Anshan (鞍山; Ānshān) is the third largest prefecture level city in Liaoning Province in China. It is in the central area of the province about 92km south of Shenyang, the province's capital. Anshan is on the boundary between the mountains of eastern Liaoning and the plains in the west. The area contains the famous Qianshan Park. The city's name is derived form the shape of a nearby mountain (in Chinese 山; shān) that resembles the shape of a horse's saddle (鞍; Ān). 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, 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 northeast 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 an 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 and has caused an unemployment problem in the city. A new drive to market Anshan as a tourist destination is hoped to help bolster the cities economy.
Anshan Airport is to the southeast of the city centre, about 30 minutes away by car and adjacent to the Anshan south exit on the Shenda Expressway. The airport serves domestic routes only and currently has just one inbound and outbound flight per day connecting to Beijing.
The next nearest airport is Shenyang Taoxian International Airport (SHE, 沈阳桃仙国际机场). This is some 90km away and takes 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. Alternatively, a taxi can be hired. It is usually possible to negotiate a price of about ¥150 for the taxi from Anshan to Shenyang airport. Negotiating the opposite direction is more difficult. If booking flights via a local travel agent or hotel in Anshan, the agent will usually be able to arrange a taxi to or from Shenyang Airport, at a discounted rate. Additional discounts may be found if you tell the agent you are willing to share the taxi with other customers journey with you.
Anshan has two exits on the main Shenda 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 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 from Beijing.
A taxi from Shenyang to Anshan will cost about ¥400 by the meter. Many drivers in Anshan will negotiate a significantly cheaper rate, typical ¥150-200 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 reverse (cost ¥500-800 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).
There is 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 8 goes past the Jade Buddha Temple and terminates outside Qianshan Park. To the Jade Buddha will cost ¥2 and to Qianshan ¥8. Most other buses cost ¥1 around the city. A few of the longer routes into the suburbs will cost ¥2. Bus 8 departs from the Jianguo Street behind the long-distance bus station, at the southeast end of the square near the train station. Other buses leave from the local bus station situated to the northwest corner of the square.
Taxis are inexpensive in Anshan. The rates are ¥6 for up to 3km and ¥2 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.
- Birthplace and Memorial Hall of Zhang Xueliang (鞍山市台安县张学良出生地纪念馆), Tai'an County of Anshan. Zhang Xueliang was born here on June 4, 1901.
- Jade Buddha Temple (鞍山玉佛苑), (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.
- Xiao Temple (鞍山市岫岩县卧鹿山效圣寺), Xiuyan in Anshan City, Lushan County. Legend dates the site to the Tang Dynasty. It is the province's only large ancient temples of stone structure. It's know locally as the 'Old Temple'.
- 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.
- Dongshan Park (东山城市森林公园), (The park begins near the International Hotel and ends at the back of 219 park, near the Jade Buddha Temple.). This is a network of paths, the longest of which is a 5km path way runs along the crest of the hills that form the eastern flank of the city. The Park covers 975 hectares of which 946 hectares is woodland and 22 hectares is water. 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 - except view tower..
Nature and parks outside the city
- 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.
- Baiyun Mountain Scenic Area (鞍山市海城白云山风景区), Haicheng.
- Circle Back Scenic Area (鞍山市岫岩县罗圈背风景区), County of Xiuyan in Anshan.
- Jiulong Nature Reserve (鞍山市海城九龙川自然保护区), Haicheng.
- Lohan Holy Land (鞍山市罗汉圣地).
- Longtan Bay Scenic Area (鞍山市岫岩县龙潭湾风景区), Xiuyan County, Anshan (County of Xiuyan in Anshan).
- Qianshan District Shuanglong Mountain Scenic Spot (鞍山市千山区双龙山旅游景区).
- Qianshan National Park (千山风景名胜区), (About 12km by road, to the south east of the city. Minibus No.8 goes there.), ☎ +86 0412 5418518, 5416100 (fax: +86 0412 5412009), . 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 peak, ¥60 off peak.
- Qingliangshan Scenic Area (鞍山市岫岩县清凉山风景区), County of Xiuyan in Anshan (County of Xiuyan in Anshan).
- West Forest Park (鞍山市台安县西平森林公园), Tai'an County of Anshan.
- Yaoshan Scenic Area (鞍山市岫岩县药山风景名胜区), County of Xiuyan in Anshan.
- 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 ghouls 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. 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. In addition to there are many bathhouses throughout the city. These bathhouses don't use the natural hot springs but offer similar services. Prices are ¥28-60 for bathing. Extras such as massage may be ¥20-100 for each service. Price lists are usually prominently displayed though only in Chinese. Many spas and bathhouses are open 24 hours and it is quite common for people to sleep overnight in the restrooms after bathing. This can make a cheap alternative to a hotel room.
- Tanggangzi (鞍山市汤岗子温泉旅游度假区).
- Chengdong the Quartet Tai'an Hot Springs (鞍山市海城东四方台温泉度假区). Resort
- 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.
- Nantai luggage market is a large leather bag market is located near 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. ¥1-2.
- 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.
- Pizza house, (Behind No.2 middle school (Er Zhong Xue).). Server a variety of pizzas as well as steaks.
- Arron Steakhouse, (Behind the long distance bus station).
- Xianlaisun, Yuanlin Lu, Tiedong (Near No.9 Middle school (Jiuzhong)). Hot pot restaurant.
- Badifuxing, Yuanlin Lu, Tiedong. (In a small lane next to 219 Primary School (Eryijiu Xiao Xue) and a second branch opposit 219 park.). 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 (Just south of 219 park in the Hunan district of the city.). Up market restaurant serving typical Chinese food.
- 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 per bottle of beer.
- Sun Club, (Off of Dongshan Street, near Silong shopping centre.). This is one of the more popular music bars. They have a live band playing every night from 9pm.
- Anshan, Inter-Club Expo, 35 South Road victory, Tiedong, Anshan. City (鞍山市铁东区南胜利路35号), ☎ +86(0412)5559888 (fax: +86(0412)5535686). This is rated as a three star hotel and has 67 rooms.
- Xiuyan-A Holiday Inn (岫岩贺临假日酒店), Main Street Station, Xiuyan County. (岫岩县站前大街), ☎ +86(0412)7887888 (fax: +86(0412)8797666). An 80 room three star hotel in Xiuyan.
- Xinfeng hotel (鑫丰酒店), Yu Ji Cui Lilac Hill, Qianshan District, Anshan. (鞍山市千山区丁香峪积翠山庄), ☎ +86(0412)5412233 (fax: +86(0412)7887666). This three star hotel is near to Qianshan National Park and has 158 rooms.
- Anshan Qiushi Hotel (鞍山秋实宾馆), 1st Street, Qianshan District, Anshan. (鞍山市千山区温泉街1号), ☎ +86(0412)2410272 (fax: +86(0412)2410272). This three star hotel has within it a natural hot water spa where you can relax. It is near to Qianshan National Park and has 42 rooms.
- Haicheng Hotel (海城大酒店), 18th Shun Shing Road, Haicheng City. (海城市北顺城路18号), ☎ +86(0412)3220888 (fax: +86(0412)3222777). A four star hotel with 143 rooms. ¥198-968.
- Anshan Huanqiu Hotel (鞍山寰球大酒店), 1 Zhanqian Jie, Tiedong, Anshan. (鞍山市铁东区站前街1号), ☎ +86(0412)2988888 (fax: +86(0412)2216488). A four star hotel with 379 rooms
- Anshan Iron and Steel Company Dongshan Hotel (鞍钢东山宾馆), 108 Dongfeng Road, Teidong, Anshan.(鞍山市铁东区东风街108号), ☎ +86(0412)5592200 (fax: +86(0412)5536207). This is a four star hotel with 193 rooms. Like much of the city infrastructure including hospitals and schools, this hotel is owned by the major steel factory in the city. However, it is situated on the other side of town form the industrial site and is next to Dongshan park and 219 park.
- Anshan Four Seas Hotel (鞍山四海大酒店), 333 Yuanlin Ave, Teidong, Anshan. (鞍山市铁东区园林路333号), ☎ +86(0412)6388888 (fax: +86(0412)6388555). This a 268 room four star hotel.
- Tanggangzi Longgongwen Spa Hotel (汤岗子龙宫温泉酒店), (About 15km south of Anshan city center.), ☎ +86(0412)2415666 (fax: +86(0412)2415666). Rated as a 3 star hotel but within the famous Tanggangzi Spa complex. The spa waters here were visited by several Emperors of China. The hotel has 44 rooms.
- Anshan International Hotel (鞍山国际大酒店), 219 Yuanlin Ave, Teidong, Anshan. (鞍山市铁东区园林路219号), ☎ +86(0412)5555888 (fax: +86(0412)5555988). A five star hotel situated at the edge of Dongshan Park. Contains 306 rooms with 520 beds. ¥680-9,800.
- Wuhuan Hotel (鞍山五环大酒店), 43 Shengli Ave, Teidong, Anshan. (鞍山市铁东区南胜利路43号) (On the corner of Shungli Lu and Xinhua Jie. Within 10 minutes walk of the main shopping centres.), ☎ +86(0412)5520888 (fax: +86(0412)5549999). This five star hotel has 328 rooms and 515 beds. Renmen Park, behind the hotel, is a hive of activity in the evenings with people dancing, exercising and practising Taichi. Several "doctors" set up benches here where, from ¥15, you can have a massage.
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