Shenyang, the largest city in Northeast China, is the capital, as well as political, economic and cultural centre of Liaoning Province. It’s also home to the country’s two best-preserved imperial palace complexes, now UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Shenyang Taoxian International Airport is a national first class airport. It serves 70 domestic airlines and 35 international airlines. There are currently two terminals in operation, while a third one and a runway are being constructed.
How to get around
The airport is a 30km drive from the city centre. You could hop on an airport shuttle from the airport to the main China Northern Airlines ticket office. Sights in the old city, or Shenhe District, are within walking distance, but those in Beiling or Dongling require transport. An easy way to get around is the Shenyang Metro that travels East to West and North to South. Shenyang’s bus system is pretty extensive but the Chinese signs and instructions can be difficult to understand. Taxis are fast and convenient but be sure to get a metered cab, or you might end up overcharged.
Explore Shenyang’s natural splendours at its many gardens and parks. Qipanshan Scenic Area is the largest scenic spot in Shenyang, comprising of Qipanshan Mountain, Huishan Mountain, Dayangshan Mountain and Xiuhu Lake. The area was named after the megalith sitting on the mountain, which looks like a chessboard. The view changes every season with different coloured blooms and foliage. Shenyang Botanical Gardens, which are 10 kilometres away from the city centre, is where many flower exhibitions are held annually. Shenyang Bird Island, or Ganhezi Island, is the only natural bird watching area in Shenyang. This island located in the Hunhe River water system is a habitat of forests, wetlands, ponds and brushwoods that’s home to wild bats, cranes, swans, peacocks, wild geese and other birds. Shenyang National Forest Park boasts more forests, rare flora and fauna, and mountains, including the Shiren Mountain, which is the highest peak in Shenyang.
Shenyang also has many noteworthy landmarks. Shenyang Four Towers (named Falun Temple, Guangci Temple, Yongguang Temple and Yanshou Temple) symbolise the Four Heavenly Guardians who help protect the people from natural disasters. For a historical remainder of a 1000 year-old ancient city, visit Liaobin Pagoda where Liaohe River and Xiushui River converge. For architecture buffs, the courtyard houses and gardens of Marshal Zhang’s Mansion are a fusion of Chinese and European styles.
Be sure to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Shenyang, such as the Three Mausoleums of Shengjing, referring to the Fuling, Zhaoling and Yongling Mausoleums of the Qing Dynasty, were built between 1598 and 1629. Another Qing Dynasty site on the list is Shenyang Mukden Palace, home to the first three Qing emperors and built to look like the Forbidden City in Beijing. It has now been converted into a museum, the Shenyang Palace Museum, and houses 10,000 over relics.
The Shenyang Magical Slope is a travel spot that shouldn’t be missed as well. Defying all concept of nature and physics, a car that stops at the foot of this slope will automatically slide up and only go down when the engine is switched on. This phenomenon remains a mystery to this day.
Did you know…?
The Shenyang Botanical Gardens was the site of the International Horticultural Exposition 2006, the largest in the expo’s history.
How to get there
Getting to Shenyang Taoxian International Airport is easy via domestic and international flights. There are direct flights from Hong Kong, Seoul, South Korea, North Korea, Russia, Germany and Japan. For cheap flight options, visit Skyscanner and compare the different airline offerings available for every budget.
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