From Shenyang to Dandong: Getting a Glimpse at North Korea

From Shenyang to Dandong: Getting a Glimpse at North Korea
By Margaux Schreurs ,

Dandong is the largest Chinese border city, bordering Sinuiju (Xinyizhou in Chinese) in North Korea, and is located in China’s northeastern Liaoning Province. Its strategic location means that Dandong has had a very exciting history, and is still able to fulfill its role as a major trade port and natural resource hub. A lot of the trade that runs through this city is North Korea bound, and that is also one of Dandong’s main attractions.

What to See and Do

1) North Korean Border(丹东市北韩边界)
The main reason that foreigners come to Dandong is Sinuiju: a rare look into a North Korean town. Depending on the political situation, you can even take a boat and go along the river and get very close to the North Korean border. From the Chinese side, you can see a rarely used Ferris wheel, or the occasional  person washing in the river or walking alongside it.

2) Sino-Korea Friendship Bridge中朝友谊桥)
There is also the Sino-Korea Friendship Bridge, which connects Dandong and Sinuiju. The bridge was constructed by the Japanese between April 1937 and May 1943, to span the Yalu River. It carries automobile and rail traffic.

Address: Jiang’an Road, Zhenxing District, Dandong

3) Yalu River Broken Bridge(鸭绿江断桥)
Older than the Sino-Korea Friendship Bridge, this bridge was broken by American bombardment during the Korean War. It was purposely not rebuilt by the North Koreans, as they wanted to keep proof of America’s bombing.

Address: Jiang’an Road, Zhenxing District, Dandong

4) Cenotaph of the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea (抗美援朝纪念馆)
Memorial to the Korean War, and a view on the war from a Chinese perspective, at this memorial that looks out over the river.

Address: 7 Shanshang Street, Zhenxing District, Dandong

5) Hushan Great Wall (虎山长城)
About 15 km northeast of Dandong City, the Hushan section of the Great Wall is the most easterly known part of the Great Wall of China. In 1989, 600 metres of wall were excavated here,  and it was renovated and opened to the public in 1992. The wall goes on for a total of 1.2 km, and runs through Hushan mountain, which is where it gets in name from.

Address: Hushan Great Wall, crossing between Binhai Public Road and 319 Provincial Road, Man Ethnic Minority Region, Dandong

What to Eat

Korean Food

If you want good Korean food, there are a lot of different restaurants in the center of the city, most facing the river. Trying some of this is the perfect way to experience the Korean influence that has  permeated the city. There are also many North Korean restaurants that are owned by the North Korean government and employ North Korean staff – these are recognizable by the Chinese and North Korean flags over the entrances. 

Western Food
For something international, quick, or for coffee, try one of these two café’s; both are expat favorites, and one even made international headlines recently, as the owners were accused of espionage by the Chinese government.

Peter’s Coffee House
Address: Building 3, Yanjiang Street, Dandong
Telephone Number: 0415 216 8415

Café Realm
Address: 300 Jinshan Street, Zhenxing District, Dandong
Telephone Number: 0415 378 8888

Getting There

There about 20 trains a day,  from Shenyang to Dandong,  taking between 4 and 5 hours, depending on which train you take. Prices range from 24-44 RMB for seating tickets, 52-87 RMB for hard sleeper tickets, to 111-128 RMB for soft sleeper fares. Another option is to get a bus from Shenyang Huyue Bus Station to Dandong, which takes about three hours and is 80 RMB.

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Keywords: Looking into North Korea Dandong Trip from Shenyang Visiting Dandong


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