China's northern frontier covers a vast and stunning landscape,
stretching from the
sprawling grasslands and deserts of the Inner Mongolia steppes to the
forests of the far northeast. This part of China seems endless...and
Hohhot, capital of Inner Mongolia, is located 276 miles northwest of
Beijing. Hohhot is
the gateway to the Daqing Mountains and the vast grasslands of Inner
can experience local life by spending the night in a yurt -a circular
felt tent-, visiting
a Mongol family, or attending one of the many festivals that celebrate
legendary skills in horsemanship and archery. The annual event of Nadamn
place in late summer and early autumn for show and competitions of horse
wrestling, and a trade fair.
This city is home to the Yungang Grottoes, one of China's three most
grotto sites. Yungang's sandstone carvings are the largest and oldest of
their kind in
China. Persian, Greek and Indian influences converge in the 53 caves,
which house more
than 51,000 images carved from 386 to 534 AD.
Chengde is best known as the Imperial Summer Resort, located 159 miles
Beijing. A daily 5-hour tourist train links the two cities. An important
overlooked destination, Chengde reflects the tastes of the Qing
emperors, borrowing its
architectural splendor from both Beijing and Tibet. It served as the
retreat for Emperor Kangxi and other Qing Dynasty rulers. It was the
setting used by the
Qing sovereigns to entertain leaders of the ethnic minority
nationalities of China.
Imperial hospitality consisted mostly of hunting and feasting with the
Shenyang is the capital of Liaoning Province, 403 miles northeast of
China's most important industrial and cultural metropolis, the city
served as capital of
the Manchus from 1625-44 AD. Its Imperial Palace ranks second only to
City in size and splendor.
This is the capital of Jilin Province, 546 miles northeast of Beijing.
The last emperor of
China, Pu Yi, lived here as the ruler of Japanese controlled -Manchukuo-
Period photographs and memorabilia on display recall scenes from the
Bertolucci film, -The
Formerly called Kirin, the city of Jilin is situated 826 miles northeast
Alpine scenery distinguishes this cold, bracing city in China's far
north. Jilin is famous
throughout China for the wintery scenery along the Songhua and the
coating of hoarfrost on
the surrounding willow trees. To the southeast are the Changbai
Mountains, where beautiful
Heaven Lake separates Jilin Province from Korea.
The city is the capital of Heilongjiang Province, 802 miles northeast of
Beijing. Site of
China's 1991 Asian Winter Games, Harbin is world-famous for its Ice
Each January the city becomes a winter fantasyland of live-sized
dragons, palaces, lanterns and figures, all gaily illuminated by
lights. Now the city is playing a leading role in the burgeoning
economic development of
Northeast Asia, thanks to its proximity with Russia, Korea, Outer
Mongolia and Japan and
to its position as the hub of commerce and communications with nearby
regions as well as to its industrial strength.