If you look at the map, China with its outlines resembles the silhouette of a rooster. And the capital of Jilin Province, Changchun, is exactly in the eye of an imaginary bird. This is one of the largest cities in the north of China, which, in addition to its administrative background, is known for two more chips. Firstly, there are already 27 universities, among which are popular with foreigners and very prestigious Jilin and Changchun Polytechnic. Secondly, the country’s largest automotive cluster is located here, because of which the city is even called the “Chinese Detroit”. But this should not mislead potential tourists. Strong winds exclude the formation of smog, which could prevent you from getting to know the many sights.
How to get to Changchun
There are no direct flights between Moscow and Changchun, so you will have to fly with transfers. Air China, China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines use Beijing, Shanghai or Shenzhen as transit cities. The flight Moscow – Beijing – Changchun will take 11 hours, the journey through Shanghai – 13.5 hours, Shenzhen – 19 hours. Check localcollegeexplorer for other cities and countries as well as education in Asia.
The airport and the city center are connected by 5 bus routes, they cover 30 km in 45 minutes. Taxi is a little faster, but the trip will cost 100 CNY plus 5 CNY if the taxi driver is waiting at the airport.
The central part of the city is quite compact, but more than 100 bus routes pass through it, going to all areas of Changchun. There are also analogues of minibuses. Minibus No. 264 is perfect as a tourist transport, as it runs through the main attractions: “Cinema Land”, the Palace of the Puppet Emperor, Nanhu Park, Wenhua Square. As in any decent Chinese millionaire, Changchun has a subway, which so far includes 3 lines. But the subway in the Celestial Empire does not surprise anyone, but the tram… True, only one route No. 54 operates in the city, and even that one functions rather as a tribute to tradition.
Taxis are very popular here because of their cheapness: a standard trip costs 5-8 CNY. The destination address is best written in hieroglyphs. But the townspeople are indifferent to bicycles because of the cold climate and the lack of proper infrastructure. Locals prefer private cars, since parking is mostly free.
A significant number of hotels in Changchun are located south of the railway station along Renmin Street. There are also huge 5 * hotels, including international chains, where a double room costs 450-550 CNY. More affordable options are located a little away from Renmin and in the western part of Changchun – 2-3 km from the subway. In local two- and three-star hotels, a double room is estimated at 150-200 CNY per day.
The cost of apartments depends on the location, the closer to the train station or central metro stations, the more expensive. Basically rent for 100-200 CNY per day. There are hostels and guesthouses in the city, however, you need to keep in mind that foreigners will not be able to settle in some of them. A bunk costs 60-80 CNY.
Cuisine and restaurants
Changchun is one of those cities whose cuisine has rich traditions and unusual features. Its main culinary treasure is “changbaishan zhen yang” – 6 typical local dishes. Here are some of them: chicken with ginseng in Maotai wine, deer tail stew, steamed white fish, Chinese samovar with pork, seafood, lamb, vegetables, frozen beans and vermicelli. Lunch at a restaurant with one of these dishes will cost 30-50 CNY per person.
Snacks should not be discounted either, they are an integral part of the culture of Changchun. The most famous eateries are located on the streets of Guilin and Chongqing. We try lamb on skewers and wok noodles with pork. A snack costs 15-30 CNY.
Sights of Changchun
During its existence, Changchun changed rulers more than once. Of all of them, the most influential was the Japanese, who in 1932 made the city the capital of the puppet empire of Manchukuo. Although she was under the control of the Land of the Rising Sun, she had all the attributes of statehood: an army, a flag, a coat of arms and a supreme ruler. The last one, Pu Yi, lived with 4 wives in the luxurious palace complex of Weihuanggong in the northeast of the city (5 Guangfu Road). In the architecture of the ensemble, according to the then fashion, Chinese and Western features are intertwined. The palace building itself is surrounded by a fortress wall and 10 buildings, which in turn are framed by gardens, artificial hills and ponds. Today, the Museum of the Emperor of the puppet state of Manchukuo is open in Weihuanggun.
Another must-see attraction is Filmland (Jingyue Street) in the southeastern suburbs of Changchun. This place is known as “Chinese Hollywood” and in many ways really resembles a huge movie set. On its territory there are numerous pavilions where popular Chinese films and music videos are staged.
In addition to being utilitarian, Cinemaland serves as a first-class attraction for the whole family, like Universal Studios in Florida. The film town is located near the Changchun Movie Wonderland subway station.
Jingyuetan National Forest Park is located in the neighborhood (GPS coordinates: 43.774856, 125.479683) and is almost completely covered with forests of typical species for this area: pine, larch, spruce, Mongolian oak. Citizens affectionately refer to Jingyuetan as a “giant oxygen bar” – there are 400 times more negative ions under the canopy of trees than in the center of Changchun.
Changchun has a humid continental climate with cold, long winters lasting from November to March. Summers are hot, with plenty of rain. It is best to go here at the end of August or in April, when comfortable warm weather sets in.