Liaoning, a province nestled in the northeastern corner of China, offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture waiting to be discovered by intrepid travelers. From the bustling coastal city of Dalian to the imperial grandeur of Shenyang, and the picturesque landscapes that stretch across its vast expanse, Liaoning beckons with a myriad of experiences that promise to enchant, inspire, and captivate the imagination. In this comprehensive guide, we invite you to embark on a journey through Liaoning’s diverse landscapes, delve into its storied past, savor its culinary delights, and uncover the hidden gems that make this enchanting province a treasure trove of discovery. Join us as we traverse the scenic routes, explore the historical landmarks, and immerse ourselves in the vibrant culture of Liaoning, offering insights, recommendations, and insider tips to help you navigate this captivating corner of China with confidence and curiosity.
Exploring Iconic Landmarks of Liaoning
Liaoning, the cradle of the ancient Manchurian civilization, is a province in northeastern China that captivates visitors with its rich history, stunning natural landscapes, and modern metropolises. From the imperial grandeur of the Shenyang Palace Museum to the breathtaking scenery of the Hushan Great Wall, Liaoning offers a kaleidoscope of experiences for travelers of all interests.
Shenyang Mukden Palace – The Mukden Palace, located in Shenyang, the capital city of Liaoning Province, served as the palace for the early Qing Dynasty emperors prior to their relocation to Beijing. Constructed in 1625, it accommodated the first three Qing emperors. The architectural design of the Mukden Palace was inspired by the Forbidden City in Beijing, while also incorporating elements of Manchurian and Tibetan styles.
Jiumenkou Great Wall – The Jiumenkou Great Wall, the only section of the Great Wall that crosses water, was built during the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-577) and expanded in 1381 during the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Situated in Suizhong County of Huludao City, the Jiumenkou Great Wall stretches 1,704 meters from north to south with the Jiujiang River flowing beneath it.
Three Mausoleums of Shengjing – The Three Mausoleums of Shengjing comprise the Fuling, Zhaoling, and Yongling Mausoleums. These mausoleums were constructed during the early Qing Dynasty and are located in present-day Shenyang. In 2004, they were designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Wu’nyu Mountain City – The Wu’nyu Mountain City, situated on the mountain north of Huanren Town in Huanren Manchu Autonomous County, is a well-preserved site of great historical and cultural importance. It was established in 37 B.C. and served as the original capital of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom in northeast China.
Benxi Water Cave – The Benxi Water Cave, situated on the Taizi River bank, approximately 26 kilometers away from the eastern suburb of Benxi City, is a vast subterranean karst cave that was formed millions of years ago. It boasts the world’s longest underground river, spanning a length of 5,800 meters, with over half of it now accessible to the general public.
Biija Mountain – The Bijia Mountain is a tiny island that’s connected to the mainland by a pebble road. It’s located near Jinzhou Port in Liaodong Bay. The island is about 1.5 kilometers long and 0.8 kilometers wide, covering an area of around one square kilometer. It’s pretty high up, at 78 meters above sea level.
Culinary Delights in Liaoning: A Gastronomic Journey through Local Cuisine
Liaoning cuisine is all about the flavors, colors, and soft textures. You’ll find dishes bursting with strong tastes and a variety of flavors. But what sets it apart is the clear distinction between sweet and salty flavors. Some popular dishes include stir-fried Chinese cabbage with vermicelli, hearty chicken and mushroom stew, tasty lamb kebabs, and the famous “malatang” soup, which is spicy and hot. You’ll also find delicious options like stewed chicken with mushrooms, catfish with eggplant, pork with beans, and sliced potatoes with chili. Since Liaoning borders North Korea, you’ll find some dishes and influences from Korean cuisine, thanks to the large Korean population in the province. And if you’re in Dalian, a coastal city, don’t miss the chance to try jellyfish and sea cucumbers, which are local delicacies.
Yangrou Chuan – You can find this awesome Xinjiang specialty almost everywhere in China. It’s basically a mouthwatering mutton-kabab cooked with cumin and ground red pepper. Word has it that if you stumble upon an actual Uygur making these, they’ll taste way more amazing.
Pickled Chinese Cabbage – In the past, folks in northeast China only had potatoes, turnips, and Chinese cabbage to eat during winter. To make sure they had enough veggies, they preserved them in autumn. That’s why every family made jars of pickled Chinese cabbage to enjoy during winter and early spring.
Jian Bing Gouzi – You can find this famous street food from Tianjin in the northeast, and it’s a bit different from the ones you find in Tianjin. Basically, they start by spreading batter on a hot griddle in a circle shape, and then they add an egg and spread it around too. After that, they flip it over and “paint” on some brown sauce and hot sauce.
Laobian Jaozi – One of the yummiest foods in Shenyang and the whole northeastern China is “jiaozi”. You can easily find this dish in loads of restaurants. Northeastern China is known for having the most mouthwatering jiaozi in the whole country. There are lots of different types of jiaozi, each with its own deliciousness and special qualities.
Embarking on a journey through Liaoning, China’s enchanting Northeast Province, is an odyssey that seamlessly weaves together the threads of ancient history, breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cultures, and warm hospitality. As you explore the historical treasures, embrace the natural wonders, savor the local delicacies, and immerse yourself in modern marvels, Liaoning unfolds as a captivating tapestry of experiences. From the ancient cities steeped in history to the modern urban centers pulsating with life, this province beckons travelers with open arms.