Changbaishan National Nature Reserve
Changbaishan National Nature Reserve (长白山自然保护区) is in Jilin province.
Covering a total area of 2000 square km, Changbai Mountains National Reserve is, as a mammoth natural zoo and botanical garden, part of the UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Program. The Tianchi Lake (Heaven Lake), vertical scenery, aerial park, Hot Springs, and waterfalls are among the six local natural wonders. The mountains, covered with primitive forests, make an excellent tourist destination.
TianChi is 8 miles in circumference but cannot be circumnavigated since it overlaps with North Korea.
Long considered to be the source of both Manchurian and Korean cultures, the mountain was taboo for most of China's history and those who violated the taboo were normally beated with sticks until they died.
Chang Bai Shan (Long White Mountain) is the tallest peak in Dongbei China. It is a former volcano with a lake in the crater named Tianchi Lake and this lake is the source of the Songhua River.
Flora and fauna
Below the lake in the crater, the mountain offers a very large selection of flora, such as the rare Chang Bai larch. The total count of the different species within the Nature Reserve is an impressive 80 trees and over 300 medicinal plant species.
From early October to late May, access into the park will be very difficult due to the amount of snow that falls in the winter. Early September seems to be one of the better times to visit and, a whole lot of South Koreans agree with you, finding availability might be difficult.
Access into the Nature Reserve for non-chinese is mainly through Baihe. Baihe can be access by bus through Yanji or train through Tonghua. From Baihe, buses travel frequently to Chang Bai Shan to the vehicle switching station, 17 miles past the main gate. From the vehicle switching station, sport utility vehicles take you the rest of the way to the hot springs at the base of the mountain.
An alternate access is via Songjiang He, a village 40 km west of the Nature Reserve. The western approach offers more beauty with forests of trees gradually changing to meadows and flowers (in spring and early summer).
The easiest way to get to Changbaishan is by booking one of the three-day tours arranged through CITS in Jilin (at the Dongguan Hotel) costing ¥620 (¥420 for Chinese), which include all fees and accommodations, and which stop at all the major sightseeing stops, including Tian Chi.
Foreigners pay ¥121 while Chinese and student-card holders pay ¥40 for entrance into the Nature Reserve.
- Changbai Waterfall - 225-ft high waterfall near the volcanic crater
- Hot Springs near Tian Chi - hot enough for eggs to boil and to offer therapeutic dips for visitors
- Tianchi Lake - volcanic lake marks the boundary of China and North Korea and is known for its sublime natural beauty
- Enjoy a soak in one of the hot springs at the base of the mountain - the bathhouse offers hot spring baths for ¥40 per person
The Tian Chi lake is split between China and North Korea. If hiking, Do Not Wander Into North Korea!
This page was last edited at 16:37, on 14 June 2007 by Oliver Buchino. Based on work by M. Hogue, Wikitravel user(s) WindHorse and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.