The Little Village, Baihe, Near Changbai Mountain

baihe

Erdao Baihe was once a small village in the middle of the Korean Autonomous Region in the North Eastern part of China close to the border between China and North Korea. During the Chinese development, the local government in Jilin decided to create a tourist town out of Baihe. Why? Because Baihe is the closest town to the beautiful mountain Changbai.

After this decision, the government started to create a plan for the town and during the last five years, the streets in the town have gotten new names, foreign flags are hanging from the new street lights and small family-owned restaurants and hotels can be seen everywhere.

The tourists coming to Baihe are usually Chinese or Korean so nothing is translated into English which is why I think if you are considering going to Baihe to see the mountain and its lake, you should consider bringing a Chinese friend or practice some Mandarin before arrival.

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There are different ways to get to Baihe, both trains and busses. I would recommend taking the train from Changchun or Shenyang. The train staff will notice you when the train is about to arrive in Baihe so it is easy to manage the transport here.

You could try to book a hotel beforehand but I would recommend you to just find one when arriving in town. There are so many hotels to choose between and even though we booked in advance the hotel was missing when we arrived. We never got an explanation on that one. Luckily, the taxi driver called his brother and we were send to their hotel instead.

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When in Baihe, the biggest sightseeing spot is the Changbai Mountain which I’m talking about in this post. But after going there, you can also enjoy the actual town of Baihe. The population of the town is 40 % North Korean and there are many Korean tourists, so many restaurants are selling Korean food. If you haven’t tried this before, you should go and have a try. You can both enjoy the simple black cold Korean noodles with an egg, a slice of meat and cucumber in a cold soup whereas if you’re more the adventurous type, there’s also quite a lot of restaurants selling the specialty of dog meat which is also from Korea (Even though I know the stereotype is always on the Chinese eating dog meat). Korean barbeque is another great experience where the barbeque is placed in the middle of the table and everyone can dig in while chatting and having fun.

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Korean Cold Noodles are another specialty in Baihe

Furthermore, in town there’s also this really random but funny show in the Grand Theatre. We bought a ticket for 100 RMB for the evening show where a bunch of beautiful Chinese girls and boys were dancing around and singing North Eastern songs while wearing the most stunning traditional costumes. In the middle of the show, one guy came out, sang a song and then started talking about everything. He was all around and we almost lost patience when he stopped and another girl walked in dressed in a Mao uniform. After she had sung a cultural revolutionary song, the traditional costumes and dancing were back again. Then another guy came in and started singing and joking around. Once again we were totally lost but the whole situation was so random that we were having a laugh anyway. Then they were dancing again and in the end they all came out to say goodbye. I would definitely recommend this show just for the fun of it. Half of the show was amazing and the rest was just hilarious.

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I know I’ll be back because this place really took me by surprise. When back again, I’ll go and check out the horse riding in the forest nearby the mountain. The price for riding a horse is approx. 100 RMB/hour which I think is pretty decent. You should check that out if you have an interest in horses and have the extra time for it. I like to know that I’m supporting the local farmers as well by doing these activities.

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I hope your stay in this little town will be as memorable as mine. I’ll def be back for more.

xx lingling

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Ending one thing and starting a new

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It’s over now. It’s over! It may sound more aggressive than it is but she left. My sister has gone home again. Her boyfriend misses her and she’s looking forward to seeing him again and start her steady life in Denmark once again. I’ve had the pleasure of traveling with her for almost a month and we’ve had such a great time. Of course, there have been moments where we needed time off from each other but all in all it has been a successful trip around North East China.

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Travel Around Changchun, North East China

by owen young-2

I never had any high expectations for the capital city of Jilin province. We only bought train tickets there because my friend had previously posted a stunning picture of a lake, I just had to see. The lake was located far out of the capital city but the train was of course going to the capital city so we had to go. After spending a few days there, I don’t for a single second regret that we went because wow, what a place to explore.

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What you should know before going to China

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Summer vacation is upon us and friends of friends have been asking about China. It seems like the country has become a more interesting travel destination than earlier. I’m so excited about that but it also means that there are more people asking me questions about traveling there. It’s usually concerning the same topics so I thought, hey, why not just write a short and simple post about some of the main things to remember, pack and prepare for. So without further small talk, let’s get straight into it.

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Travel to the Traditional Village of Fenghuang, Hunan

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Fenghuang, in English called Phoenix Ancient Town, is a beautiful little village in Hunan province in the middle of China. Fenghuang means phoenix in Chinese and the legend says that two of these majestic birds flew over the village long time ago and because of its beauty, they settled there. I would definitely agree on the beauty aspect of this story. When I first arrived, I was appalled by the charm of this old place. Some people call Suzhou the Venice of China but I personally think Fenghuang might as well have this title because of its nice river floating down through the town of small wooden houses.

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Learn more about the Tujia people in this magical place

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After a fun day of climbing through the forest on top of the Zhangjiajie Avatar mountains, I was now up for more cultural inspiration so I found this little ethnic park on my way around town (Zhangjiajie). The people working there are from the ethnic minority called Tujia and they all wore the minority’s traditional clothing. When I arrived at the entrance (picture above), I couldn’t stop taking photos of these cute girls in their colourful outfits.

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Zhangjiajie – China’s Avatar Mountains

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Zhangjiajie, also called the Avatar mountains, is a beautiful range of mountains in Hunan province of China. The national park is massive and full of stunning sights and curious monkeys (take care of your food because they’ll be there if you’re eating too obviously).

Today, I’ll take you through my trip from Beijing to Hunan’s Avatar mountains. I hope you’ll fall in love with this place as much as I did and who knows maybe you’ll even consider going there after seeing the beautiful pictures of stunning views because it is actually really easy to get around if you just prepare a bit beforehand (Get those Chinese names down on your phone to show the Chinese if you are lost at a train or bus station). Cheers!

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Volunteering with left-behind children of Guizhou (from a Chinese perspective)

by owen young-3

The left-behind children have been up in the media lately. People discuss why they are left and if they have any future at all. I’ve done a video (watch here) where I’m describing and discussing them and their situation. It’s a tragic one which is why I wanted to shed a little bit of positive light on this issue.

As mentioned in an earlier article (here), there are actually Chinese people who takes time off to volunteer. My friend,  Haoran from Wuhan Technology University helped me get into contact with one of those today and asked him a few questions about his volunteer experience in China. I hope you’ll enjoy the read and the following pictures from his trip.

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