Attraction of the week

The heart of Guangzhou's former European concession—France and England both set up shop on this sandy river island in 1859 toward the end of the Opium Wars—Shamian Island...


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One of the most famous historical tourist attractions in Shenyang, the Shenyang Imperial Palace or Mukden Palace (known in Chinese as Shényáng Gùgōng, 沈阳故宫) was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004 for its relationship to the Forbidden City in Beijing. Completed in 1636 under Abahai (Huáng Táijí, 皇太極), first emperor of the Qing Dynasty, the construction actually began under the Ming-conquering Manchu ruler Nurhaci. Covering 60,000 sq m (71,759 sq yd), the..

On September 18, 1931, Japanese forces, who already occupied parts of Manchuria (present day Liaoning, Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces), blamed Chinese dissidents for the bombing of the Japanese-owned railway. Historians are generally in agreement that Japanese militarists staged the bombing and then blamed the Chinese as a pretext for launching the Second Sino-Japanese War. It was an incident that would became forever known as the Manchurian Incident or Mukden Incident. Within the September 18th History Museum (Jiǔ Yī Bā..

The Zhao Mausoleum (Zhāo Líng, 昭陵) or North Tomb is situated amongst the expansive greens and lakes of Beiling Park (Běilíng Gōngyuán, 北陵公园), near the Shenyang Imperial Palace. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Zhao Mausoleum is one of Shenyang's most popular historic and cultural attractions. Commissioned by the first Qing emperor Abahai, also known as Huang Taiji, the tombs feature masterful artistry combining Manchu and Chinese architectural elements. Wandering through the mausoleum's grand palaces and..

The Fu Mausoleum (Fú Líng, 福陵) or East Tomb is the final resting place of Nurhaci, the great Manchu leader and founder of the Qing state, and his wife, Empress Xiao Ci. A UNESCO world heritage site, the Fu Mausoleum is listed as an extension of the Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Bejiing and Shenyang. Showcasing masterful Manchu architecture, the East Tomb incorporates elements of traditional Chinese feng shui. The tomb stands on the western edge of Dongling Park (Dōng Líng..

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..

Tiger Beach Ocean Park (Lǎohǔtān Hǎiyáng Gōngyuán, 老虎滩海洋公园) is located in Dalian's Binhai District. China's largest ocean amusement park, it covers 4 km (3 mi) of coastline and features marine life from all over the world. Highlights include the world's biggest Polar Aquarium where you'll find marine animals from both polar regions including belugas, penguins, sea otters, polar bears and other creatures from these freezy climes. There's also the Coral Hall, featuring tropical fish and around 200..

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