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Jilin Province Travel Guide

Provincial capital: Changchun

Population: 31 millions

Geological location: Jilin province is located in the central part of Northeast China, adjoining Heilongjiang Province in the north, Lianing Province in the south, and the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region in the west. It lies in the hinterland of the northeastern Asia composed of Japan, Russia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, and the northeast part of China, adjacent to Russia in the east, and opposite to the DPRK in the southeast across the Tumen and Yalu rivers. Located between 122-131 degrees E and 41-46 degrees N., its territory covers 187,400 square kilometers, accounting for 2 percent of the nation’s total, which extend 650 km from east to west, and 300 km from south to north. The land is high in the southeastern part and low in the northwestern, with a vast plain lying in its mid-west.

Map of Jilin Province

Climate: Jilin Province is located in the middle latitudes of the northern hemisphere, east of the Euro-Asian continent, the northernmost section of the temperate zone in China, nearing the sub-frigid zone. The eastern part of the province is close to the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan, where the atmosphere is moist often accompanied with much rain. The climate of its western part, which is far from the sea and approaches to the arid Mongolian Plateau, is dry. As a whole, the province has a distinct temperate continental monsoon climate with a clear-cut change of four seasons. The yearly average temperature of most part of the province is 3-5 °C. The annual time of sunshine is 2,200—3,000 hours. The annual average accumulated temperature in activity is 2,700—3,600 °C. The precipitation of the province in a year is 550—910 mm and the frost-free period lasts 120—160 days. With hot and rainy days in the same season, it is good for farming. The frost period begins in the last 10 days of September and lasts until the end of April or early May.

Tourism resources: The province boasts rich tourism resources. In the provincial capital Changchun, there are the former government office of the Manchurian State established by the Japanese invaders during World War II, the Jingyuetan Forest Park, and the Monument to the Martyrs of the Soviet Red Army, the Automobile Town, and the Changchun Film Studio. In Jilin City, there are the mountain city of Gaojuli on Mount Longtans; Beishan Park; the Songhua Lake in Fengman; the Baohai Ancient Tombs in Mount Liuding of Dunhua; the Chengzishan mountain city in Yanji; the Changbeishan Nature Reserve that covers a vast area in the three counties of Changbei, Antu and Fusong and boasts scenic spots such as the Heavenly Pond, waterfalls, and groups of hot springs and grand canyons. In Tonghua, there is the Tomb of General Yang Jingyu.

By air: Although Jilin is an outlying province in the northeastern part of China (Dongbei), it is still fairly easy to access by plane. The easiest point to enter and leave the province is by Changchun, the capital, which is linked with major cities such as Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai by daily flights and others including Qingdao, Xiamen and Chengdu. Also, if you can arrange visas in advance, a trip to Vladivostok is also possible. In winter, throngs of people opt to skip Changchun and fly straight to Jilin City to enjoy the Ice Lantern Festival.

By Train: Jilin boasts a cobweb of rail links, with an aggregate length of over 4,000km. An excess of 80 trains shuttle to and from Changchun. Even today, a considerable proportion of the travelers go to Jilin on a sleeper train from such faraway places as Beijing, Shanghai and even Xi'an! If you are based in Jilin City, it is also convenient to travel within Jilin (and without to cities such as Harbin and Shengyang).

By Bus: To do justice to road transport, it is the least advanced of the three. However, backwardness does not mean impossibility--you will still find that inter-province transport is reliable and the quality of Beijing-Changchun Expressway is among the best of its kind in China. The area of Changbaishan, which houses the province's most popular sight, The Heavenly Lake (Tianchi), is one area that can only be reached by road. See the Changbaishan Transportation Overview for details.