Spotting Fireflies in Nanjing’s Sparkling and Spectacular Summer

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Spotting Fireflies in Nanjing’s Sparkling and Spectacular Summer

While unbearably hot during Nanjing’s summer daytime, evening is definitely the best time to hang out, especially with those sparkling fairies that are fireflies in the air. 

To find these delightfully bright bugs, get away from the city centre and explore Nanjing’s concealing forests, between 7 and 9:30 pm in July; even better somewhere with a suitable water source.

Zijin Mountain

Luckily, Zijin (Purple) Mountain in the eastern suburb of Nanjing is well-known as one of the best places in the whole country to see fireflies. Referred to as a firefly paradise during the summer time, a lot of tourists go sight seeing in this area to uncover the so-called firefly secrets. Walk along the lane from Xiaolingwei to Lingu Temple and witness the shining little creatures floating in the air like Kongming lanterns. 

Meihua Mountain

Besides Linggu Temple, but also on Zijin Shan, Meihua Shan in the scenic area is also a good place to see fireflies. On the road from MingXiaoling to Shiwengzhong, there are many fireflies on both sides of the road hidden in the bush, both spectacular and beautiful at night. With many people running on Meihua Shan every night, it is a nice surprise for them to come across these fireflies lighting up their evening work out.

Gulin Park

Always full of people who go to see the flower blossom in spring, but in summer few barely recognise the beauty of Guilin Park. Located near the centre of the city in Gulou, off Huju Bei Lu, this most accessible spot includes an open area for camping to watch fireflies in bushes, grasses, pond banks and flower beds. Park entrance is free.

Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo

In Hongshan Zoo, located on Heyan Lu, there lies a hidden and primitive forest near Bear Valley, where fireflies can be seen when the summer dark comes. The forest leads to the Leopard House, where fireflies will appear on the forest path; the breeze along which is one of Nanjing’s most enjoyable experiences.

Firefly Watching Tips

  • Do not try to catch fireflies.
  • Shut down car lights, flashlights, camera and cell phone flashlights; such cause fireflies to lose their direction. 
  • Fireflies like a humid and quiet environment with lush vegetation; watch quietly and do not make any noise. 
  • Clear evenings are more suitable for seeing fireflies. To protect against mosquitoes, wear long-sleeved jackets and trousers; mosquito repellent also affects fireflies.
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Kristen Wang
A Nanjing local, Kristen studied Media and Public relations in Newcastle University (UK), has researched social media and online publishing and previously worked for different new media platforms. She is passionate about discovering new stories and helping expats involved in this city. 南京人Kristen毕业于纽卡斯尔大学,媒体与公共关系硕士学位。她的研究专注于社交媒体和网络发行,在不同的新媒体平台工作。她喜欢发现新鲜事,也希望帮助在南京的外国人融入这里的生活。