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