-class seat train by three whole minutes, thanks to shoddy navigation inside the station. (Chinese HSR stations are Huge; it takes 5 minutes to walk across).
The earliest bookable train was 2 hours later, and I decided to splurge for a Business class seat, which allowed me access to the lounge with complimentary snacks and drinks.
The seat on the train was nice too, a full lie-flat seat and a personal attendant for the four people in the compartment.
After arriving at Hangzhou East station, it was still 40 minutes by metro to the hotel. I keep forgetting how huge these cities are.