Changchun (长春; Chángchūn; lit. Long Spring) is the capital of Jilin Province and was formerly the capital of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. With a population of more than 6 million, it is one of the major cities in Northeast China (东北; Dōngběi), and is the largest center for China's automotive industry. In 2007, the city hosted the Asian Winter Games.
Despite its relatively high population and economic importance, Changchun has a lot of greenery, especially stands of pine trees, and though it is a draw for university students and some investors, it is not a major tourist destination, which is probably one of the reasons people who do visit this city are likely to meet friendly people who are interested in speaking with them, not necessarily to sell them anything but just out of curiosity.
The ancient periodEdit
Changchun in its present form is a new city with only about 200 years of history. But there used to be a city thousands of years ago known by different names. The ancient city changed its name several times, 'Xidu', 'Helong', 'Tiangang' （Han Dynasty）, 'Shushan' （Tang Dynasty), 'Longzhou' （Liao Dynasty), and 'Kuancheng' (Jin Dynasty). Eventually, Kuancheng was destroyed by the Mongolian army, leaving nothing except mention of its conquest in the annals of history.
In 1800 (Qing Dynasty), Emperor Jiaqing decided to build a town, as one of the junctions on the way from the capital Beijing, to the Changbai Mountains, the holy mountains of Qing royalty. The Emperor gave the reborn town a name with a blessing: 'Changchun'. In some tales, this new name came from a couplet made by the Emperor Qianlong, the father of Jiaqing. This couplet was made when the old emperor was on his way to the Changbai Mountains, to praise the spring-like summer of the Changchun area.
The semicolonial periodEdit
After defeating China in the first Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), Japan had desires to expand, including plans to conquer the eastern lands of Fengtian Province (Liaoning Province today) from China. This expansion clashed with the wishes of Russia, France, and Germany; Japan had to settle for money from China instead (about 30 million liang). For their part, Russia got the rights to build a railway in the sought-after lands.
In 1896, Russia built a railway station and a settlement in Changchun.
In 1906, Japan defeated Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, and gained the rights to the railway in southern Northeast China. Changchun became the junction between the Japanese-owned South Manchurian Railway and the Russian-owned Chinese Eastern Railway, which had different rail gauges and permit licenses. There were railway repair shops, and branch lines originating in Changchun extended into Korea and Inner Mongolia.
An epidemic of pneumonia occurred in many parts of Manchuria from 1910-11.
On 18 September 1931, Japan invaded Manchuria. The leader of the area, Zhang Xueliang, commanded his army to retreat without counterattack, and pinned all his hopes on the intercession of the League of Nations, which was ineffectual.
The city's name was changed on 1 March 1932, to Xinjing (新京), the capital of Manchukuo, and Pu Yi, the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty, was its designated overseer. The new tenants gave it a grand blueprint with broad avenues and modern public works. The city underwent rapid expansion in both economy and infrastructure and provided materials for Japan's wars.
The Chinese people were forbidden to learn their own language and culture, as they were now under the control of the Japanese Empire. Life under Japanese occupation was cruel.
The Civil WarEdit
The area changed hands again when on 20 August 1944, the Soviet army took over the city. They stayed until 4 April 1946, and took away all the machines and materials they could move. At that time, the army of the Republic of China took over the city. Two months later, the Chinese Civil War began, and Changchun once again became a battlefield.
From May to October 1948, the Kuomintang army was besieged by the Communist army. The Kuomintang army looted food from citizens and the Communists forbade anybody to leave. At last, the Kuomintang army surrendered and the Communist army captured the city.
A few years after the Civil War, in September 1954, Changchun became the capital of Jilin Province. Nowadays, it is a quiet northern city having short, windy springs and cool summers. It is also an important domestic optical research center, along with automobile and train manufacturing bases.
New train tracks have been laid, decades after world powers fought for its resources. On 27 May 2010, China's fastest high speed train, the 380A which can reach 380 km/hr, began operations as the city continues to make its own history.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Changchun has a monsoon-influenced climate, with great seasonal temperature extremes. Winters are long, very cold, and windy, with a January average high temperature of −10 °C (14°F). However, there is little snow and the air is dry. Summers are very warm and humid, with extended periods of 30°C (86°F) highs, though the average high in July is 28°C (82°F).
- 1 Changchun Longjia International Airport CGQ IATA (长春龙嘉国际机场) (Around 30 km east of city center). +86 431 77783333. Large and clean, and passengers can find standard amenities such as restaurants, cafes, shops, lounges, credit card acceptance, etc. For first class passengers there are two lounges available, but the standard is far below of the lounges of international airports. Flights are available to many Chinese cities, plus other Asian destinations such as Tokyo and Bangkok. The most popular flights are to Shanghai (2:20 hours) and Beijing (1:40 hours).
The Longjia rail station is in the airport. It has high-speed train access to Changchun, taking just 14 minutes. The frequency is every 10-30 minutes during the day, but it does not run at night (about 8pm-7am).
From the airport there are regular coach services (¥20-30 one way) available to the center (e.g. People's Square (人民广场)). Travel time is around 45 minutes. A taxi to/from the city costs around ¥80 including toll, but from the airport to the city most of the taxi drivers reject a drive if you are not willing to pay at least ¥100 (do not discuss it, do it or take the bus).
Changchun has two main passenger railway stations:
- 2 Changchun Railway Station (长春站; Changchun Zhan) (At the north end of Renmin Avenue (人民大街)). Although it is large and chaotic, providing you read Chinese and speak some Mandarin and are prepared to fight through the queues, you can buy a ticket to almost anywhere in China from here.
- 3 Changchun West Railway Station (长春西站). High Speed Trains (D and G trains) depart from here.
There is also Changchun South Railway Station (长春南站), which is very small and only local trains stop there.
Thanks to the railroad-building efforts of Japanese in the early- to mid-1900s, the rail network in Northeast China is extensive and no place is very far by rail. (All times approximate.)
- Beijing - 8 hours (6.5 hours D Train)
- Dalian - 7–10 hours (4 hours D Train)
- Dandong - 10 hours
- Harbin - 4 hours (1.5 hours D Train)
- Jilin - 2/3 hours, D Train
- Shanghai - 32 hours (11.5 hours G train)
- Shenyang - 2–4 hours (1.5 hours D Train)
- Tonghua - 9 hours
- Xi'an - 34 hours
Rail travel is by far the cheapest way to travel in and out of Changchun. If you do not want to go to the train station yourself, you can go to any good travel agent who will do this on your behalf, usually for ¥10-20 extra.
There are long distance coaches that regularly go from/to Beijing available from the coach station on Huanghe Road (黄河路), just off Renmin Avenue (人民大街). There is also a long distance bus station at the south end of Renmin Avenue (take bus Z306 from the train station).
You can also catch coaches and buses from pretty much anywhere in Jilin Province, though they have a reputation for being dangerous and are slightly more expensive, though faster, than the train.
The main Long-Distance Bus Station is at 226 Renmin Avenue.
- Beijing - takes about 8 hours
- Dalian - takes about 8 hours
- Harbin - takes about 4 hours
- Jilin - takes about 2 hours
- Shenyang - takes about 4 hours
Changchun is a very compact city planned by the Japanese with a layout of open avenues and public squares (guǎngchǎng). It is pretty easy to travel from one place to another; however, with the increase in private car ownership, traffic is getting worse by the day.
The Changchun Subway consists of 5 lines (1,2,3,4,8) which provide easy access to many parts of the city.
Line 2 serves the Changchun West train station. Lines 3 and 4 serve the Changchun train station (line 1 passes nearby but a station is not yet open).
Taxis are by far the best way to get around. They are cheap but you should have a piece of paper with the address in case you do not speak Mandarin. Taxi fares start at ¥5 up to 2.5 km (plus a mandatory ¥1 fuel surtax), after that ¥1.30/.5 km. Several taxi companies are serving the city and they will not try to cheat you. It is common for drivers to pick up other passengers who might be going in the same direction if there are unused seats.
However, in case driver is taking you in circles - in this case complain for example at the hotel drop-off point. The staff there normally will support you in such cases. For other cases simply pay not more than shown on the meter. In general: Make sure you know the name of the places you are going to in Mandarin or have a paper with the Chinese address with you. It would not hurt either to travel during the day and have one of Shangri-La's English maps, or even one in Chinese from Xinhua bookstore.
From May to October, Changchun is a decent walking city, as the weather is fine and there are no hills. The city does tend to be spread out, so travelers should plan on using other forms of transportation. During the winter months temperatures are too cold to walk longer distances in Changchun, so other forms of transport should be considered.
By light railEdit
There are two light rail routes (54 and 55) operating in the west part of the city. Route 55 terminates at Changchun West train station.
An extensive bus network and most of the buses cost ¥1; however, those who can not read Chinese will find it nearly impossible to use the network.
Most buses go to the bus station outside the train station, and other central areas such as Guilin Road (桂林路), Chongqing Road (重庆路) and Hongqi Street (红旗街). Be aware that the buses are often extremely crowded and especially uncomfortable during the hot summers as there is no air conditioning.
Important bus numbers include:
- 362 - 6AM-8:30PM daily. From the train station to Hongqi Street (红旗街), Chongqing Road (重庆路) and Guilin Road (桂林路).
- 306 - 5:50AM-11PM daily. Busy route that goes north/south along Renmin Avenue (人民大街) from the train station to Changchun University (长春大学).
- 80 - 6AM-8PM daily. Circular route around Changchun that goes pretty much everywhere including Hongqi Street (红旗街), Chongqing Road (重庆路), Guilin Road (桂林路), the train station and the zoo.
- 240 - 6AM-7:30PM. Satellite Square (卫星广场) to Culture Square (文化广场) via Guilin Road (桂林路).
Despite the city once having the most complex tram system in Northern China, there is now only one remaining route still open. The number 54 runs down Hongqi Street (红旗街) to the far west of the city (where there really is not much). Many of the trams still in use today are the original cars from 1940, so it is worth the ¥1 ride just for the experience of yesteryear.
If you are in need of an adrenaline rush, look no further than one of the minibuses that tear around the city streets. Some places out in the suburbs are only serviced by such buses, and the fare is usually ¥1-2, but the drivers seem to think that they are on a giant racetrack most of the time and you will get thrown around. Expect the front passenger to sit at the side-door, calling out to potential customers, and to be encouraged to hop on the bus while it is moving ever so slowly. If you were old, they would probably stop, or expect you to take a taxi for a little more. Very crowded at times.
Travelers should be cautious of bicycling in Changchun. For half the year it is generally too cold and during the summer months, too dangerous. Unlike other big cities in China, Changchun does not separate cycle lanes from the main traffic, which leads to buses, taxis, cars, and motorcycles sharing the same space as the cyclists. The whole situation is dangerous and this is perhaps the reason why by Chinese standards there are few people who regularly cycle here. The other problem is that because of the city's layout, there are plenty of large roundabouts where 4 or 5 busy roads converge on one another, making it extremely difficult to cycle without having to continually dismount.
If you want to bike around, it is recommended that you follow closely behind one of the local people on cargo-bike, merchant-bike, or donkey. There are off times during the day when biking would be less challenging. Drivers are not overly aggressive towards bikers.
There are brightly coloured three wheel plastic taxis, available from near Changchun University (长春大学), which only operate for short distances in the south of the city. If you are in the Jingyuetan (净月潭) part of town, this is the easiest mode of transport as there are few taxis operating there. It is fairly easy to find a taxi anywhere in Jingyuetan. They are cheaper and slower than regular taxis. There is no meter, so expect to negotiate with the driver. A typical ride should not exceed ¥3.
If you need to get somewhere fast then jump on one of these. They generally hang around in the south of the city and out in the suburbs. They are unlicensed to carry fare paying passengers, so bear in mind that if there is an accident, you might find yourself in trouble. However, they tend to drive in the cycle lanes at quite low speeds and so are safer than you might expect. Expect to pay as little as ¥1 for a short trip.
- 1 Puppet Imperial Palace (伪皇宫; Wěihuánggōng), 5 Guangfu North Road, Kuancheng District (宽城区光复北路5号) (A short distance from Weihuanggong Station on Metro Line 4), ☏ . May 1st to September 30thː 08ː30-17ː20, no tickets sold after 16ː10. October 1st to April 30thː 08ː30-16ː50, no tickets sold after 15ː40. Home of Pu Yi, the last emperor of China and puppet emperor of Manchukuo, and centre of the Manchukuo administration at the time. Signage is available in English (and Japanese) although many of the artifact descriptions are in Chinese only. There is an audio tour rental fee of ¥40 although the recordings do not add much to what is already provided by the signage (¥100 deposit for equipment). English tour guides are available for ¥240. The grounds are nicely restored, since nearly all buildings were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. Scenes from the acclaimed 1987 film The Last Emperor were filmed here. ¥70.
- The 8 Puppet Manchukuo Government Departments (伪满八大部). Around 1936, the puppet Manchukuo government built its capital with several important government departments in what is now Changchun's Chaoyang District. Now 8 of them remain and are used for other purposes. Visitors usually cannot get inside, but it is still good to have a look at the old buildings from outside and think of their history. Free.
- 2 Puppet Manchukuo government's Agricultural Department (伪满兴农部旧址), 8 Ziyou Avenue, Chaoyang District (朝阳区自由大路8号) (About 960 metres west of the Northeast Normal University Station on Metro Line 1). Now it is the Northeast Normal University's affiliate high school.
- 3 Puppet Manchukuo government's Culture and Education Department (伪满洲国文教部旧址), 696 Ziyou Avenue, Chaoyang District (朝阳区自由大路696号) (About 820 metres west of the Northeast Normal University Station on Metro Line 1). Now it is the Northeast Normal University's affiliate primary school.
- 4 Puppet Manchukuo government's Economics Department (伪满经济部), 829 Xinmin Street, Chaoyang District (朝阳区新民大街829号) (About 800 metres south of Wenhua Square Station on Metro Line 2. Use Exit C). Now it is Jilin University's No.3 Bethune Hospital.
- 5 Puppet Manchukuo government's Foreign Affairs Department (伪满洲国外交部旧址), 1122 Jianshe Street, Chaoyang District (朝阳区建设街1122号) (About 730 metres east of Nanchanglu Station on Metro Line 3). Now it is a Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic operated by the Moii Group.
- 6 Puppet Manchukuo government's Justice Department (伪满洲国司法部旧址), 828 Xinmin Street, Chaoyang District (朝阳区新民大街828号) (About 800 metres south of Wenhua Square Station on Metro Line 2. Use Exit C.). Now it is Jilin University's Bethune Medical Department.
- 7 Puppet Manchukuo government's Military Department (伪满洲国军事部旧址), 71 Xinmin Street, Chaoyang District (朝阳区新民大街71号) (Just outside Exit C of Wenhua Square Station on Metro Line 2). Now it is Jilin University's No.1 Bethune Hospital.
- 8 Puppet Manchukuo government's State Department (伪满州国国务院旧址), 126 Xinmin Street, Chaoyang District (朝阳区新民大街126号) (Just outside Exit C of the Wenhua Square Station on Metro Line 2). Not usually considered as one of 'the eight departments', as this was an organ of the executive government and thus more highly ranking than the other departments. It is now part of the Jilin University Medical College.
- 9 Puppet Manchukuo government's Transportation Department (伪满洲国交通部旧址), 1163 Xinmin Street, Hongqi Subdistrict, Chaoyang District (朝阳区红旗街道新民大街1163号) (About 1km south of Wenhua Square Station on Metro Line 2. Use Exit C). Now it is Jilin University's College of Public Health.
- 10 Puppet Manchukuo government's Welfare Department (伪满洲国民生部旧址), 3623 Renmin Street, Chaoyang District (朝阳区人民大街3623号) (Just outside Exit E of the Jiefang Avenue Station on Metro Line 1). Now it is the Jilin Province Petrochemical Engineering Design and Research Institute.
- 11 Museum of Former Changchun Film Studio Site (长影旧址博物馆), 1118 Hongqi Street, Chaoyang District (朝阳区红旗街1118号) (About 1km southeast of Huxiqiao Station on Metro Line 3; Bus routes 9, 13, 19, 52, 54, 55, 80, 104, 119, 120, 144, 155, 159, 162, 188, 213, 222, 230, 232, 234, 239, 255, 264, 267, 282 and 286), ☏ . Summer: 9:00-17:00, Winterː 9:00-16:30, ticket office closes one hour before museum closes. For lovers of Chinese movies and the history of the Chinese movie industry. The site used to be the Manchukuo Film Studio (株式会社满洲映画协会) from July 1937-July 1945. After changing its name a few times, Changchun Film Studio was founded as the PRC's first film studio. ¥90.
- 12 Changchun City Planning Exhibition Hall (长春市城乡规划展览馆), Intersection of Huaxin Street and Yimin Road, Nanguan District (南关区华新街与谊民路交汇) (About 1.4km southwest of the Municipal Government Station on Metro Line 1. Bus route no. 15), ☏ . 09ː00-16ː30, closed on Mondays. Free.
- 13 Jilin Province Arts & Crafts Museum (吉林省民间工艺美术馆), 66 Fuzhi Road, Intersection of Fuzhi Road and Jingyue Street, Jingyue Tourism & Economic Development Zone (净月旅游经济开发区福祉大路与净月大街交汇，福祉大路66号) (Near Fuzhilu Station on Metro Line 3), ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 10ː00-16ː00. Free.
- 14 Jilin Province Museum of Alcohol Culture (吉林省酒文化博物馆), 9699 Yatai Street, Nanguan District (南关区亚泰大街9699号) (About 550 metres south of Yataidajie Station on Metro Line 3), ☏ , . 09ː00-16ː00. Free.
- 15 Jilin Province Natural History Museum (吉林省自然博物馆), 2556 Jingyue Street, Jingyue Development Zone, Nanguan District (南关区净月开发区净月大街2556号) (Close to Dongbeishida Station on Metro Line 3. Opposite the Northeast Normal University's East Gate), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 09ː00-16ː10, no tickets sold after 15ː30, closed on Mondays. ¥20.
- 16 Jilin Province Science and Technology Museum (吉林省科技馆), 1666 Yongshun Road, Jingyue National High-Tech Industry Development Zone (净月国家高新技术产业开发区永顺路1666号) (Part of the same building complex as the Jilin Provincial Museum; About 1.7km west of Changyingshijicheng Station on Metro Line 3), ☏ . 09ː00-15ː45, no entry after 15ː00, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Free.
- 17 Jilin Provincial Museum (吉林省博物院), 1666 Yongshun Road, Jingyue National High-Tech Industry Development Zone (净月国家高新技术产业开发区永顺路1666号) (About 1.7km west of Changyingshijicheng Station on Metro Line 3), ☏ , . 09ː00-16ː30, no entry after 16ː00, closed on Mondays. Free.
- 18 Jilin University Museum of Archaeology and Art (吉林大学考古与艺术博物馆), 2699 Qianjin Street, Chaoyang District (朝阳区前进大街2699号) (About 1km south of Guigudajie Station on Metro Line 3), ☏ . 08ː30-15ː30 (normal opening hours), 09ː00-15ː30 (summer vacation), closed on Mondays and closed every day during the winter vacation. Free.
- 19 Northeast Museum of Ethnic Folk Customs (东北民族民俗博物馆), 98 Xincheng Street, Changchun Economic Development Zone (长春市经济技术开发区新城大街98号) (Near Shijiguangchang Station on Metro Line 3), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 09ː00-16ː00, no tickets sold after 15ː00, closed on Mondays. Administered by the Northeast Normal University. ¥50.
Parks and natureEdit
- 20 Changchun Zoo and Botanical Garden (长春动植物园), 2121 Ziyou Avenue, Nanguan District (南关区自由大路2121号) (The South Gate is 700 metres east of Exit B of the Northeast Normal University Station on Metro Line 1. You can also take bus no. 17, 25, 61, 160, 218, 218b, 226, 227, 228, 238, 241, 265, 267 or 277), ☏ , , . 08ː00-16ː00. ¥30.
- 21 Changchun World Sculpture Park (长春世界雕塑公园; Chángchūn Shìjiè Diāosù Gōngyuán), 9518 Renmin Street, Nanguan District (南关区人民大街9518号) (Municipal Government Station, Metro Line 1. Bus routes 28, 161, and 312.), ☏ , . 08ː00 to 16ː30 (winter); 08ː00 to 17ː30 (summer). A large, beautiful sculpture park surrounding a serene lake. The park features sculptures from artists around the world. At the center is a large pillar, the 'Friendship Peace Spring'. As of September 2013, replicas of Rodin's The Burghers of Calais, The Thinker, and Balzac are displayed near the front gate. ¥30 to enter the park, ¥30 to enter the sculpture museum and ¥30 to enter the African art museum. ¥60 for a combo ticket.
- 22 Jingyuetan National Forest Park (净月潭国家森林公园; Jìngyuètán guójiā sēnlín gōngyuán), 5840 Jingyue Street, Jingyue Development Zone (净月开发区净月大街5840号) (Jingyuegongyuan Station, Metro Line 3), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Open 24 hours. It is the largest man-made forest park in Asia, and a great place for skiing in the winter. General admission fee is is ¥30. Ski field access fee is ¥110 on weekdays, ¥120 on weekends and ¥130 during Chinese New Year.
- 23 Northeast Tiger Park (东北虎园), 10500 Jingyue Street, Nanguan District (南关区净月大街10500号) (The entrance is about 640 metres south of Changyingshijicheng Station on Metro Line 3), ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 08ː30-17ː00. A wildlife park situated within the Jingyuetan National Forest Park. Besides tigers, the park also has a variety of other animals, including pandas, lions, black bears, brown bears, Tibetan mastiffs, ponies, reindeers, alpaca, sika deers, peacocks, white cranes, ostriches, emus, vultures and many other species. General admission is ¥60. Access to the panda house costs ¥40. Persons aged between 60 and 65 pay half price, while those over 65 are granted free admission. Children under 1.2 metres in height can also enter for free. Free entrants must be accompanied by someone with a regular-priced ticket.
- 24 South Lake Park (南湖公园; Nánhú Gōngyuán), 2715 Gongnong Road, Chaoyang District (朝阳区工农大路2715号) (Near Gongnong Square Station on Metro Line 1), ☏ . Open 24 hours. A large park which is a favorite picnic and recreation spot for locals. In the summer, the lake is used for boating and water sports, and there is a stand of huge lotus plants near one part of it. In the winter, the lake freezes over and serves as a natural skating rink. In winter months it's a romantic and quiet place - but you have to suffer the low winter temperatures. The park almost feels like it is not part of a city, except that there is a good view of the skyscrapers in downtown Changchun across the lake. The park is a very safe place to wander around in the early evening. Free.
- 25 Zhongtai Ocean World (中泰海洋世界), 1399 Qinghua Road, Chaoyang District (朝阳区清华路1399号) (About 570 metres south of Wenhua Square Station on Metro Line 2), ☏ . 09ː30-16ː00. Adult tickets are ¥140, tickets for children between 1.2 and 1.5 metres in height are ¥70, children under 1.2 metres in height can enter for free.
- 26 People's Square (人民广场; Rénmín Guǎngchǎng), Chaoyang District (朝阳区) (Renmin Square Station, Metro Line 1). In the Chaoyang District around the cross streets of Xi'an Lu (西安路), Renmin Dajie (人民大街), and Changchun Dajie (长春大街). It is one of the focal points of Changchun. It is close to Baishan Park (白山公园), and a mini "Culture Square" of sorts. The site commemorates the Russian soldiers, and specifically Russian pilots that died to liberate Changchun during the Second World War.
- 27 Wenhua Square (文化广场; Wénhùa Guǎngchǎng), Chaoyang District (朝阳区) (Wenhua Square Station, Metro Line 2. North of the crossroads of Xinmin Dajie (新民大街) and Jiefang Dalu (解放大路)). A pleasant urban hangout which offers a glimpse into Changchun's Japanese imperial past. The square is surrounded by several historical buildings from the Manchukuo era. On the north end of the square sits the majestic former New Palace of the Emperor of Manchukuo (新帝宫), which was intended to replace the Puppet Imperial Palace. On the south end of the square are the former Manchukuo State Council and Military Affairs buildings. These buildings, which are now affiliated with Jilin University, offer prime examples of early 20th-century Japanese architecture. On the square, vendors sell kites and various other products. Many people fly kites from this square, while others play traditional Chinese instruments or just sit and relax. More formal performances are sometimes held on a temporary stage set up near the high school. For casual visitors to Changchun, this is probably a good place to visit by taxi.
- 28 Banruo Temple (般若寺, 护国般若寺), 377 Changchun Street, Nanguan District (南关区长春大街377号) (Exit C, Renmin Square Station, Metro Line 1), ☏ . 08ː00-16ː00, closed from the 1st day of the 10th month of the Chinese lunar year to the 22nd day of the 12th month of the Chinese lunar year. Changchun's most important Buddhist temple. The Jilin Province Buddhist Association has its headquarters here. The temple is particulary active during Chinese New Year when the faithful flock to receive the Buddha's blessings. Free.
- 29 Changchun Confucius Temple (长春文庙), 239 Dongtian Street, Nanguan District (南关区东天街239号) (About 840 metres north of Nanguan Station on Metro Line 2), ☏ . 09ː00-16ː00, may be closed on public holidays. Built in 1872, the temple is now a museum. Hence it is also known as the Changchun Confucius Temple Museum (长春文庙博物馆). Usually ¥10. Tickets are sometimes available for free, such as during the National Day holiday week..
- 1 Changchun Film Century City (长影世纪城), Intersection of JIngyue Street and Yongshun Road, Jingyue National High-Tech Industry Development Zone (净月国家高新技术产业开发区净月大街与永顺路交汇) (Changyingshijicheng Station, Metro Line 3), ☏ , . 09ː00-17ː30 (May 1st to October 7th), 09ː00-16ː30 (October 8th to April 30th). A large and very popular theme park owned by the Changchun Film Group Corporation. ¥198 (November to March), ¥240 (April to October). Children between 1.2 and 1.5 metres in height pay half price. Children under 1.2 metres in height and persons over 70 are granted free admission on condition that they are accompanied by an adult ticket holder.
- 2 Shengli Park (胜利公园), Intersection of Renmin Street and Beijing Street, Kuancheng District (宽城区人民大街与北京大街交会处) (Shengli Park Station, Metro Line 1). The park offers activities such as a petting zoo and bumper cars (summer) and a frozen pond for skating (winter). Free.
Changchun is a very good place to study Mandarin. The following places provide various courses for all levels:
- Jilin University [dead link] (吉林大学)
- Changchun University [dead link] (长春大学)
- Changchun Teacher's College [dead link] (长春师范学院)
- Changchun University of Technology (长春工业大学)
- North East Normal University (东北师范大学)
There are also private training centers that will provide either small group Mandarin lessons, one-on-one lessons, or even a home tutor. The rates are around ¥40 for a one-hour or longer lesson with a professional teacher.
Currency exchange is available at the airport, various hotels and banks, including Bank of China on Xi'an Dalu (西安大路）.
There are three major shopping areas: Chongqing Road (重庆路; Chóngqìnglù), Guilin Road (桂林路; Guìlinlù), and Hongqi Street (红旗街; Hóngqíjiē).
- Ginseng - as the region around Changchun is a top producer of ginseng, it is available at most pharmacies in the city. Other products that may be of interest include wood ear fungus and lingzhi mushroom.
- Kites - attractive and cheap kites are sold by vendors around Culture Square.
- Sanfo is the leading outdoor gear stores in China and local store is at 668 Xikang Hutong, Ziyou Dalu District.
- People's Square Here is the biggest selection of clothing shops and department stores in the whole city. Shopping runs along both Xi'an Da Lu and Changchun St. A well-visited mall, Charter Mall, (Zhuōzhǎn 卓展), on Xi'an Da Lu across from the Shangri-la Hotel. One can find luxury brands co-existing with the likes of Wal-Mart.
- Guilin Road (桂林路) area is about 1.5 km (2.5 mi) to the south of Chongqing Rd along Tongzhi Jie (同志街) and is the most cosmopolitan part of town. The area along Guilin Lu, Tongzhi St, and the surrounding side streets offer much to see, buy, and eat. There are many restaurants in this area especially if you are interested in Korean food. Be careful with Korean food in Changchun as many Korean restaurants specialize in "Dog pot." There is less overall choice than Chongqing Lu, but if you are looking for specifics - e.g. Korean fashions then is the best place in town - though the shops in this area are a little more expensive. This area can be extremely busy, and it is definitely a target area for younger shoppers. Many places will not haggle price.
- Hongqi Street (红旗街) is to the west of Guilin Lu and is the smallest of the three shopping areas. It is dominated by one of the better department stores in Changchun: Ouya (欧亚). The 6th-8th floors of Ouya contain the largest electronics market in the city. You can find anything electronic here, from mp3 players to laptops. Prices can be very high.
- The Underground Markets (Dìxià Shìchǎng 地下市场): These are now extensive underground shopping areas, originally dug out by POWs during the occupation, intended to be used as bomb shelters. There are three of these places in Changchun: Chongqing Lu (重庆路), the Train Station (长春站), and Hongqi Jie (红旗街). If you want anything cheap (and probably fake) then these are the places to come. There are hundreds of small shops selling relatively undifferentiated products, and the term buyer beware definitely applies. There are some good deals to be had, but some products are poor quality and have high ticket prices. Therefore, be prepared to haggle as the shopkeepers will try to get you to pay the sticker price, which the local shoppers will never pay. If you don't speak Chinese, bring a pen and paper to help negotiate your price. Start at 50% to 75% off the ticketed price. If the shopkeeper balks at your offer, go to another seller. More often than not, if the shopkeeper wants the sale, they will call after you. This can be a fun shopping experience, but you may get your best deal at a discount retailer at home.
- Beifang Market (Beǐfāng Shìchǎng 北方市场）
- Zhongdong Market (Zhōngdōng Dàshìchǎng 中东大市场）
Very good flatbread is available in Changchun. Look for it on the streets or in markets.
Beer (啤酒）is probably the cheapest and safest thing to drink - and being Northeast China - comes in many varieties and is available almost anywhere. A big bottle (630 ml) should cost between ¥3-6. In the summer months good draft beer is available from most small restaurants, the black beer(黑啤) being particularly good.
Huadan (华丹), Jinshibai (金士百） and Yinpu (银浦) beers are all brewed in Jilin Province. There are also various Harbin beers (哈尔滨啤酒) available, as well as Bing Chuan (冰川) from the Korean prefecture of Jilin Province.
Like all cities in China, avoid drinking bottled water from street vendors and try instead at a supermarket or convenience store.
There are a number of western-style pubs in Changchun. There is a really big bar and club scene on Longli Lu (隆礼路) which are pretty hot during weekends. The beer there is cheap, about ¥6/cup. Occasionally there are some parties which are organized by "Changchun Friends" or foreign teachers. Usually, they play the music themselves. The atmosphere is quite comfortable and people are very nice.
- 1 The Happy Home, 1323 Xikang Hutong (西康胡同1323号) - not far from Mayflower 2 (About 1km west of the Northeast Normal University Station on Metro Line 1. The nearest bus stop is Xinmin Plaza East Entrance (新民广场东口), which is served by bus routes 218, 218b and 227). This is the default meeting place for a lot of foreign teachers and other young and English - or Russian - speaking people.
- 2 Three Monkeys (formerly known as Cheers), Tian An City One, 661 Guigu Street, Chaoyang District (朝阳区硅谷大街661号天安第一城) (A few hundred metres northeast of Guigudajie Station on Metro Line 3). The interior, music collection, drinks menu and all other aspects of the pub were designed by British, Italian and American engineers. The music is all western and the drinks menu includes English ale and Irish stout. This is the only place in Changchun to have a beer and a game of pool in peace. A front terrace away from the main road to have a beer on a summers evening in pleasant surroundings.
- German Brauhaus (1 block W of Kangping St/Xi'an Da Lu intersection, on W side of Qingyun St). Serve Flensburger beer exclusively. Western fare available. ¥38 for a bottle of Flensburger.
- Mayflower. It's been said this is the hottest club in town, and that the "old Mayflower" is simply the best. There are two rooms. In the outer room there is a live show daily from 9PM, and after that the DJ plays disco. The inner room is small but quite popular. It plays hip-hop and it gets out of control after 1AM. The third Mayflower bar was opened in the basement of the Shangri-La hotel. Here it's similar to the other branches, but because of the location in the city center hotel, the international hotel guest visitors bring in another facet into this bar.
- Ferryport. This bar is located on Changqing Jie and Guilin Hutong in the Guilin Lu section of Changchun. Small dark place with music in the evenings. Is popular with both locals and foreigners
- Classic Bar, Xian Dalu. Wait till midnight for the floor to heat up.
Not many true budget options exist, and a number of hotels will not accept foreigners, for example Home Inn next to the Train Station. Good areas with lots of hotels are south of the train station (along Renmin Street) and the north part of Hongqi Street.
- 1 898 Business Hotel (898商务宾馆), 766 Beijing Road, Kuancheng District (宽城区北京大街766号) (Near Shengli Park Station on Metro Line 1 and close to the Renmin Street intersection), ☏ . Check-in: 14ː00, check-out: 12ː00. The hotel was last renovated in 2013. Staff are helpful and they even take their time trying to communicate with you via a dictionary. From ¥85.
- 2 Chunyi Hotel (春谊宾馆), 80 Renmin Street, Kuancheng District (宽城区人民大街80号) (A few hundred metres south of the Changchun Railway Station), ☏ , . Check-in: 14ː00, check-out: 12ː00. From ¥256.
- 3 HNA Grand Hotel Nobel Changchun (长春海航名门饭店), 4501 Renmin Street, Chaoyang District (朝阳区人民大街4501号) (500 metres north of the Northeast Normal University Station on Metro Line 1), ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 14ː00, check-out: 12ː00. ¥303.
- 4 Paradise Hotel (乐府大酒店, Yuefu Dajiudian), 1078 Renmin Street, Kuancheng District (宽城区人民大街1078号) (Shengli Park Station, Metro Line 1; across the street from the eastern entrance to Shengli Park; approx 1.1 km south of train station), ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 14ː00, check-out: 12ː00. Popular spot for government officials, being as it one block from provincial capital headquarters. Clean rooms and extensive breakfast (mainly Chinese style, but a few Japanese and western selections). Indoor shopping available. Many of the taxis are headed northbound and already with passengers so be prepared to wait a while for an available taxi or walk a few blocks. From ¥300.
- 5 Shangri-La Hotel Changchun (长春香格里拉大酒店), 569 Xi'an Road, Chaoyang District (朝阳区西安大路569号) (500 metres west of Renmin Square Station on Metro Line 1), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 14ː00, check-out: 12:00. A true 5-star hotel, the rooms are beautiful, and the service excellent. Western, Chinese, and Japanese breakfast buffet, as well as dinner buffet with an excellent selection of everything. A la carte and room service also top notch. Well-stocked health club, massages available. Everything you expect from the Shangri-La and worth the expense if you have the cash. From ¥603.