North East (China)
North East China, "dong bei" in Chinese.
- Shenyang (Liaoning Province), former Manchu capital
- Dalian (Liaoning Province), beautiful port city, once a Russian naval base
- Changchun (Jilin Province), former "Manchukuo State" capital
- Harbin (Heilongjiang Province), Russian-influenced architecture, winter festival
- Benxi Shuidong National Park (Liaoning) - river in a cavern
- Changbaishan National Nature Reserve (Jilin) - home to Heaven Lake
- Jingpohu National Forest Park (Heilongjiang) - nickname of Mirror lake
- Qianshan National Park (Liaoning) - nicknamed the Treasure Pearl of North China
- Wudalianchi National Forest Park (Heilongjiang) - nature reserve and health spa destination
Even if the Chinese understand that there is civilization beyond the Great Wall, most tourists do not. The lands to the northeast of Beijing represent the least traveled and most challenging regions of China. DongBei was the birthplace of the Manchus, China's last dynastic rulers. Because the region was declared off limits to Han Chinese from 1644, when the first Qing emperor sat on the throne, till the dynasty started losing power in the late 1800's, the region has had a mysterious quality separate from the rest of China itself.
The loose hold China had on the region slipped when Russia and Japan waged several major battles over control of DongBei in the early 1900's. China regained control of the region when Japan lost the second World War. With infrastructure already in place from its former masters, Russia and Japan, the Chinese government made DongBei the center of the efforts they were starting to help bring China into the international era.
For most Chinese, DongBei probably brings to mind images of factory workers with bright smiles and a cheery attitude instead of wild men riding on horseback from an earlier age. Despite the industrial buildup, DongBei can claim China's largest natural forest area, its most uncontaminated grassland area, and one of its most spiritual lakes (Tian Chi).
The region is trying for a makeover since the industrialization of the region is falling apart. It's not known as the "rust belt' without just cause. Tourism, it is hoped, will help pump money back into the region and keep the local economies afloat. DongBei is still difficult to visit but, because it is not as hyped as other parts of China, is still fresh and free of the tourism problems of other parts of China.
- Air - International airports at Dalian, Changchun, Harbin and Shenyang. Domestic airports at Mudanjiang, Qiqihar (Heilongjiang), Dandong (Liaoning), Jilin, and Yanji (Jilin).
- Rail - Rail service is extensive throughout the north-east but when you get off the main lines it slows down considerably. Major problem is that since the north-east is connected with the rest of China by one or two main lines, long-distance tickets to other places in China past this bottleneck are few and far between, especially sleeper tickets.
- Bus - extensive and fairly reliable, can take a lot of time and be very crowded.
- Fruits of Liaoning - Liaoning's fruits include apples from Dalian and Yingkuo, golden peaches from Dalian, pears from Beizhen District of Jinzhou, white pears from Huludao and Suizhou, and apricots and plums from Gushan District of Dandong.
- Sea Delicacies of Liaoning - The sea off Dalian abounds with quality seafood, such as abalones, sea cucumbers, scallops, prawns, crabs and sea urchins. The big fish of Dandong, the jellyfish of Yingkou and the clams of Panjin are known worldwide for their freshness and great tastes.
This page was last edited at 05:04, on 23 March 2009 by Peter Fitzgerald. Based on work by David, M. Hogue and Evan Prodromou, Wikitravel user(s) Episteme, Pashley and WindHorse and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.