Local government and police in the super friendly and safe city of Changchun have made a huge effort to improve our city for foreigners, working to beef up the city’s infrastructure, and investing monumental sums of time and money into tourism. Changchun’s established tourist attractions are sure to surprise and delight, so come on over and take a look next time you can steal some time away for a trip to the beautiful city. I’ll let you in on my personal top four spots.
1) Changchun World Sculpture Park 长春世界雕塑公园
This is the largest park of its kind in the world, and is in fact huge, covering 92 hectares with a great variety of sculptures old and new. Changchun World Sculpture Park’s central sculpture is called “Friendship, Peace, and Spring” and symbolizes the unity of people across five continents. The gallery inside the main building is adorned with flags from all over the world and is worth an hour at least (photos allowed). The African exhibition was slightly odd (as we are in northern China), but it was certainly spectacular and showed a nice contract between the somewhat less subtle African art and the intricate detail of some of the Chinese miniature art pieces on display. There is some really stunning artwork in the art gallery, but with 320 sculptures here, exploring is more fun when you head outside.
2) Puppet Imperial Palace 伪皇宫
The Manchu State Imperial Palace, or Puppet Imperial Palace as it is called here in China, was the home of Pu Yi, the last emperor of China. It is now a national AAAAA historical site. The palace buildings are both ancient and modern in design, embracing both the East and the West. You shouldn’t go in expecting grandeur, rich furnishings and a spectacular structure; it’s more important to view this as a historically important site. If you compare it to the Forbidden City, the Puppet Imperial Palace is a kind of living evidence of the changes China experienced during imperial reign. The palace can sometimes be difficult for taxi drivers to find (unbelievably), but this is perhaps due to the fact that Changchun’s history with its Japanese neighbour is buried rather than forgotten.
3) Nanhu Park (South Lake) 南湖公园
As the largest park in Changchun, this is a place where you can really experience the warmth and hospitality of the Changchun people. Nanhu Park almost feels like it’s not part of a city, except that there is a good view of the apartment blocks in downtown Changchun across the lake. This is a very safe place to wander around in the early evening (as are most other parts of Changchun.) There are almost limitless trails to explore here, and you constantly bump into curious locals who greet you with a “ni hao” while they go about their business. What exactly is this business of theirs? Often it’s engaging in extraordinary hobbies including whipping (looks and sounds dangerous), tree hanging, mah-jong, aerobics, traditional/modern/ballroom dancing, painting and fishing to name a few. Nanhu Park was established in 1993 and in the summer, when huge lotus flowers are at their most dazzling, the lake is used for boating and water sports. In the winter, the lake freezes over and becomes a romantic and quiet place, but you have to dress for the low winter temperatures and chilling winds.
4) Culture Square文化广场
Spanning across an unbelievable 20 hectares, Culture Square is the second largest square in the world (after Tian'anmen) and is located in the Chaoyang District. The former New Palace of the Emperor of Manchukuo is at the north end of the square and faces the former Manchukuo State Council and Military Affairs buildings which lay at the south end of the square. Culture Square was originally called Dizhigong Square and was regarded as the national square during the Manchu period (1932-1945.) The sun bird statue is spectacular and hard to miss, and the square also boasts several other impressive sculptures and granite statues, creating a serious and stable atmosphere. The square is popular with locals who like to wander around chatting, sit in the sun or just have a feeling of space.
Add: center of Chaoyang District, near Jeifang Dalu, Changchun
By bus: take bus No. 9, 156, 221, 229, 240, 264, 283, or 288
For most people who come to visit Changchun, the hospitable local people are still the main attraction, making visitors feel welcome in the city no matter how far they are from home. To make sure we don’t wear out our welcome with these friendly folk, I try to remember to be a good ambassador at all times. We foreigners are still a bit of a novelty in the north of China, and local people here seem to be very interested in why we're so keen on visiting local landmarks. Changchun has some unique tourist attractions, and all conveniently within a short distance of each other. Enjoy!
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Keywords: Changchun tourist attractions tourist spots in Changchun tourist destinations in Changchun Jilin tourist attractions
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