Last updated by chinatravel at 2013-11-4
Mount Changbai is named so because its main peak, the White-head Mountain is covered with white rocks and thick snow. It is the highest hilly area in the Northeast of China. The highest peak in the mountain range is as high as 2691 meters. There are mountains vertically and horizontally. Sixteen mountains among them are over 2500 meters above the sea-level, with a total area of more than 8000 square kilometers. It starts with Songjiang Town of An’tu County in Jilin province in the north, originates from Fusong County in the west and ends with Nangang Mountain in Longxian town in the east and extends to the realm of Korea in the south. Mount Changbai is century-old in human culture. For the emperors of the past dynasties paid much attention to it. Especially, In Jin dynasty, Qing dynasty and Yuan dynasty, the emperors regarded Mount Changbai as the cradle of their ancestors and cried it up as a divine mountain, which was the representation of thriving and flourishing.
Mount Changbai is also called Buxian Mountain, meaning it divine. Mount Changbai is a dormant volcano and is the highest volcanic cone with the biggest spout in the Northeast of China. It was formed about 2 million years ago. According to the historical materials, it has broken forth three times since the sixteenth century. Mount Changbai has a unique and particular geographic conformation and intriguing sceneries. There are more than 30 wonderful scenes which are famous at home and abroad. Ascending on the top of the mountain ranges, you can realize by yourself what was described in a Chinese poem: “Looking on the top of Mount Changbai, you will feel all the other mountains are so small compared with it.” It widens your visual field, and you cannot help acclaiming it as the peak of perfection. Influenced by the vertical topography of the hilly areas, Mount Changbai forms four scenery belts from temperate zone to Frigid Zone from the foot of the mountain to the top. A colorful natural and vertical scenery belt like this is rare even in the world. There are four seasons in the mountain and the weather varies from one place to another.
Mount Changbai Natural Reserve
Mount Changbai Natural Reserve was established in 1960 centered by the Heaven Pool in Mount Changbai, with a total area of 196465 hectares. It is one of the natural reserves built the earliest in China and the most important. Mount Changbai is a huge complex volcano. Due to its unique geographic location and its particular geological conformation, it forms a magic and spectacular volcanic landforms and typical and complete animal and plant resources. It is endowed with the snowy and icy sight of the northland.
Mount Changbai is the most representative and typical natural complex of the north part of the Euro-Asian Continent. It is a “species storeroom” and “natural museum” rarely seen in the world. Mount Changbai is the headstream of three rivers: Songhua River, Tu’men River and Yalu River. With the approval of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Mount Changbai Natural Reserve was adopted in the reserve net of the International Biological Circle in 1980 and listed as a nature reservation of the worldwide. It stands out gradually among the world natural reserves and enlarges the links and communications with the outside world. It has become a natural reserve of world significance. Therefore, people all over the world as well as the relevant organizations pay more and more attention to Mount Changbai.
The Heaven Pool
Mount Changbai Heaven Pool is also called White-head Mountain Heaven Pool. It is situated on the southeast of Jilin province and is the interfacial lake of China and Korea. The north part of the lake is in Jilin province. For the pool located is on the top of the volcanic cone of the main peak, the water surface is up to 2150 meters above the level. That’s why it is called the Heaven Pool. The Heaven Pool is the most famous scenic spot in Mount Changbai and is a place where tourists will never miss when traveling to Mount Changbai.
The Heaven Pool is elliptic in shape. It is a crater lake formed when the volcano broke forth. After the volcano spat out enormous lavas, the crater became basin-shaped. With the help of rain, snowy water and the underground spring water, the ground spring water gradually formed a lake and it becomes what it is now. In the meantime, the lava materials piled up around the crater and became 16 mountains standing around the Pool. Seven of them are within the boundaries of Korea and the other nine are within China. Each of the nine mountains is of its own characteristics and with bizarre sceneries. The surface of the lake has an area of 10 square kilometers and is a gigantic inartificial reservoir. Surrounded by the 16 mountains, the calm and clear Heaven Pool is as if a jade and thus makes people feel mysterious. The water in the Pool is 2192 meters above the sea level, more than 200 meters higher than the Heaven Mountain and Heaven Pool in Xinjiang province. It is the highest and deepest volcanic lake in China. The best time to tour the Heaven Pool is in midsummer, when the cloud and fog is very little and so it is easy to see clearly the real features of the Heaven Pool. Meanwhile, Mount Changbai Heaven Pool is the headstream of Songhua River, Tu’men River and Yalu River and it has been long called elegantly “the origin of the three rivers”.
Changbai Waterfall is located in the north of the Heaven Pool, at the end of the Chengcuo River. When the water from the river flows 1250 meters far, it rushes down steeply and thus forms Changbai Waterfall as high as 68 meters. Because it is a place of interest and a beautiful scene in Mount Changbai, it gets its name Changbai Waterfall.
Because the hillside is very steep, the flow of water is rapid and torrential. Seen from a distance, it is like a declining heaven ladder. At the mouth of the waterfall, there is a huge rock called “the cowboy ferry”, which divides the waterfall into two sections. The two water columns like two dragons made up of jade jump on the protuberant rock beach and rush down the deep valley, splashing flying waves of several thousand meters as if a fairy lady scattering the flowers. The water steams are as if several thousand piles of snow falling down the milk way and tens of thousands of thread of smoke formed by the flying waterfall. The vigor of the waterfall is like tens of thousands of horses galloping, you can hear the earsplitting waterfall rushing down from a distant place and the scenery is spectacular to the extreme. Whenever tourists pass by the waterfall, they cannot help stopping to look up and enjoy it. The waterfall is like a white chain falling off the sky, as powerful as a thunderbolt, like a jade dragon jumping into the bottom of the valley. Thousands of years later, due to the riptide dropping constantly, a 20-meter deep swag forms right below the waterfall. The water flows out of the pond into Er’dao Baihe.
Heifengkou (a dark place with a draught)
On the way to the Heaven Pool along the north hillside, there is a “concave” indentation on the steep wall between the east end of Bulao Mountain and the scenery-enjoying platform. This is Heifengkou well-known all over Mount Changbai. Gale prevails here all the year round. When a fifth-grade breeze blows the top of the mountain, you can hear a gale howling and see sand and stones flying. And at this moment, tourist cannot stand up at all. Instead, they can only creep forward to Heifengkou, where they can have a panorama of Changbai Waterfall. So the tourists usually stop on the scoop. It proves that the infinite sight on the perilous peak.
There are many places hidden with terrestrial heat under the dark stones of Heifengkou, big ones as big as a bowl mouth and small ones as small as a finger. They are hot spring group distributed on the 1000-square-meter ground. It is less than two li from Changbai Waterfall. It dyes the surrounding rocks and gravels golden yellow, azure, bright red and green, twinkling multicolored and emanating hot steam, extraordinarily pleasant to the eyes. Especially in winter, the surrounding is silver enveloped by ice and snow. The vision has a distinctive flavor because of the hot steam and the curl smog.
Changbai Hot Spring is a kind of extreme hot spring, most of the hot spring is above 60ºC. And highest temperature of the mouth of spring is up to 82ºC and an egg can be boiled as soon as be put into the spring water. Changbai Hot Spring is also esteemed as divine water, which can be used to stretch bones and muscles and make the blood flow and to get rid of coldness and diseases. It has an obvious effect on arthritis and skin disease. There are hotspring piscinas provided for tourists to have a bath. The temperature of the piscina is adjustable. After they come out of it, they feel easy and relaxed. The comparatively famous hot springs like Changbai Hot Spring, Tiyun Hot Spring and Hubin Hot Spring are all good places attracting travelers both at home and abroad. Besides, there are many other hot springs including Luquan Hot Spring, Xianrenqiao Hot Spring Group, Shibadaogou Hot Spring, Yujiang Hot Spring, Yaoshui Hot Spring etc.
The Fairy Lady Piscina
There is a round pool located in the northwest of 30.4 kilometers east of Tianwen Mountain, whose shape is like a lotus cover. It is said that it was the place where the three fairy ladies fell to bathe. The youngest fairy lady, Fo Kulun, swallowed a fruit after bathing and thus was expecting a baby. She gave birth to a boy baby with abnormal appearance who could speak right after his birth and was named Bukuli Yongshun. And according to the legend, the emperors of Qing dynasty were the descendents of Yongshun. In the 34th year of emperor Guangxu in Qing dynasty, the candidate head of Fengtian County, Liu Jianfeng had a visit here. In order to make it open to everybody, he ordered to build a stele ascribed on it “the place where the fairy ladies bathed”. That’s why it gets its name of the Fairy Lady Piscina.
The Fairy Lady Piscina is a small volcanic lake. It is shallow and clear with many float grasses. In the center, there is no ice in winter and no duckweed in summer and no water infused into the piscina. Many pines are surrounding the piscina, tall enough nearly reaching the sky and preventing from the sun. On the bank of piscina are luxuriant silkweeds. Moreover, the rainy swallows hover over head, the fish wander at the shallow bottom of the piscina, the white cranes curvet with each other, all of which form the fairyland of the world.
Meiren Pines (Pines like Beauties)
Meiren Pines are scientifically named Changbai Pines, which grow in Mount Changbai Er’dao Baihe regions scattered. They belong to ever-green arbors, as tall as 25-30 meters, whose diameter is 25-40 centimeters. The crown of the pine trees are elliptic or triangle or shaped like an umbrella. The lower part of the trunk is brown in the bark and the sliver is in the shape of non-regular rectangular; the upper part is brown-yellow and red-yellow, spliced in flakes and slight counter-crooked. Eye-catching Pines is named after its shape like a beauty. It has the beautiful natural scenery unique in Mount Changbai.
The Volcanic Groups in Mount Changbai
There are over 100 volcanoes distributed around Mount Changbai, the biggest crater is about 2600 meters and its diameter is up to 4500 meters. And it is funneled as deep as more than 800 meters. Its sceneries are distinctive and rarely seen in our country. The cones around is 1000 meters or so above the sea level. The craters are usually overflow mouth, in the shape of chairs and crescent. The top of the mountain is quite flat. The famous volcano group include Xi’e’maodingzi, Xitudingzi, Dongtudingzi, Xima’anshan, Dongma’anshan, Chifeng , Laofangzixiaoshan etc. These little volcanoes as many as stars form the spectacular volcanic group.
The Great Canyon in Mount Changbai
The Great Canyon in Mount Changbai is located in Fusong county of Baishan city. It is a natural wonder discovered in recent years and is comparable to the Great Canyon in U.S.A. The Great Canyon in Mount Changbai is more than 70 kilometers long. The canyon forms because the eruption and the mud left on the surface of the lavas after the volcano breaks out is washed out by river water and rain. Beijinhe River flows at the bottom of the valley and odd stones stand in great numbers. All in all, there are too many magic, beautiful and lifelike types of scenery.
The Little Heaven Pools
The Little Heaven Pools are 3 kilometers outside the north of the Changbai Waterfall. They are two little pools in all. One of them is hidden in the sequestered Yue birch forests, with an altitude of 1780 meters, whose lake surface is in the shape of roundness, with a total area of 5380 square meters. The pool is more than 10 meters deep with dark green water. About 200 meters away from the Little Pools, there is a round pool with quite shallow groundwater, only several meters deep. So it sometimes dries up and exposes the yellow mud at its bottom. Standing on a high position, you can see an azure pool and a red-yellow pool at the same time. The two little pools are like a pair of gold-and-silver cup. Therefore, the little Heaven Pools are also called Duibei lake (dui in Chinese means a pair and bei means cup). The sceneries of the little Heaven Pool have a unique style.
Solo Adventure Tips:
How to Get There?
1. Because it is foggy in autumn, you should pay much attention to weather report when you come here, lest you miss the elegant demeanor of the Heaven Pool. 2. Mount Changbai is blocked by ice and covered with snow in winter. It is a typical snowy and icy world. Traveling in Mount Changbai in winter is good, but you should pay special attention to keeping warm, for the temperature can fall down to -40ºC in the coldest time. And you can have an infinite sight of the sceneries in winter. The necessary equipment for keeping warm include down jacket, cap, scarf, glove, sunglasses, snowshoes etc. When walking in the snow, be sure to take a wider way. You’d better invite a local person to be your guide lest you lose your way in the vast snow. 3. There are hotels on and below Mount Changbai. So you can usually find one quite easily. However, the prices for different hotels vary. Generally speaking, if you have a stay in Er’daobaihe town, you’ll pay less, about 200 Yuan RMB for a standard room (20 to 80 Yuan fluctuates between in mid-season and off-season); if you ask for a common bed in an ordinary rest house, usually you only need pay about 10 to 40 Yuan RMB. But if you choose to stay inside the mountain gate, we recommend you to pick out a hotel near by the Waterfall Scenic Spot, the price for a standard suite is 300 to 800 Yuan RMB. For the location is quite convenient and next to Changbai Waterfall. You must reserve a room or a bed in advance in mid-season. What’s more, it’s quite difficult to find a place in the forest area to encamp, let alone a big hunch of flat cantonment. So make good preparation for it if you want to encamp on the mountain. 4. The dietetic characteristics in this region are mainly the Northeast flavor and the Korean flavor. The Northeast flavor majors in pot-roasted dishes, cold dishes dressed with sauce and pickles. If you sip some Kaoliang spirit of the Northeast while having these dishes, you’ll feel joyful and pleased. The Korean flavor takes rice as its staple food and the rice has many breeds. The non-staple food includes soup, soy sauce, pickles and some pickled vegetables, with unique flavor. The Korean pickled vegetables are quite famous, taking orange peduncle, fernery vegetables, cabbages, radishes, cucumbers, and celeries etc. as its raw materials. It tastes crisp and refreshing, hot enough but not too much. 5. Apart from appreciating the natural sight of Mount Changbai when you travel to there, snowy and icy activity is indispensable. In the deep dense forest of Mount Changbai, there is an ideal place for snowy and icy traveling training and activity in winter, which is the Training Base of Snowy and Icy Activity on the Plateau of Mount Changbai. Meanwhile, this base also involves the activities of Motorbike on the Snow, Swimming and Skating in winter. 6. Mount Changbai is well-known inside and outside of China for being teemed with various kinds of special local products. These products include not only gen-seng, marten and pilose antler but also some precious medicinal materials, such as dang-seng, asarum, tragacanth and magic fungus---glossy ganoderma. The famous and rare vegetables are ferneries, cardoon, mushroom, agaric etc. The advanced wine-making materials are oranges in the southern area, the wild grapes, Chinese goosebeery etc. The famous medicine made of animal organs is mainly from ursine gallbladder. After traveling Mount Changbai, you can have a purchase in the market of mountainous commodities. Gen-seng, agaric or the wild vegetables is all fit for presenting your relatives and friends as a gift. Besides, the wooden painting, Songhua ink stone, An’lu stone carving, azalea root carving, series of products of gen-seng cosmetic etc. are all favored by the tourists. 7.Mount Changbai is of temperate continental mountainous climate. It has a long and cold winter and a short summer. Moreover, the weather changes from time to time. It is windy in spring and foggy in autumn. The annual average temperature fluctuates between -7ºC and 3ºC. The optimal time for traveling to Mount Changbai is July, August and September. And winter is the best season to go skiing.
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