Manzhouli

Manzhouli (满洲里; Mǎnzhōulǐ) is a city in Inner Mongolia Province in China.

Understand

Established in 1901 as a stop on the Trans-Manchurian Railway which was being built at the time as a shortcut between the main line of the Trans-Siberian Railway and Vladivostok, Russia. Now it is more like an international marketplace where Russians cross the border in search of cheap and portable items for selling back in the Motherland.

Manzhouli has more shopping malls than some American cities of comparable size. Look around because you never know what you might see. It's a lot of fun.

Also, if you want to practice speaking Russian in China, this is the city to be in.

Although Manzhouli is a small city by Chinese standards there is lots to do there. There are at least five Russian clubs and the Chinese love to party at a club called Banana.

There are literally dozens of restaurants catering to Russians and many of them have shows with traditional and modern Russian dancing and also Chinese acrobats.

Manzhouli also has lots of funny statues around town that people enjoy taking pictures with. There are statues of Santa Claus, hip hop dancers, two men carrying a keg of beer among many others. It is amazing to see.

Get in

By plane

Manzhouli Airport (IATA: NZH) is located 9 km sw of downtown. There are flights to Beijing, Harbin and Hohhot, and an international flight to Choibalsan, Mongolia.

Be ready for being chopped by taxi drivers if you arrive in evening. Trip to city center from airport is RMB 80-100 for perhaps 10 km rides.

By train

Regular train service to other destinations in Manchuria. The Trans-Manchurian express stops once a week on its travels to and from Moscow and Beijing.

By bus

The bus station is at Yidao Street.

Get around

There are plenty of taxis but you can walk everywhere you want to go in Manzhouli.

See

Buy

You can buy plenty of matroshka dolls. Also, many places sell coins from the former Soviet Union.

But honestly, you can buy almost anything your heart desires in Manzhouli. When you walk into a shop you never know just what you will find.

In addition to Russian trinkets, there are also many beautiful pictures of Genghis Khan, some painted on leather. You can also get a yurt keychain to remember your time in Inner Mongolia.

Manzhouli is also a place where the big, the tall and the fat can find clothing. Because so many Russian business people come here looking to purchase things there are lots of clothes for people who don't have the typical petite Chinese body. There is a wide range of quality and prices.

You can also find furry Russian style hats and beautiful fur coats in Manzhouli though it is not cheap for Chinese standard.

Eat

There are so many restaurants in Manzhouli it is amazing. Chinese restaurants, Mongolian hot-pot restaurants, Russian restaurants.

Also, you will see men selling meat-on-a-stick, often mutton.

Naran is a Buryat restaurant near the train station and it is highly recommended and affordable too.

Manzhouli also has two KFC restaurants. They have the best breakfast in town.

The Hotel Tourist has a great restaurant as well.

Shangri-La Hotel is the most expensive hotel in town and they also have quality food. Here you can find real American hamburgers and steaks for about 50 Yuan.

Drink

There are dozens of bars and restaurants in Manzhouli.

Some of the top Russian bars are VIP Zona, Baikal, Marina 888 and Spa Port. The best Chinese club is Banana.

Beer and vodka are easy to find here.

There's also a Chinese/Mongolian drink called bai jo. It has been described as a Chinese vodka. However, it's quite possibly stronger than vodka and the taste, well, you don't really care about the taste do you.

Manzhouli is just south of Siberia and it gets bitter cold. (Some) People like to drink really strong alcohol.

You will also want to make sure to try the Mongolian milk tea.

Sleep

Manzhouli literally has dozens of hotels. The cheaper hotels are in the Chinese part of town but you can find some good quality hotels in the Russian part of town as well. Prices vary greatly.

Mid range

Splurge

The Shangri La Hotel opened in 2011 and advertises itself as a five star hotel.

There are also lots of fancy hotels for the Russian tourists.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, August 29, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.