Dandong

Dandong (丹东; Dāndōng; formerly Andong (安东)), is a city in Liaoning Province, China, right next to the North Korean border.

Understand

Location of Dandong in China
Dondong in Chinese

Visitors usually come to Dandong for its close vicinity to the North Korean border.

Situated at the confluence of the Yalu River and the Yellow Sea in the southeast of Liaoning Peninsula, facing the North Korean town of Sinuiju across the Yalu River, small Dandong enjoys its reputation as the largest border city in China.

The geographic setting and the rich natural resources of Dandong account for its recent development into a city characterised by the light industry, silk industry (every late May, Dandong is the venue for the Oriental Silk Festival), and also Xiu Jade is famous for sea products and special products, such as Ginseng, hawthorn and chestnut.

The quiet riverside city is most famous for the pockmarked Yalu River Bridge spanning distressingly over the river. The bridge survived the bombing during the Korean War, a time when the city still had its old name Andong. Now it is open to the public to commemorate "the defeat of the American Aggression" and is the first choice for a glimpse of North Korea.

Get in

By plane

Dandong Airport (IATA: DDG) - Flights from Dandong are limited to Beijing and Shanghai; therefore, it is probably better to fly in/out of Dalian or Shenyang and then take the train or bus to/from Dandong. Dandong Airport is 13 miles west of town and an airport shuttle is available.

By train

Trains from Shenyang several times a day with night trains from Beijing, Dalian, Changchun and Qingdao. From Dalian, the train takes a slow route of almost 10 hours, while buses can complete the journey in 4. You can also take the train from Pyongyang, North Korea and Moscow and Russia.

By bus

The long-distance bus station is at 98 Shiwei Lu, near the train station.

Dalian Express Buses leave from the Baoshan Shicheng on Gong'an Jie. The trip takes about 4 hours.

By boat

The Dandong International Ferry company (Dandong Office: 0415-3152666, Incheon Office: +82-32-891-3322, runs the ferry Oriental Pearl between Dandong and Incheon port in South Korea. The ferry leaves Incheon's Ferry Terminal No. 1 at 17:00 (check-in closing at 15:00) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, arrives at Dandong at 9:00 the next day, and leaves Dandong at 16:00 on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday (check-in closing at 15:00) and arrives at Incheon at 9:00 the next day. Prices: economy (20+ people) 1010 yuans, 6-beds cabin w/ bathroom 1060 yuans. Dandong departure tax: 30 yuans to buy at the terminal.

Food available for purchase on board in South Korean won only; yuan exchange possible at very bad rate (no currency exchange at Dandong terminal). The passage takes 15 hours.

Buses to the ferry terminal leave Dandong in front of the train station at around 12:00-13:00 (ask station for details) (1 h, 20 yuan).

Get around

As the city of Dandong is not large and lacks efficient public transportation with English, the taxi is probably the most common means for getting around. Almost all of the drivers will bring you anywhere inside the city for the price of ¥10. From downtown to the new district, it should cost between 30 to 50 Y. When using taxis, make sure the driver activates the meter, and pay attention to it as the meter may accidentally 'turn off', resulting in the driver demanding more money from you.

If you do take public transportation (buses), note that depending on the line, service may stop as early as 6 pm. So taxi may be your only option.

See

View of North Korea from Dandong
Friendship Bridge

Do

Buy

Most shops offer products at low cost and North Korean cigarettes can be purchased at many places, especially along the Yalu river..

Eat

The town, because of the location, has a lot of Korean restaurants with most congregating on the street facing the river. Give the shiguo Banfan, stonepot rice, also known as bibimbop in Korean, a try as well as the huoguo, hot pot. There are also a few North Korean restaurants in town, owned by the North Korean government and with North Korean waitresses, which are recognisable by the Chinese and North Korean flags over the entrances.

Drink

True Love Club is 2 minutes' walk away from the station. Westerners are not frequent, so they are likely to be called on stage to participate in beer races with the DJ and be interviewed in Chinese, no knowledge of the language required. This is usually very comical for the Chinese club patrons, but foreign revelers who speak little Chinese should take care. The on-stage interview portion can be very mean-spirited - on one recent visit, an English man was made to badly repeat phrases in Chinese such as "I am very poor and have no money." Of course he had no idea what he was saying and the crowd found this to be very funny.

Sleep

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, March 20, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.