Attraction of the week

The Ancient City of Dali (Dàlǐ Gǔchéng, 大理古城), or Dali Old Town, is another great example of ancient and modern fusing together in China. The architecture is indeed ancient with...


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About 50 kilometers out of Dandong, Phoenix Mountain (Fenhuang Shan) is, according to the Dandong local government, one of the top for scenic areas in Liaoning Province. Even if you're disposed to take their word with a grain of salt, Phoenix Mountain won't disappoint. The area, 216 square kilometers, is large and there's plenty to see. There are Taoist temples, inscribed stone tablets, dramatic landscapes, ancient towers, zipline rides and caves to explore. Hikes to the peak can take a while and be quite..

With historic sites from the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), caves, a temple to a goddess of the sea, monuments and one of the largest beaches in northern China, Big Deer Island makes for both a nice retreat from the city and a fascinating historical attraction.  Da LU Dao is not far from  Dagu Shan (Dagu Mountain), so you can follow up a day of hiking the mountain with a great seafood dinner by the water. Pack plenty of water before going, as it is quite expensive on the island itself.

Pockmarked by shrapnel and half destroyed, first by a supposedly errant American bomb and then further by the North Koreans, the Yalu River Bridge (Yalujiang Duanqiao) stands as a memorial next to the Friendship Bridge, which spans the river and facilitates trade and traffic between North Korea and China.  Travelers who want to see the North Korean side of the border will find a visit to the bridge complements a boat cruise quite nicely. There are piers on either side of the bridge with both large boats (RMB 20, 20 minutes) and..

For a chance to clamber over the Great Wall, without having to deal with throngs of tourists, this Ming-dynasty section, which runs along the North Korean border, might be your best bet.  Yibukua "one step across" near the entrance, marks a narrow point in the river between North Korea and China. Though it almost seem as if you could just hop the fence and be in the DPRK, we strongly advise you don't. There are armed soldiers hiding out, and if they catch you, they probably won't be awarding you ribbons for your fence-hopping..

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