Dandong (丹东; Dāndōng; formerly Andong (安东)), is a city in Liaoning Province, China, right next to the North Korean border.
Travellers come to Dandong for its vicinity to the North Korean border. See the get out section for further details.
Situated at the confluence of the Yalu River and the Yellow Sea in the southeast of Liaoning Peninsula, facing the north Korean town of Xinyizhou across the Yalu River, small Dandong enjoys its reputation as the largest border city in China.
The geographic setting and the rich natural resources of Dandong account for its recent development into a city characterized by the light industry, silk industry (every late May, Dandong is the venue for the Oriental Silk Festival), and also Xiu Jade is very famouse. sea products and special products, such as Ginseng, hawthorn and chestnut.
The quiet riverside city is most famous for the pockmarked Yalu River Bridge spanning distressingly over the river. The bridge survived the bombing during the Korean War, a time when the city still had its old name Andong. Now it is open to the public to commemorate "the defeat of the American Aggression" and is the first choice for a glimpse of North Korea.
Dandong Airport (IATA: DDG) - Flights from Dandong are limited, so it is probably better to fly in/out of Dalian or Shenyang and then take the train or bus to/from Dandong. Airport is 13 miles west of town and an airport shuttle is available. Flights are available from Guangzhou, Qingdao, Sanya, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.
Trains from Shenyang several times a day with night trains from Beijing, Dalian, Changchun and Qingdao. From Dalian, the train takes a slow route of almost 10 hours, while buses can complete the journey in 4. You can also take the train from Pyongyang, North Korea and Moscow and Russia.
The long-distance bus station is at 98 Shiwei Lu, near the train station.
- Beijing - takes about 10 hours
- Shenyang - takes about 3 hours
- Tonghua - takes about 5 hours
Dalian Express Buses leave from the Baoshan Shicheng on Gong'an Jie. The trip takes about 4 hours.
As the city of Dandong is not large and the lack of efficient public transportation, the taxi is probaly the most common using for getting around. Almost all of the drivers accept the price of ¥10 anywhere inside the city.
View of North Korea from Dandong
- North Korean Border (北韩边界; Běihánbiānjiè). As the boundary between China and North Korea, the Yalu River flows over 300 km between the countries. Yalujiang Park is the best place to view North Korea, visit the original bridge across the river and possibly take a fast boat ride up and down the river along the border. The Yalu Jiang Duan Qiao bridge reaches only halfway across the river, the other half having been disassembled by the Koreans. The remaining half was strafed by fighter planes in the Korean War. For ¥20 one can walk out to the end of this half-bridge.
- Cenotaph of the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea. A large museum and monument built on a hill overlooking downtown Dandong and the Yalu river. The many, well-labeled bilingual exhibits venerate the courageous Chinese “Volunteers” Army, and offer a rather different perspective on the history of the Korean war.
- Dagu Mountain (大孤山; Dàgūshān; lit. Lonely Mountain), (90 km southwest of Dandong, access is by bus from Dandong to town of Gushan). Several Tang dynasty Taoist temples occupy the mountain site.
- Hushan Great Wall (虎山长城; Hǔshānchángchéng; lit. Tiger Mountain Great Wall), (25 km northeast of Dandong). Ming dynasty section of Great Wall of China which travels parallel to river was restored to decent condition. The section is steep so watch footing.
- Cross into North Korea. It is possible to cross into Sinuiju, North Korea by train from Dandong, and then change trains to get to Pyongyang. Numerous local tour groups can sort out the paperwork without referring to Beijing and arrange a relatively budget-friendly visit to Pyongyang for Chinese and foreign tourists. The cheapest deals involve joining a large group and can go as low as around ¥5000 for a three night/four day package. Bargain hard. Of course, the usual restrictions apply .
Most shops offer products at a deeply discounted rate.
The town, because of the location, has a lot of Korean restaurants with most congregating on the street facing the river. Give the shiguo Banfan (stonepot rice), also known as bibimbop in Korean, a try as well as the huoguo (hot pot). If you think you could handle it, xiangla gourou (spicy dog) is something that could be made available to you. There are also a few North Korean restaurants in town (owned by the North Korean government, with North Korean waitresses), recognizable by the Chinese and North Korean flags over the entrances.
- Dandong Yalujiang Mansion, 87 Jiuwei Road, ☎ +86 41 5212 5901 (fax: +86 41 5212 6180).
- Post & Telecommunications Hotel, 78 Qiwei Road, ☎ +86 41 5216 6888 (fax: +86 41 5213 5988).
- Zhonglian Dajiuian, Shangmao Lüyou Qu A Qu, ☎ +86 41 5317 0666 (fax: +86 41 5317 0888), . Great views and comfortable rooms with a bowling alley, cigar room, and western buffet. The cafe has views of North Korea, 143 rooms.
- North Korea - If you are interested in paying a visit to North Korea, you´ll usually have to wait for just days to see your visa application through. Visitors with American, Israeli and South Korean nationalities are unqualified to apply except during the Mass Games. But don´t worry, you can still learn a lot about North Korea on the streets of Dandong, where vendors sell North Korean stamps and propaganda posters and frequently you´ll see Korean writing on boards over shops. In the hotels you can watch North Korean TV - the city is so close to North Korea, you can feel the strong influence of Korean culture everywhere. Recent reports speculate that travel restrictions have been somewhat eased, and visa processing faster for some nationalities.
- Fenghuangshan National Park — 52 km northwest of Dandong, 840m high mountain dotted with Tang, Ming and Qing dynasty temples, monasteries and pagodas.
- The city of Dalian and its wonderful coastlines