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Ji'an - Quiet City in the Jilin Countryside

Last updated by mannylamancha at 2012/1/5; Destinations:

For the second time in my life, I chose a travel destination by looking at a map and thinking "gee, that place looks like it's in the boonies- why don't I go there?" I'm glad I did.

Located in Northeast China in the Jilin Province, Ji'an is a small city of about 230,000 people. It sits on one side of the Yalu River, opposite a desolate stretch of North Korea. You can see everything there is to see in the city proper in about 5 or 6 hours. If you chose not to dilly dally at the sights, you could probably walk around the whole city in much less than that. Ji'an is rich in history for Korea more than for China, and it is home to multiple parts of the same UNESCO World Heritage Sight.

-Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom

After visiting several of the burial mounds, you can head into town from the countryside (about a 20 minute walk) and admire the river (and the unfortunate, oppressed people on the other side.) The Chinese spoken here is inluenced by the many Korean (decendent or refuge) inhabitants, and therefore may be difficult to understand for even native speakers.

About 40 minutes North of the city is the Five Female Celestial Peak National Park. The entrance is off the small one-lane highway in the middle of nowhere, so unless you have a car you'll have to hire a taxi to take you and wait for you to explore. Admission is about 100 RMB per person, and you will basically have free reign on the mountain. There are some dirt paths, but for the most part the hiking "trails" all consist of concrete roads snaking up the mountain at a very steep grade. One point of interest is a leftover base camp from the Japanese invasion.

The closest "big" city (ie, where you can get a connecting bus) is Tonghua.