From LAX, connecting service (change of plane) to Nanjing is offered on Air China, China Eastern and United. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $950, including taxes and fees.
I spent 14 days in China traveling entirely by high-speed trains. I rode first class from Shanghai's Hongqiao Station to Nanjing; the trip took about two hours and cost $40. It's easier to buy tickets at http://www.chinatraintickets.net and have them delivered to your hotel rather than doing it at the station. Hotels also can arrange tickets for a fee.
To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 86 (country code for China), 25 (area code for Nanjing) and the local number.
WHERE TO STAY
Nanjing has hotels for every budget, including stalwarts such as Hilton, Holiday Inn, Sheraton and Sofitel. The Temple of Confucius area is vibrant and full of shops.
Nanjing Central Hotel, 75 Zhongshan Road, Nanjing; 83155888-53, http://www.njcentralhotel.com.
A downtown hotel with temple-shaped gift shops and a big, round bathtub in the room. It has a bakery, coffee shop and several good restaurants. I paid $60 a night for a double room and was very satisfied.
Orange Hotel Nanjing Confucian Temple, 26 Dashiba Street, Qinhuai District, Nanjing; 869-68090, http://www.orangehotel.com/cn/nanjing/Fuzimaou.html. A good budget hotel near the popular Temple of Confucius and Qinhuai River area. Rooms start as low as $43 a night. Coffee shop, bicycles for rent and air conditioning, which is critical in the hot summers.
WHERE TO EAT
Nanjing offers everything from Cantonese, Sichuan and local fare to Godfather's Pizza, Subway and McDonalds. There are dozens of stalls around the Temple of Confucius selling cheap, tasty street food. The dinner buffet at the Nanjing Central Hotel featured local specialties such as Nanjing salted duck.
TO LEARN MORE
Nanjing Tourist Information Center, http://www.nju.gov.cn/english.