Updated: 2012-01-06 07:46
City near frontier offers history, nature and many other attractions
Dandong is probably known to few people outside China or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) even though it is one of China's biggest border cities. Those who do have a knowledge of the city in southeastern Liaoning province are likely to be aware of its many natural and historical attractions. Here, the Yalu River winds its way to the Yellow Sea and makes Dandong a natural harbor and port, main pillars of the city's economy.
The DPRK lies on the other side of the river and visitors heading to the peninsula have played a huge part in the economic boom of the city.
Here are three suggestions to make a Dandong stay even more memorable.
1. Yalu River area
From the downstream of the river to its estuary, various attractions showcasing the area's natural and cultural heritage await. The river itself is a main draw - fed by the surrounding mountains and accompanied by views of the Korean Peninsula on the opposite side add to its charm.
The Yalu River Broken Bridge is closely linked to the Korean War and Chinese assistance to the DPRK during that time. Many visitors still make it a point to see the ruins left by the fighting.
The river mouth offers historic and scenic tourist spots: an old bridge, Long River Island and the Dragon Spring Mountain Village.
The tourist area consists of six major sections and more than 100 spots including Shuifeng Lake, Pacific Bay, the Yalu River Broken Bridge, Tiger Mountain and Green River.
Shuifeng Lake, complemented by a vast area of pristine forest, is considered the largest reservoir in Northeast China.
Tiger Mountain gets its name from its tiger-like shape. The mountain has served as an important military base in history because of its steep terrain. From here one can also see the "United Army Pavilion" of the DPRK in the opposite direction.
The Green River area is famous for its primitive plants.
2. Phoenix Mountains
Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) named the mountains, which are part of the Changbai Mountain Range. Zanyunfeng, its highest peak, stands at 836 meters.
The mountains have been hailed as the most famous in east Liaoning and are now known as "the most renowned mountains of the Great Wall". Adventurers also consider it one of their best experiences.
Most people come for the grand scenery, which also offers quiet spring caves, wild animal sightings and varied colors of the four seasons to help inspire poets throughout the ages.
The 28th day of the fourth lunar month marks the beginning of the four-day temple festival of the Herb King and it is considered one of the biggest gatherings in the area.
3. Five Dragons Hot Spring
The hot spring lies behind the Five Dragons Mountain (Wu Long Shan) and boasts waters that contain very little sulfur gas. The water's temperature can reach 69 C and contains other natural minerals such as carbonates that many believe help cure diseases like arthritis, rheumatism and dermatosis.
The area's natural assets have also attracted healthcare professionals who use both Chinese and Western remedies to treat the ailments.