7 Incredible Places You Need to Check Out in China’s Northeast Region of Dongbei
Historically known as Manchuria, China's Dongbei region is full of some of the most underrated places in the country. Sharing a border with the mysterious country of North Korea, Dongbei is home to a huge population of ethnic Koreans, such as in the bilingual city of Yanji. To the north it borders Russia, whose culture seemingly integrates itself in a number of Dongbei's cities, forming a fascinating mix of Russian, Korean and Chinese culture you won't find anywhere else.
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Once the main palace for the early stages of the Qing Dynasty after being built in 1625, Mukden Palace is seen as an extension to Beijing's famous Forbidden City. While the palace was designed off the similar palace area in Beijing, Mukden also features some styles of Manchu and Tibetan architecture in its buildings. Situated right in the center of Shenyang, the palace also doubles up as a museum where you can read about the history and view some of the incredible artifacts from the period.
This incredibly unique landscape shines a bright red color at a certain period each year due an abundance of the red plant Suaeda salsa. Also known as the Red Beach, Panjin's fascinating red hue stretches for as far as the eye can see, making for some amazing photo opportunities.
Far under the radar of tourism, Northeastern Yanji doesn't see a lot of tourists but its fascinating blend of Korean and Chinese culture makes the city an interesting spot to visit, especially for those with a passion for Korean culture. Also sometimes referred to as the 'third Korea', it's clear to see the heavy influence of its past with building and street signs often written bilingually in Chinese and Korean.
China's most northerly major city, Harbin is also known as the Ice City for its cold, unforgiving winters. Although that might put you off from visiting, it's home to an annual 'Ice and Snow Festival' where a huge area of the city is took over by incredible sculptures and buildings fashioned out of ice and snow. As the biggest festival of its kind, some of the icy architecture is built on a huge scale, giving the appearance of a whole city built entirely from the frozen substance. If you can't visit during the winter festival however, the city is still well worth seeing, with a number of beautiful Russian buildings dotted around the area.
This beautiful volcano spans across the border of North Korea and China and is seen as a spiritual and sacred spot to the Korean people, having being worshiped by locals around there throughout history. For this reason, and the fact that it's the highest mountain in the Korean Peninsula, many North Koreans and Chinese come to visit at both sides of the border.
The scenery here is really somewhat breathtaking and is one of the most underrated views on the continent. Especially during the winter when the whole mountain and crater is covered in a beautifully picturesque blanket of thick white snow.
Mudanjiang Snow Village
If you're travelling to Dongbei during the winter period, much of the country will be blanketed in a thick layer of powdery white snow. One of the most beautiful places to visit to see this winter wonderland scenery is the fairy-tale town of Mudanjiang with its beautiful wooden houses and red-lit Chinese lanterns dotted around the village. The town is an easy day trip for anyone visiting the nearby city of Harbin.
North Korean Border
While the border between South and North Korea is like a impenetrable, heavily-guarded fortress, the border with China is the complete opposite. Only patrolled by a few guards and towers, the area here offers an incredible insight into the life and landscape of the Hermit Kingdom, without even needing to cross the foreboding border. For more information on the best place to see into North Korea click here.
Apart from the incredible scenery found around Northeast China, the food is one of the most beloved cuisines, with many foreigners living in China often falling in love with Dongei cuisine. Make sure to try foods such as jiaozi, di san xian and guo bao rou, some of the most popular dishes from the area.