Anshan

The Skyline of Anshan city viewed from Lieshishan Park.

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 92 km south of Shenyang, the province's capital. Anshan sits on the boundary between the mountains of eastern Liaoning and the plains of the west. The area contains the famous Qianshan Park National Park, Tangangzi Hot Spring Spa and the Jade Buddha Palace Temple. 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.

Understand

The area of Anshan has been inhabited since prehistoric times. In the Tang dynasty, the emperor of China lived in and around Anshan for a period of two years during the wars between China and the Goguryeo. Ansi city, in the south east of modern Anshan, was the scene of a large battle during those wars. During this time, many significant sites were established including the Hot Springs at Tangangzi and many temples in Qianshan. During the Ming Dynasty, a small fort was built in Anshan on the road from Haicheng to Liaoyang. This fort, and an nearby lookout tower are still visible today. The city however remained small and of little importance until the twentieth 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 alongside 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 9, 1949. The plant was expanded to become, at one time, the largest steel producer in China. Other industries set up alongside 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 1980s to designs which blow oxygen in form the front. This increased the production and also reduced the pollution. In the 1990s, 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.

Get in

By plane

Anshan Teng'ao Airport (AOG) is located 15 km (9 mi) 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 to and from Beijing and Shanghai are flown daily throughout the year. 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 next nearest airport is Shenyang Taoxian International Airport (SHE, 沈阳桃仙国际机场). This is some 90 km 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 ¥200-300 for the taxi between Anshan and Shenyang airport. If you are willing to share a taxi with other four travelers, then you might pay ¥50-60 per person though you will have to wait till the driver finds the full compliment of passengers before the will set of. 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.

By road

Anshan has two exits on the Shenda Expressway (Route 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. A third exit on the G15 near Liaoyang can take you via the G91 conveniently to the north end of the city. It takes about an hour and a half to travel the 93 km from Shenyang and about three hours for the 300 km from Dalian.

The Liaozhong Ring Expressway (Route G91) runs through the north of Anshan connecting east to Benxi and west with the Jingshen Expressway (Route G1) that leads to Beijing. Two exists on this route serve Anshan. The western exit interstects with the G15 to take travellers to the west of Anshan's Tiexi district. The next exit at Shoushan town, between Anshan and Liaoyang city, will take you to the north of Anshan's Lishan district.

The Panhai and Danxi Expressways (Route G16) run through the southern part of Anshan servicing Haicheng city and Xiuyan city in the south of Anshan Prefecture. They connect west to the nearby cities of Yingkou and Panjin and on to the G1 to Beijing. South west the route connects to Dandong on the border of North Korea. The G16 intersects the G15 just south west of Haicheng.

By bus

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 and there are sleeper coaches at night.

By train

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 and beyond. A High Speed Rail line between Dalian and Harbin passes through Anshan and is available from the Anshan West Railway Station. The high speed line allows travel from Anshan to Dalian in about one and a half hours and to Shenyang in about twenty minutes during summer. In winter, the line runs at a reduced speed due to the cold weather.

By taxi

A taxi from Shenyang to Anshan will cost about ¥400 by the meter. Many drivers in Anshan will negotiate a significantly cheaper rate, typical ¥200-300 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).

Get around

There are 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 No.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 ¥7 for up to 3 km and ¥2 for each 1 km there after. All taxis are metered but for longer journeys, you may negotiate the fare. A taxi to Qianshan Mountains will cost about ¥30.

See

Buildings

The Jade Buddha inside the Jade Buddha Palace in Anshan city, Liaoning, China.

City parks

Nature and parks outside the city

Do

Buy

Eat

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, September 13, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.