Liaoning On a BudgetThe Liaoning Province, China is a fairly large province in the northeast, bordering North Korea. The area is famous for their rich history, industrial hubs, and stunning natural beauty. Liaoning's proximity to North Korea and Mongolia, combined with its history of Russian and Japanese controllers has provided this province with a unique blend of cultures.
The province experiences the best weather from May through August; with temperatures in the high 60's Fahrenheit during the spring and humid, high 80's during the summer. Autumn brings back weather in the low 60's and are a great time to visit to watch the leaves change. Winters tend to be harsh and not very tourist friendly.
SightsYou'll find stunning examples of Liaoning's rich history throughout the province. In the city of Dalian, you'll find architecture that dates back to the Russian occupation in the 1800's along with 1920's era Japanese buildings. Fushun is a city famous for the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Xing City, which is founding place of the Jing Dynasty from 1616 and provides excellent examples of their architecture and culture.
The capital city of Shenyang dates back to the Third Century, and has everything from the ancient Mukden Imperial Palace to four pagodas built in the 1640's. Any visit to the Liaoning Province wouldn't be complete without going to the water cave in the Benxi Shuidong National Park. The water cave has a long river running through it which you can take a boat ride on to see the rock formations on the ceiling. Keep an eye out for some of the most famous rock formations, like Ginseng Baby and Tiger's Mouth.
RegionsLiaoning is a fairly large province with a blend of industrial and natural landscapes, the best example of such is the capital city of Shenyang. Located in the central part of the province, Shenyang boasts three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the famous Mukden Palace, and ancient architecture. Directly east is Fushun, the founding place of the Jing Dynasty which later became the famous Qing Dynasty which dates back to the early 1600's.
Benxi is best known for the Benxi National Park, which includes the stunning water cave and 10th century Liao Dynasty ruins. Dalian is a lovely port city with beautiful beaches and is historically rich in Russian and Japanese culture. Anshan is another major industrial hub, best known for the Qianshan National Park. Liaoyang is home to a beautiful White Pagoda and dates all the way back to the Yuan Dynasty. Finally, there is Lvshunkou, wealthy in history from the Russian-Japanese war.
ActivitiesExperience the beauty of Liaoning from the water on a Honghu Red River Canyon rafting ride which runs through easy white waters and large mountain ranges. You can also enjoy a day at Fujiazhuang Beach, which is one of the less crowded beaches where you can either take a swim in the sea or sunbathe on the sand.
If you're around in late July, check out the Dalian Beer Festival which runs annually over a ten-day period. Daytime festivities include food, games, and music acts while nighttime brings out the beer and even more music. The beer ranges from domestic to international, including those from Germany and the U.S. If you happen to be in Benxi during Autumn, check out the Maple Leaf Festival which celebrates the changing colors of the leaves and the delicious syrup that the trees produce!
Food and DiningLiaoning is home to the regionally famous Liao Cuisine which has strong flavor and plentiful spices. Dumplings and noodles are the most popular dishes, often involving locally caught seafood. The central area of the province is known for fruit production, especially pears, which you'll find in many dishes throughout the area. Due to the proximity to Korea, Korean restaurants are popular in Liaoning, especially Korean BBQ.
Beer is very popular here, with many distilleries throughout the province, it's well worth spending a few nights enjoying a couple of local bottles. Baijiu is a local, traditional, spirit that has 50% volume or higher. Baijiu is often confused with wine at restaurants due to the close pronunciation of the two words, meaning you must be sure you're ordering grape wine and not the spirit.
TransportationFor shorter routes to and from Liaoning, it is recommended to book ahead. The best prices for buses and trains in China can be found on 12Go. They let you search across all bus, train, and airline routes throughout Asia.
Getting into Liaoning is easy, with options ranging from both international and domestic airports, trains, buses, and even boats. These are the same options you have when traveling from city to city within the province. Traveling within each city ranges from local and tourist buses to being able to navigate on foot. Taxis are a popular option, just be cautious as there are quite a few illegal drivers out there. All you have to do is ask for the meter to be turned on before getting in the car to know whether they are legal or not.
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