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 is divided into four districts:
In addition, three counties belong to Anshan prefecture:
Anshan Teng'ao Airport (AOG) is located 15 km to the south east of the city centre, about 30 minutes away by car and near to the Anshan south exit of the Shenda Expressway. The airport serves domestic routes only. Scheduled flights go to and from Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Chengdu.
In addition to the main terminal at Teng'ao airport, there is also a city terminal located on Qianshan West Road in Tiexi district. Travellers may purchase tickets as well as check-in and obtain a boarding card at either terminal. After check-in, a coach takes passengers from the city terminal to the main terminal.
The nearest international airport is Shenyang Taoxian International Airport (SHE, 沈阳桃仙国际机场). This is some 90km away and takes about 90 minutes 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.
There is another small airport, Yingkou Lanqi Airport (YKH), about 90 km to the south. Yingkou Lanqi only has a small number of flights domestically to Beijing and Shanghai, however, it is more convenient for travellers visiting Haicheng or Xiuyan counties in the south of Anshan.
Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport (DLC) is located 290 kilometres south of Anshan. The airport is near to Dalian North Train Station allowing rapid transfer to the high-speed train to complete the journey. Although further away, the high-speed rail network makes Dalian Zhoushuizi equally accessible to Anshan as Shenyang Taoxian.
Anshan has two exits on the main Shenda Express way (G15), 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. The city can also be accessed via the Liaozhong Ring Expressway (G91) which passes just north of the city. The Danxi Expressway (G16) passes just South of Haicheng and Xiuyan connecting east to Dandong and west to Yingkou, Panjin and on towards Beijing. The Jingha Expressway (G1) passes through the north of Anshan prefecture's Tai'an county.
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 served by two major train stations: the city centre Anshan Station and the new Anshan West station on the western outskirts of the city.
Anshan Station is on the Changda Railway line that runs between Dalian and Changchun.There are direct trains from most cities in Liaoning and neighboring provinces such as Jilin, Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia as well as Beijing.
Anshan West Station is on the High-speed Railway line that connects Dalian to Harbin. The long distance high-speed G train from Harbin takes 3 hours, from Changchun it is 2 hours, Shenyang 30 minutes, and Dalian is 1 hours 30 minutes. High-speed trains also connect westward to Beijing with G trains making the journey in 4 hours 20 minutes. Due to the extreme cold of the winter in Northeast China, trains on the high-speed line run on an alternative timetable and slower speed in that season, speeding again up each summer.
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.
The city has an extensive bus network serving all areas. All route within the city built up area cost ¥1 paid into a box beside the driver. Smart cards can be purchased an to pay fairs and reduce the cost per journey to ¥0.8. Routes beyond the built up area may cost more. The former bus station near the train station is under development so bus start points are distributed throughout the commercial area east of the train station. The Anshan Public Transport Corporation has an Android phone app that can assist bus route planning and can be downloaded form their website.
Most bus stops in the city have a large map of the city. The bus stop will also show the numbers of the routes servicing that stop, the times of the last and first buses each day, and the names of each stop along the route. The system is only in Chinese with no English translation.
Taxis are inexpensive in Anshan. The rates are ¥7 for up to 3km and ¥2 for each 1km there after. All taxis are metered 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.
- 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. ¥4-6.
- 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..
- Bear States, Gongnong Street (Opposit No.1 Middle school (Yizhong) near to the Center hospital (Zhongxin Yiyuan)). A low cost Western food restaurant. The best hamburders in the city. Also sells pizza, noodles and italian pasta. About 18 to 30 yuan.
- Monbo Wonton, (there are dozzens of branches throughout the city). A populat franchise restaurant selling Wonton soup. About 10 to 15 yuan per portion..
- Com.e, Hunan Road, Tiedong District (about 100 metres form 219 Park south gate). 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. A second branch is on Yuanlin Road near No.9 Middle School.
- Pizza house, Tiedong 5th Street, Tiedong District (Behind No.2 middle school (Er Zhong Xue).). A variety of pizzas as well as steak. They also have a branch on Guangchang West Road in the New Development Zone.
- Jullette Cafe (七月咖啡), Zhonghua Road, Tiedong District (Opposite the Angang Gardens apartment complex.). A modern adaptation of one of the old Japanese workers houses dating to before the war. This cafe is noted for its western food - in particular its steaks. ¥50 to ¥200.
- Sawadika (萨瓦迪卡), Jiefeng Street, Tiedong District (Just east of the junction with Shannan Road), ☎ 0412-8646999. Thai restaurant in Anshan.
- Sanbao Wancha (三宝麻辣烫), Yuanlin Road, Tiedong District (Opposite No.9 Middle School), ☎ 0412-5531488. 24 hour. A dimsum tea restaurant serving Guangdong style rice porridge and dumplings. Also has branches on Shenli Road, Lishan district.
- Dongshan Hotel, (Off of Eryijiu Jie (219 Road) near the main entrance to 219 park.). High quality Chinese food.
- Da Baisha (大白鲨), Xinhua Street, Tiedong District. (At the north east corner of Renmin Park.). Up market restaurant serving typical Northeast Chinese food.
- Hutongli (胡同里), Xinguang Street, Tiedong District. (Just of Shengli Road, near Carefour supermarket). Themed like 1930's Beijing with cobbled floors, tramlines and revolutionary memorabilia decorating the walls.
- Yuzhangmen (鱼掌门), 316 Provincial Road, Hanjianyu Village (韩家峪村) (Outside of Hanjianyu village near Qianshan Mountain). A huge dining experience in a spectacular restaurant. Guests eat in traditionally themed rooms with waterfalls outside the windows and balconies where they may fish in a large pond or else in treehouse rooms overlooking. The restaurant is divided into two main complexes divided by the main road. The buildings on the left side of the road sell traditional Liaoning countryside cuisine. The buildings on the right sell BBQ food though items from both menus can be ordered wherever you choose to sit. 50-70 yuan per person.
- Xianghe Yuan (香河园), 314 Country Road, Xiangjia Village (祥家村) (Outside the city in the countryside to the southwest near Tanggangzi). A large are of parkland with small houses scatered throughout. Each house is in fact a dining room for the restaurant. The food is traditional Liaoning cuisine. The park also includes a lake for fishing and. Beside the park is a large farm where the rastaurant's food is produced. 60 to 70 yuan per person..
- Coco Club, Shungli Lu, Tiedong district, Anshan. (Near to Carefour supermarket.). 24 hour. 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.
- Pullman Anshan Time Square (鞍山时代铂尔曼大酒店), 306 Shengli Bei Lu, Lishan, Anshan. (中国辽宁省鞍山市立山区北胜利路306号 邮政编码:114030) (From city centre of Anshan, drive north along Shengli Road, which is before the railway station. From there turn into Jianguo road, before entering Shengli road. Pullman Anshan Time Square is located at the South West corner of the Lishan intersection.), ☎ +86(0412)6638888 ([email protected], fax: +86(0412)5978888), . checkin: 12:00; checkout: 15:00. Anshan's first international five star hotel has 331 rooms. The hotel is located 10 minutes from the city centre of Anshan, and has 3 restaurants which serve local and international cuisine and a bar. The hotel encapsulates the Pullman brand of technological innovation combined with high level service. All 331 rooms come with either city or garden views. In addition, the hotel's extensive facilities allow it to host large scale weddings and meeting groups. 500 RMB+.
The city is generally considered to be a safe place. Crime involving tourists is very rare. The districts of Tiexi and Lishan are generally poorer. Tiedong (especially Hunan neighbourhood) and Qianshan are wealthier and more modern.
Anshan is a reasonable base from which to explore the rest of Liaoning province. It has a central position within the province and is well connected by road and rail to all the other cities nearby. Day trips are easily undertaken to Shenyang, Panjin, Yingkou, Benxi, Liaoyang and Fushun cities. Local tourist companies run bus tours from Anshan to the various tourist attractions in these cities.
Slightly further, the cities of Dandong and Dalian can be visited as overnight stays with easy access from Anshan.
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