Anshan (鞍山; Ānshān) is the third largest prefecture level city in Liaoning province of China. Situated in the central area of the province, it is about 92km south of Shenyang, the province's capital. Anshan is on the boundary between the Mountains of Eastern Liaoning and the plains of West. The area contains the famous Qianshan park. The city's name is derived form the shape of a nearby mountain (in Chinese shān 山) that resembles the shape of a horse's saddle (Ān 鞍). Anshan is home to the Angang Iron and Steel company, one of the largest steel producers in China.
The area of Anshan has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The area remained of little significance, overshadowed by neighboring Liaoyang city, until the late 20th Century. Japan had gained influence in Liaoning and was industrialising the region. A joint Sino-Japanese venture, Anshan Zhenzing Iron Ore Company Unlimited was started in Anshan in 1918. After the Japanese occupied the northeast of China in 1931, the company was turned into a Japanese owned monopoly. Anshan was occupied by the Japanese and was part of the Japanese puppet state of Manchuco. The Japanese founded a steel mill along side the existing iron works in Anshan. The city grew in size around this new industrial site. The defeat of the Japanese in 1945 saw Anshan returned to China. However, peace had not yet arrived. Civil war continued between the Chinese Nationalist Government and the Communist People's Liberation Army. The city of Anshan was the scene of one of the battles of this war. A monument in Lishishan park commemorates the battle. On the 19th of February 1948, Anshan was liberated by the PLA.
The north east of china was marked out to become a major industrial centre for the new People's Republic of China. Anshan was set to become a key part of this industrial development. The steel mills had been damaged during the wars. In December 1948, the Anshan Iron and Steel Company - also known as Angang - was founded. Production in the newly repaired steel plant resumed on July 9th 1949. The plant was expanded to become, at one time, the largest steel producer in China. Other industries set up along side the steel plant including mining for coal, iron and other minerals. This industrial wealth had a environmental cost. The open-hearth furnaces of the steel mill created large amounts of dust and other pollution. Along with its growing reputation as a major steel producer, Anshan was also gaining a reputation as a dirty, smelly town.
The furnaces of the steel plant were changed in the 1980's to designs which blow oxygen in form the front. This increased the production and also reduced the pollution. In the 1990's, they were additionally altered to blow oxygen in form the top as well. This further increase production and reduced pollution. In December 2000, all three production lines of Anshan Iron and Steel company switched form mould-casting to continuous casting. This new technology has significantly reduced the dust and other pollution in the city. The new plant equipment is also much less labour intensive. This has meant a reduction in the workforce has caused a unemployment problem in the city. A new drive to market Anshan as a tourist destination is hoped to help bolster the cities economy.
The nearest airport to Anshan is Shenyang Taoxian International Airport (SHE) simplified Chinese: 沈阳桃仙国际机场. This is some 90km away and take about 2 hours to reach by road. There are coaches running regularly between Anshan and Shenyang airport. A more frequent coach service runs from the center of Shenyang, see below.
Anshan has two exits on the main Shen-Da Expressway which runs between Shenyang and Dalian. The first exit is due west of the city, the second is towards the southern end and is signposted as "Anshan South".
Anshan's long distance coach station is in the center of town on the southern side of the square beside the train station. Regular coaches run to Anshan from most neighboring cities and other regions too. Coaches to and from Shenyang run as frequently as every 10 or 15 minutes. Effectively they leave when full. This route costs 25 RMB each way. Direct coaches between Anshan and Beijing's Eastern long distance coach station run several times a day.
Anshan is on the main line between Dalian and Shenyang. There are direct trains from most cities in Liaoning and neighboring provinces such as Jilin, Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia as well as to Beijing.
A taxi from Shenyang to Anshan will cost about 400 RMB by the meter. Many drivers in Anshan will negotiate a significantly cheaper rate, typical between 150 RMB and 200 RMB each way.
If you are in desperate hurry to leave the town, night drivers can be contacted through the taxi drivers located outside the main train station. The main night driver route is from Dalian to Shenyang and in reverse (cost averages Y500-800 depending on distance). Negotiate a rate and then expect to cough up a little additional during your trip since your fare might be sold to another driver along the way (like a relay race and you are the baton).
Buses to just about every part of town from the area near the train station. Purchase a town map and it should have the bus routes on it. Bus route number 8 goes past the Jade Buddha temple and terminates outside Qianshan Park. To the Jade Buddha will cost 2 RMB and to Qianshan 8RMB. Most other buses cost just 1 RMB around the city. A few of the longer routes into the suburbs will cost 2 RMB. Buses on route No.8 depart from the Jianguo Street behind the long-distance bus station, at the south east end of the square near the train station. Other buses leave from the local bus station situated to the north west corner of the square.
Taxis are inexpensive in Anshan. The rates are 6 RMB for up to 3km and 2 RMB for each 1km there after. All taxis are metred but for longer journeys, you may negotiate the fare. A taxi to Qianshan mountains will cost about 30 RMB.
- Jade Buddha Temple, (Enter either by the gate on Qianshan Lu Road, near Dongshan, or through 219 park from Yuanlin Lu Road). Claiming to be the worlds largest Jade statue of the Buddha and carved form the worlds largest single piece of Jade stone, at almost 8 meters high and weighing in at 260.76 tons, this is an impressive sight. The statue is housed within a large temple complex in the Dongshan section of 219 park. 60 RMB.
- [[Qianshan National Park|Qianshan Park]], (About 12km by road, to the south east of the city. Bus route 8 goes here.). Qianshan literally means 'thousand mountains' and that is the impression you get as you look up at the jagged peaks. The name is actually and abbreviation of 'thousand lotus flower mountains'. The peaks were said to resemble the petals of the lotus flower which had been dropped to earth by a goddess. The area is filled with many Buddhist and Taoist temples and monasteris and nunneries. It is one of few locations where both religions are found sharing the same site. Three cable car routes can convey the less able up the hill sides. However, none of the cable cars will take you the whole way, leaving you some climbing to do by yourself. 80 RMB.
- Dongshan Park, (The park begins near the International Hotel and ends at the back of 219 park, near the Jade Buddha Temple.). This is a 5km path way runs along the crest of the hills that form the eastern flank of the city. Dongshan translates as East Mountain. Views can be enjoyed of the city and surrounding land as you stroll through dense woodland. Approximately half way along, a tower on the high point of the ridge, allows you to rest while taking in the views. A small entrance fee is required to climb the tower. free.
- 219 Park, Yuanlin Lu, Anshan. (From the train station, follow Eryijiu Lu (219 Road) due east.). The largest park in the region. Named after the date of liberation of Anshan by the PLA on the nineteenth of february 1948. The park contains woodland areas around a series of lakes. The area is very popular with the local people who can frequently be seen exercising, dancing, singing, playing music and practicing taichi in the grounds — especially in the early morning of mid evening. free.
- Aviary, (Inside Qianshan park, near to the Matria Buddha cable car). A large netted complex within which a huge variety of birds may be observed.
- Ghost tour, Silong, Dongshan Jie. Anshan. (On the fourth floor of Silong shopping mall.). The ghost tour or haunted house should keep children amused for a while. They must walk through a labyrinth of subtly lit passageways while gooles and ghosts leap out and surprise them.
- Dongshan Amusement Park, (located at the dongshan entrance of 219 park, near the Jade Buddha Temple.). A large number of amusement rides are situated here and run throughout the year.
- Hot Spring Water Spas. There are four Spas in Anshan which take advantage of the areas natural hot springs. Visitors may shower and bathe in the spring water. Some spas are open 24 hours. At Tanggangzi Spa, just south of the city, visitors may have mud treatment where they are buried in hot volcanic sand, which has been infused with the spring water.
- Jade Carvings of Xiuyan County - Xiuyan County in Anshan is full of a kind of jade the people call the "national stone" of China, and in the higher end department stores (like Parkson), you can find decent pricing. There is a large Jade market situated at the north end of the Jade Buddha temple complex.
- A large Leather bag market is located in Anshan's sibling city of Haichung. Here a large array of leather and imitation leather products are available such as bags, belts and wallets. Many are cheap copies of western designer brands and counterfeit goods are the norm here. Prices will be significantly cheaper than equivalent copies in other areas of china. If buying to take out of china, it's probably best to stick to Chinese brands than buy the fake western brands so as to avoid problems at customs.
- Street food, (Various locations, usually near school gates.). A wide variety of foods form lamb kebabs, quick fried chicken strips and even octopus on a stick. Look out for a popular local pancake cooked with an egg smeared over the surface, some spring onion, leak and a hotdog sausage in the center. 1 or 2 RMB.
- Pizza house, (Behind No.2 middle school (Er Zhong Xue).). Probably the best quality western food restaurant in town. They server a variety of pizzas as well as steaks.
- Guoqiao Mixian, (Opposit No.1 Middle school (Yizhong) near to the Center hospital (Zhongxin Yiyuan)). Hot spicy rice noodle restaurant. About 10 yuan per bowl..
- A Er Korean BBQ, Gongnong Jie (Next to the Vanke Office building in the just off of Shungli Lu.). Anshan is close to the border with Korea, so a large Korea population lives here. The town has dozens of Korean BBQ restaurants. Food is served raw, marinated in a variety of spicy sauces. In the center of the table is a pit containing hot coals. It is over these coals that you cook your food. A selection of spices and sauces are provided for you to dip the cooked meat into. Typically you then place the meat inside a lettuce leaf along with raw garlic and chili pepper (to you taste), before eating.
- Fuxiang, Yuanlin Lu, Tiedong. Anshan (Near Weixiao Nursing Coledge.). Various Chinese traditional specialities.
- xianlaisun, Yuanlin Lu, Tiedong, Anshan. (Near No.9 Middle school (Jiuzhong)). Hot pot restaurant.
- Badifuxing, Yuanlin Lu, Tiedong. Anshan. (In a small lane next to 219 Primary School (Eryijiu Xiao Xue)). Sichuan style food. Very spicy.
- Dongshan Hotel, (Off of Eryijiu Jie (219 Road) near the main entrance to 219 park.). High quality Chinese food.
- Shanghai Club, Hunan Jie, Anshan. (Just south of 219 park in the Hunan district of the city.). Up market restaurant serving typical Chinese food.
- SOS Club, Shungli Lu, Tiedong District, Anshan. (Next to Wuhan hotel about 1km North of Shungli Square.). A lively and amazingly decorated nightclub. 20 RMB per bottle of beer.
- Coco Club, Shungli Lu, Leishan district, Anshan. (Near to the main gate of Leishan Park, below the war memorial.). A lively and amazingly decorated nightclub. 20 RMB per bottle of beer.
- Anshan International Hotel, 219 Yuanlin Rd. Anshan, ☎ (0412)5555888 (fax: (0412)5555988). A five star hotel situated at the edge of Dongshan Park.
- Wuhuan Hotel, Shengli Lu, Teidong. Anshan (On the corner of Shungli Lu and Xinhua Jie. Within 10 minutes walk of the main shopping centres.). Renmen Park, behind this five star hotel, is a hive of activity in the evenings with people dancing, exercising and practising Taichi. Several "doctors" set up benches here where you can have a massage from 15 RMB.
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