Nanjing Expat is really an amalgamation of four brands: The Nanjinger, a monthly publication aimed at Western expats with a focus on listings for local hotels, restaurants, and businesses; City Guide, a taxi book to aid foreigners in getting around the city; LifeCycle, a weekly e-newsletter; and finally NanjingExpat.com. With sections like News & Stories (featuring local expats in the news as well as national stories), upcoming events, classifieds, and a somewhat active forum, the site is well-structured and updated consistently.
Nanjing Expat’s City Guide is hit or miss. There are fantastic reviews and descriptions of many of the city’s tourist attractions, along with photos, brief explanations for transportation options, and names and addresses in Chinese. There are also fairly good restaurant reviews and information on places like gyms and spas around the city. Unfortunately some of the review pages are not very comprehensive or only include addresses and a few lines of information.
The website has an embedded online version of the well-done Nanjinger magazine, with articles on local sports, health and beauty, interviews, eco-friendly living, a “Chinese corner” and other interesting features.
Touting itself as the “premier social network in Nanjing”, Hello Nanjing is a nicely designed site with a focus on connecting local expats with one another; a great alternative to the typical situation of foreigners meeting at local watering holes.
Hello Nanjing operates with a similar structure to Facebook: add friends, customize a profile, post shareable albums and photos, discuss events, and follow activity streams. The network currently boasts over 9000 users and also connects to the forums. Forum sections like Social, Helpline, an open chat and the typical classifieds/personals/accommodation are useful and active.
The Nanjing Directory is fairly extensive and contains listings categorized into restaurants, services, hospitality, family, activities, retail, and tourism. These are accompanied by pictures, brief descriptions, Google Maps, and Chinese contact details.
The Nanjing Articles section is worth a look. While it does not contain many articles yet, there are some news items on things like new air routes, international ties, and events scattered amongst interesting commentary on cycling, charity information, and dealing with Jiangsu’s humid summers.
A small events section does not seem to be updated regularly; for the latest news on what is happening in the city, it would be better to take a look at the NanjingExpat.com site.