From waterfalls to ancient capitals - Jilin parades its top beauty spots

13:51, October 22, 2009      

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Changbai Mountain Waterfall

The Changbai Mountain, the highest promontory in northeast China, has a long and extremely cold winter, due both to its latitude and altitude. "Changbai" means "always white" in Chinese, indicating the perennially snow-capped status of this lofty peak.

Located in the southeast of the province, Changbai straddles the China-North Korea border. The Changbai Mountain natural reserve was established at a national level in 1960 in order to protect its rich natural resources and exotic flora and fauna, including ginseng, spotted deer, Siberian tigers and ermine.

The mountain is a dormant volcano that has erupted three times since the 16th century. These eruptions have shaped 16 peaks in the mountains, seven in North Korea and nine in China.

Atop the 2,194-m main peak of Changbai lies the Tianchi Lake - a volcanic lake said to have a depth of 373 meters, making it, arguably the country's deepest lake. It is rumored that unknown huge creature or "lake monsters" have been spotted in the lake several times and a "lake monster observation station" has been built along the lake in the hope of solving the mystery.

The Tianchi Lake covers an area of 9.8 sq km, with dozens of hot springs emerging from its depths. Water flows from a break in the Tianchi Lake to form the breathtaking Changbai Waterfall, which has a height of some 68 meters. Crashing down from the high mountaintop, the waterfall seems to descend from the sky, together with a thunder-like noise and snow-white foam. It is said the noise of the waterfall can be heard more than 10 kilometers away.

Located 900 meters north of the Changbai Waterfall, the Changbai Hot Spring has gushed out hot water continuously for as long as anyone can remember. The hot spring has 13 openings, scattered throughout an area of 1,000 sq m and has a temperature range of between 62 and 82 degrees centigrade. The hot water can cook an egg within 20 minutes.

The Changbai Mountain was listed as one of UNESCO's international biological protection zones in 1980 and became the country's primary scenic spot in 2007.

Gaogouli relics &culture

Listed as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO in 2004, the ancient capital and imperial tombs of the Gaogouli Kingdom - known as Koguryo to Westerners - and the mausoleum relics in Ji'an city in southeast of the province showcase the unique culture and civilization of the northern minority ethnic people of China from roughly 2,000 years ago.

The ancient Korean kingdom established its capital in Ji'an more than 2,000 years ago. After 425 years of dominance, the ancient kingdom was replaced by other ethnic groups. However its culture and traditions have persevered and a number of relics from its hey-day have been well preserved, including its ancient tombs, stone carvings and frescoes.

There are roughly 100 ancient Korean fresco tombs in the world, 30 percent are in China and the rest in North Korea. The Korean fresco tombs in China are mainly in Jilin province. The frescos feature the daily life of royalty from more than 1,500 years ago, showcasing scenes of festivals, feasts, sports, drama and hunting.

Xianghai - home of the crane

Located in Tongyu county, near the province's Baicheng city, the Xianghai resort area is an ideal sightseeing place to enjoy its unique grassland landscape. Covering an area of 105,000 hectares, the resort has a vast area of wetlands, lakes and forests and is home to many wild birds, especially a variety of cranes.

In total, the Xianghai resort area has 258 types of wild birds, including six types of cranes. The area is the ideal place to see more than 60 red-crowned cranes, designated as the country's most endangered species. There are now only 1,500 red-crowned cranes in the world.

A world top class wetland resort, as well as a national forest park and a wildlife protection zone, Xianghai attracts an increasing number of tourists every year.

Hunchun - a city straddling the borders of three countries

Hunchun is the only Chinese city that lies on the borders of China, Russia and North Korea.

Located in the lower reaches of the Tumen River in southeastern Jilin, Hunchun has become an important and emerging border city. It is now established as a key center for the promotion of border trade, as well as business and cultural exchange. It serves as a bridge between China and a number of other countries in Northeast Asia, including Russia, Japan and North Korea.

Standing on the mountains of the Fangchuan National Scenery Zone, tourists can have an unparalleled view of the border areas of the three countries of China, Russia and North Korea. A national forest park, Fangchuan Park, is home to a number of rare plants, animals and birds. The park is also the core area of the Protection Zone for the Far East Leopard.

Sailing along the Tumen River, once dubbed the "Silk Road on the Sea" for 15 km from Fangchuan, brings you into the Japanese Sea.

Source: China Daily
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