The China – North Korea border isn’t Dandong only attraction: there’s another place definitely worth a visit.
More or less one hour by car from the city center there’s Hushan mountain, where Great Wall, built by Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor to unify China in 221 B.C., ends after 8852 kilometers. Climbing the spectacular Great Wall is always exciting (don’t forget to sing I’ll Make A Man Out Of You pretending not to be breathless), and being at its very last stretch is even more interesting, but the best part in Hushan mountain is descending: one of the ways back to the entrance is a course round the mountain with narrow passages, gaps to jump over and a suspension bridge that supports only 10 people a time. It’s a bit dangerous and it nearly made us miss the bus, but it also made our day. And it is only few meters away from North Korea: that’s perfect to make you think about people fleeing by swimming through the river, that’s pretty narrow over there, while you’re waiting for tourists to stop taking pictures and cross the damn bridge.
Other attractions in Dandong are the Korean War museum and the Korean War Memorial, and if you are very adventurous and would like to do an overnight trip you can check out Daludao, a fishermen island three hours from the city, but just walking around in the city center, doing some shopping and chilling is enjoyable as well – in my opinion, Dandong is better than other north-eastern cities, and, being used to Jilin province, the landscape trains from Shenyang pass through just before arriving in the city is very beautiful. There’s only one thing you definitely have to do before leaving for the next destination, and it’s eating. Don’t imitate me by not visiting a north korean restaurant, and also look for some seafood, Dandong tasty speciality.
Many thanks to booking.com, chocolate peanut butter and nongcunrenmen, who have made our holiday there.