City in China: Liaoning辽宁
Liaoning is the southernmost province in China'sDongbei(Northeast) region, featuringbeautiful beaches and the breezy cosmopolitan port of Dalian, Shenyang's impressive Manchu Imperial Palace, the majesty of the Benxi Water Cavesand much more, including the opportunity to get a firsthand peek at one of the world's most closed nations,North Korea.
Liaoningis a rewarding destination year-round, but especially in summer months when the coastline in the vicinity of Dalian and Lushun(formerly Port Arthur) can best be enjoyed for its scenic beaches and ocean breezes. If the popular beaches are too crowded, a trip up the coast towardDagu Shan, Dandong and the Great Wall of China at Tiger Mountain(Hu Shan) is a great way to go.
Inland, Liaoning offers fascinating glimpses into Manchu history, especially in Shenyang, where, in addition to the sprawling Manchu palace complex, tombs and pagodas testify to the city's past as the Manchu capital. Shenyang also boasts two excellent museums. The Liaoning Provincial Museum is a treasure house of Dongbei history, including samples of Shang-era oracle bonesinscribed with some of the earliest examples of Chinese writing, while the September 18 History Museum memorializes the 1931 Japanese invasion of Liaoning.
Outside of Shenyang, attractions such as the temple-dotted Qian Shan(Qian Mountain) and the majestic Benxi Water Caves make for fine diversions from the cities and excellent stops on a Dalian-Dandong-Shenyang-Liaoning itinerary.
Today, though the Han population is now upwards of 80%, Liaoning, like the rest of Dongbei, retains many traces of its historical cultural diversity. Russian, Japanese and Korean influences mingle with Manchurian and Han Chinese elements throughout the province, resulting in a cultural blend that emerges in local cuisines and architecture, the faces and language of the people themselves.
东北 Dōnɡběi: Dongbei
辽宁 Liáonínɡ: Liaoning
大连 Dàlián: Dalian
沈阳 Shěnyánɡ: Shenyang
满清皇宫 MǎnqīnɡHuánɡGōnɡ: Manchu Imperial Palace
北朝鲜 Běicháoxiǎn: North Korea
甲骨文 Jiǎɡǔwén: oracle bones