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Thread: China - Jilin in the far north

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    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default China - Jilin in the far north

    Anyone care to share information around that area? Will be in Changchun and Jilin city and its surrounds in November

    Will post my own gathered info when I get back, that I promise

    thanks in advance

    ed

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    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    I was there in the dead of the winter 2002. You need to equip yrself with the neccessary thermal wear. Temp can go to minus 20 (-20). Snow was as thick as 1/2 feet. Buy a ear muffler... if it gets too cold, you feel like vomitting...

    Only got my pocket camera there so cant tell how dslr will perfom... even then, because the pocket camera was made of metal, the zoom jammed because of the cold and the batteries flat after 5 mins... if left in the cold.

    For photography, best to try to take those snowy scenery with the trees structure.... very korea drama like. Apart from that, the ice cravings... then... Nothing much. You need to ask the locals to take you out... The overall look and feel is like outskirts of Johore Bahru, except it is blanket in snow. Some of the main city structure are not very tall... people usually describe Chang Chun as a cow boy city.

    Locals are friendly but careful... as the people are riddled with politics. They want to make friends with you to find how how they can derive information or use u. The best models come from Northern china. Try the turkish bath. There is a Dog meat restaurant which is quite an eye opener...

    have fun, take care.
    Don't brag about your accomplishments; Show us your future works.

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    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    thanks ..... most harsh winters I have experienced starts late Dec through Jan.... Nov snow is kind of early ... I hear this same cold weather comment too from others , thanks for confirming

    thanks for the other info too .... actually will be in Chang Chun to stage for a day and night before moving out to Tumen first . Covering the North Korean and China barter trade business ....

    After that, move over to the Sino-Russian border town of Suifenhe to see the Russian version of cross-border trading

    will be there for about a week and a half in all
    Last edited by ed9119; 3rd September 2009 at 12:08 PM.

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    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    help help ?? ........

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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    Going to Jilin wow!

    I've been to Jilin a few times but the area I visit is more on the Yanji side, where most Korean-tribe/race people are. It is near the borders of Russian and North Korea. I go there a lot because my wife is from there and I have to visit my in-laws once in a blue moon. And yes, my wife is of Korean race. I will be headed there again this coming CNY.

    The conditions in November is not as harsh as you hear. First snow is usually in early Oct. Nov will be cold in SG standards, but not the coldest in Jilin standard. Temperatures should be around -10. A lot depends on the weather systems also. The thing about white winters is, it is not as bad as you think it is. If the snow is not falling, you do not need to dress like you are going to climb Everest. A good down-feather jacket will be enough for most. For people who are really afraid of cold weather, it makes sense to get thermals (esp bottoms). You can get the wool ones, which are the warmest. Jeans is ok as bottoms as long as you have thermals inside.

    The key in keeping warm is actually 3 things - Head, Ears and Feet. You can be wearing the thickest and warmest jacket and pants. If your shoes are lousy, and if you are not wearing anything to protect your head or ears, you are just asking for it. Get ear protectors, and a beanie, or a fur/cotton lined hat. And make sure your shoes are waterproof, with super thick socks. It is also advisable to wear winter shoes. Getting a pair there may be a good idea. Get those with faux(or real) fur lining inside. It is quite cheap in China. To give you an idea, I was in Jilin mid November and all I was wearing is a down jacket, jeans and Clark's hi-cut leather shoes. I never wore thermals in my life, because I am one of those that actually love cold weather (and detest hot). If you are afraid of the cold, wear more. Maybe a long sleeve T-shirt or thermals, with a wool sweater, thermal bottoms, jeans, and a down-feather jacket outside.

    As for the views, Jilin's landscape is very much like those American landscapes you see in pictures and TV. Pine trees, sweeping mountains, wide lakes, and green pastures. Almost makes you feel like you are in USA or New Zealand. You will even see wool sheep there. You will also see lots of Ginseng farms high up in the mountains (they will look like blue tarps covering big portions of the mountains).

    Food wise, please try Korean-tribe/race food there. It is real authentic there and IMHO I like it a lot more than South Korean food. Portions will be huge, so watch out when ordering. Prices will be very good though. And if you are eating with locals, remember, it is not polite to eat rice at the beginning of a meal. And they WILL make you drink. When you ask for steamed rice, it means you do not want to drink anymore. So be careful when you ask for steam rice. People usually do that near the end of the meal.

    Here are some pics I took in June 2008. And yes, even in June, the temperature there was 7 deg C at night and around 20-23 in the day. Of course, I was in the mountains in the countryside.





    Last edited by daredevil123; 4th September 2009 at 06:51 PM.

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    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    And they WILL make you drink.
    Yes God..... THANK YOU !!!

    --------------------

    Thanks for the information daredevil ..... hugely appreciated.... have you heard of this little town by name of Yanzi ? Most of my time will be along the border areas of N Korea and Russia and evaluating a route from the border to Vladivostok on the Russia side.

    I will get there from Beijing via overnight train to first Changchun and then Jilin City .... and then out to the border towns like Tumen, Dongdang, Suifenhe etc etc etc etc

    Thanks for sharing the images!


    Please continue to advise ..... searches have thrown up VERY little useful information and what info is available is mostly repeated to death on the Net. HUGELY appreciated

    Maybe I can buy your wife and you a meal soon ? Want to ask alot more .........

    ed

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    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    Quote Originally Posted by ed9119 View Post
    Yes God..... THANK YOU !!!

    --------------------

    Thanks for the information daredevil ..... hugely appreciated.... have you heard of this little town by name of Yanzi ? Most of my time will be along the border areas of N Korea and Russia and evaluating a route from the border to Vladivostok on the Russia side.

    I will get there from Beijing via overnight train to first Changchun and then Jilin City .... and then out to the border towns like Tumen, Dongdang, Suifenhe etc etc etc etc

    Thanks for sharing the images!


    Please continue to advise ..... searches have thrown up VERY little useful information and what info is available is mostly repeated to death on the Net. HUGELY appreciated

    Maybe I can buy your wife and you a meal soon ? Want to ask alot more .........

    ed
    Hi ed,

    You're welcome. I saw you later post only after I posted my long and lengthy one.

    I do not know of Yanzi. I have however, been to Yanji (延吉) a lot. It is very close to the North Korean border. It is not a small town, but a medium-small city. Maybe you can check to see if we are both talking about the same city/town?

    Yes, I have passed by Tumen 图门. My in-laws place is actually past Tumen. At their village, where the pics are taken, they are extremely close to the borders of Russia and North Korea. In the past, there were times when some of the people there wander into Russian land unintentionally and Russian soldiers point AK47 at them. I usually set up base at a very small city called Hunchun 珲春. A lot of Sino-Russian trade goes on there as well. Thing is, recent years have not been good to the Russians. From my trips there this last year, much of the flow of Russians have disappeared. And a lot of the younger Korean-tribe/race people have left China to work in South Korea, now that the immigration and work visa laws in South Korea have relaxed a lot in the last 2 years. Some towns' and cities' have dropped by as much as 50-60%.

    Actually, the best example of Sino-Nkorean trade I have seen is actually not in Jilin but in Liaoning province at this city called Dandong (丹东). I've been there in 2006 and I think I ran into some Singapore government people at the small airport there. Saw them carrying bag with Ministry of Foreign Affairs logo there. I act blur and run away quickly to another area.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 4th September 2009 at 07:54 PM.

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    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    And forgot to mention,

    The mountains in the region are home to the very rare and government protected Northeast Tiger (东北虎). In deep winter, when food is very scarce, they sometimes come down and prey on domesticated animals (usually cows).

    A couple of years back, a girl was mauled to death on the mountains only several weeks from her wedding. She was collecting wild vegetables.

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    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    ..... keep talking please...... I'm taking all this down

    PM sent !

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    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    Hi daredevil123,
    is independent travel easy in Yanji during winter Jan/Feb? eg. public transport, access to villages, budget guesthouses easy find etc?

    ed, when u come back, pls feedback on your observations etc?

    Thanks!

  11. #11

    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    Hi,

    thank you both very much for bringing up the Sino/Russian Far East/Korean region. Am also thinking of wandering, but never have to courage to go there in the winter

    Just a quick question, are the SAF boots, the new goretex ones, suffice for winter boots? Of course in addition to thick socks and all.

    Many thanks!

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    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    yes confirmed its Yanji.....

    very few hotel listings for that city...... any recommendations in Yanji and the other smaller towns and cities you've been daredevil ? 3 stars or lower as long as its clean, safe and has a hot shower

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    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    Tons of hotels in Yanji. It is quite a prosperous city. maybe you want to check out this site most of us in CHina uses.

    http://www.ctrip.com

    The english version of the website is not very good. Best if you have chinese input set up.

    I usually stay at Home Inns in Yanji. It is around 3 km from the airport and is across the street from the long distance bus station. My flight there usually arrive at 2300 hrs, so I stay the night there, before catching the first morning bus out to the outlying cities in the bus-station. Home Inns is a chain hotel much like our Hotel 81, and it is very clean and cheap. Thing is, it is not located in the City center. There is nothing around there at night, but there are a couple of small restaurants around it in the day. You can check out Home Inns website here http://www.homeinns.com

    The ctrip website I gave you above is pretty much the best tool you can use for hotels. For transportation, your best bet is the long distance bus system. So the key from getting from town to town is via bus. Bigger cities will have bus-stations. Small towns will not, you have to ask the locals what time the bus to a certain place passes the road. Be there at that time and wave to the bus. If possible, try not to have too much luggage. Best is if you can fit most stuff into a larger handcarry gym bag/alibaba bag/backpack. Buses to the smaller towns are rather small, like those 15-20 seater school bus type.

    One more thing, you can forget about hotels in villages. There are none. You have to make arrangements with people you know to stay at someone's home. Small towns may have some hotels but your best bets are probably bathhouses. Take hot showers, dip in the baths, get a back rub, and sleep there overnight. A lot of bathhouses there also have hotel rooms. Some are not the best, but they are at least clean. So process is: first check Ctrip first to see if there are any hotels in the city you are looking at. If not, go there and look for Ludian(旅馆/旅店). If don't have, look for bathhouses (澡堂/洗浴).
    Last edited by daredevil123; 6th September 2009 at 12:05 PM.

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    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    Quote Originally Posted by nuts View Post
    Hi daredevil123,
    is independent travel easy in Yanji during winter Jan/Feb? eg. public transport, access to villages, budget guesthouses easy find etc?

    ed, when u come back, pls feedback on your observations etc?

    Thanks!
    It is definitely not hard. But you have to be able to at least speak mandarin fluently and have a outgoing character, meaning you are not shy or afraid to ask for directions, and be able to talk to people and start conversations. But seriously speaking, it is not that fun to travel in that part of the woods unless you have a specific purpose to accomplish there.

    I would prefer to do independent travel in Yunnan. More to see.

    Also hope my post before this one to ed answers some of your questions.

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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    One more thing. I really pays to blend in. So do not wear things that shout "I AM A FOREIGNER". Jeans, simple T-shirt/shirt. with jacket... Stay simple. The younger people there dress quite fashionably, since a lot of them are Korean-tribe people and they follow fashion trends from South Korea. They will definitely look less obiang than, say, people in Yunnan or Sichuan.

    And while you are there, remember to buy Ginseng. Super cheap there. They have both the dry ones (the ones we know) and the fresh ones... (still moist or wet).
    Last edited by daredevil123; 6th September 2009 at 11:53 AM.

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    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    thanks daredevil, I'm already registered as a member of ctrip for last 2 years already ha ha

    ya I cant read chinese so I'm restricted to the english section which have a very small list of Yanji hotels.... 'traveler feedback and comments' for this english side is very poor.... I know the chinese one is chock full of more hotels and alot alot of client feedback on quality of their stays

    Thank you so much for the advise thus far, priceless .

    Errr I'm just good at eating but how does one evaluate ginseng ? They all look same to me... will google that but how the locals do it? buy from more reputable shops or direct from wet market ?

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    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    Thanks daredevil123, yup your prev posts are definitely helpful! Thanks for sharing!

    I don't wanna prebook all my accommodation though, thats why I asked whether its easy to look for guesthouses/luguan etc

    As for independent travel in Yunnan, yup its great! But I'm sure different parts of China has its own charm, so wanna go look see


    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    It is definitely not hard. But you have to be able to at least speak mandarin fluently and have a outgoing character, meaning you are not shy or afraid to ask for directions, and be able to talk to people and start conversations. But seriously speaking, it is not that fun to travel in that part of the woods unless you have a specific purpose to accomplish there.

    I would prefer to do independent travel in Yunnan. More to see.

    Also hope my post before this one to ed answers some of your questions.

  18. #18

    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    yeah, as ed said, how to evaluate ginseng? share some tips?... one of the three treasures of the Northeast!


    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    .....

    And while you are there, remember to buy Ginseng. Super cheap there. They have both the dry ones (the ones we know) and the fresh ones... (still moist or wet).

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    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    yes.... I dont really care for hebs like ginseng and linzhi .... but the older uncles , aunties and my parents appreciate it..... they will get a kick out of getting ginseng instead of the usual wallet/handbag or shirt/polo-t this Xmas kekeke

    If dont know its ok..... this'll make a good conversation piece with strangers and the older xmm's ha ha ha!
    Last edited by ed9119; 6th September 2009 at 08:33 PM.

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    Default Re: China - Jilin in the far north

    Seriously speaking, I don't really know how to see also. LOL. But over there the fresh ones cost around 30 RMB a 500g bag. Good or no good, it is still very cheap.

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