Yanji

Yanji (Chinese: 延吉, Korean: 연길) is a city in Jilin Province.

Understand

Koreans first migrated to the Yanji area after a series of famines struck in 1869. The area, called the Yanbian Chaoxianzu (Korean) Autonomous Prefecture, is the home of the largest group of ethnic Koreans living outside of Korea, and while there are a small number of expatriates from North and South Korea, most of the Koreans living here hold Chinese, not Korean citizenship. While some ethnic minorities such as the Manchus have since been assimilated by the Han, and others such as the Uyghurs and Tibetans continue to fight against the Chinese government in separatist movements, the Koreans have a unique place among China's ethnic minorities as despite being fiercely protective of their culture and language, they generally do not harbour any separatist intentions. Since large areas of Yanbian were off-limits to travelers, the tourist facilities and people who speak English are kind of non-existent at the moment but that is changing.

Unlike other Chinese cities, this little city is relatively clean and peaceful. You can find quite many cafes for this little city where serves good coffees and also you will see many tea houses (茶坐) around the city.

Internet access While there is plenty of internet cafes around you will be required to have a Chinese ID in order to use them. A foreign passport will not suffice unless you get lucky. The easiest way to get access may therefore be to get a hotel room which provides it.

Get in

By plane

Flights are available to all major Chinese cities and Seoul, Korea on a daily basis from the airport (IATA: YNJ) 6km west of the train station.

By train

Yanji Zhan

By bus

Dongbeiya Keyun Zhan Location: Chang Bai Lu, northeast of the train station

Yanji Zhan Parking Lot

Get around

Minibuses and normal size buses with 1 yuan. Taxis' basic fee is 5 yuan.

Talk

Unsurprisingly, due to its large Korean population, the Hamgyong dialect of Korean is widely spoken in Yanji. However, most ethnic Koreans in Yanji will be bilingual in Mandarin and Korean, so Mandarin-speaking visitors should not have much of a problem. All official signs will also be written in both Chinese characters and Korean hangul.

See

Do

It is possible to visit the DPRK, and in particular Rason on visa free 1-4 day trips. Companies such as British run Koryo Tours or Young Pioneer Tours can help arrange these trips for as little as a few hundred Euro.

Hiking in Mt Baektu, there are a few direct tourist buses from Yanji city to a few of the most beautiful areas in the muontains, the price is as low as a few Euro.

If you are happened to spend a couple of nights in this little city, you can check a small amusement park right next to the bridge of Yanxi st. (延西街) A dozen of small rides, and lots of beer stalls.

Buy

Famous for pine mushroom. There are lots of shops in front of the train station.

Eat

Cold noodle; the characteristic food of Korean-Chinese,authentic taste is nowhere else to be found. Sweet, cold, a bit spicy at the same time. Price is 10 to 15 yuan. Find the sign "冷面". Some are around Renmin Road and Guangming St.

Also this city is famous for other Korean cuisines, like Korean BBQs and Shenjitang(参鸡汤), herbs and ginseng chicken soup with boiled rice in it (Samgyetang in Korean). Also, lots of 'dog meat(狗肉)' restaurants are in the city, too.

Drink

Under South Korean influence, you can find a number of decent cafes around the city and it's a lot more than other closer bigger cities. Few clubs are scattered in the city, mostly South Korean DJs are playing Korean Pop.

Hands Coffee 핸즈커피 含旨咖啡, Xintian Building No. 103 Aidan-Road 743 爱丹路743号鑫田大夏103室,  +86 433-832-8859. Americano 15 yuan. This small cozy cafe is pleasant and peaceful, which is quite rare in northeast China. Actually it's one branch from a South Korean coffee franchise company. Serves various kinds of coffees(espresso based and hand drips), smoothies, cakes and fresh fruit juices in reasonable price. Waiters will greet you in Korean, but English menu is available. Free WiFi. Located right Next to the north bus station. Although the signboard is only in Korean, you can easily find it by its bright yellow door on the north side of Aidan Road.

Star Box, Gongyuan Road and Yanji St. Aide Dept. Store 10F 公园路和延吉接 爱得百货10楼. Draft beer 15 yuan and more. A nightclub that young folks go. Crowded after 10PM. South Korean DJs are playing speedy K-Pops. Even though a draft beer is 15 yuan at the bar, there are 200, 300 yuan liquor sets that you can order if you occupy a table. People do dance, but the stage is small, lots of tables. Endless small shows by Korean DJs and other entertainers.

Respect

Despite holding Chinese citizenship, the ethnic Koreans in Yanji generally share a common culture with their North and South Korean counterparts. Various points in the respect section of the South Korea article also apply when interacting with the Yanji Koreans.

Sleep

Like many other Chinese cities, foreigners are only allowed to stay in the places that meet 'the standard', even if there are plenty of cheap inns. It means you have to pay above 100 per person in high season(in low season, it would be around 80). If it says inn (Luguan, 旅馆), you foreigners are not likely allowed to stay. If it says hotel or motel (宾馆, binguan) you might be able to stay there, but it's more expensive than those small inns. (normal inns are 20~50 yuan for a room) However there's one option below 100 yuan for foreigners.

Go next

Yanji is the gateway for Changbaishan National Nature Reserve, located about 5 hours southwest of town.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, February 18, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.