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Why Visit Changbaishan (Changbai Mountain)

Changbaishan (长白山), also known as Changbai Mountain, is located on the southeast edge of Jilin Province and stands on the border between China and North Korea. Its name Changbai refers to forever white in English, which is named after its iconic, perpetually white snow-caped peaks. Changbaishan is one of the 10 Most Famous Mountains in China. What makes it standout among countless beautiful mountains in China is its unique and spectacular volcanic landform. Different to any other mountains in China, Changbaishan is a dormant volcano, with volcanic activities that began approximately 12 million years ago. The ancient volcanic eruptions created numerous magnificent rugged mountains and a magical Crater Lake, which is nowadays famous Tianchi (Heavenly Lake), the largest, deepest and highest alpine lake in China and the resource of many great rivers in Northeast China. At the north end of Tianchi, the water drains all year around and forms a grand waterfall in 68 meters high. And at the lower regions of Changbai Mountain where plenty of volcanic materials storing, many deep and serene canyons are formed with the result of rain and weathering. Changbaishan is also blessed with many mineral-rich hot springs, making it a paradise for both outdoor recreation and relaxation.

Hot Changbaishan Tour:

☛ 7 Days Amazing Northeast China Winter Tour with Changbai Mountain & Wusong Island (Harbin / China Snow Town / Changbaishan / Wusong Island)

Changbaishan Attractions

Highlights of Changbaishan are a lot, including its Tianchi, waterfalls, hot springs, alpine lake & garden, lava forests, canyons, and so on. Here we will introduce you 5 of the best Changbaishan attractions.

Changbaishan Tianchi

Tianchi, or known as Heavenly Lake, is absolutely the must-visit of Changbaishan. It is settled atop the mountain, at an altitude of 2,189 meters above sea level. The area where the lake set is a crater, with multiple eruptions 12 million years ago and the latest recorded eruption occurring in 1702. Fortunately, the volcano has remained dormant since then. And with springs overflow and rains collect, Tianchi, this vast alpine lake of more than ten square kilometers gradually forms, which is now the grandest in China. Tianchi like a beautiful jade embedded in the mountain clusters of Changbaishan. It is usually in incredible blue and reflects the beautiful sky and moving clouds. And from mid-October to mid-June, it is typically covered with white and flat ice and snow.

Tianchi (Heavenly Lake) Tianchi (Heavenly Lake)
© 长春播报

Changbaishan Grand Waterfall

At the north end of Tianchi is Changbaishan Grand Waterfall, the only outlet of Tianchi. In such a gorgeous mountainous region with abundant water stored on its top, it is never a big surprise to find waterfall clusters. However, visitors are still impressed a lot by the breathtaking size of the Changbai Grand Waterfall, even though they are already mentally prepared. The waterfall is about 68 meters high and its roar can be heard as far as 200 meters away. What make the waterfall more appealing are the dragon-like trails built next to it, with its surrounding unique black volcanic rocks and ground as backdrop. For safety concerns and environmental protections, these trails are closed now, but all the visitors getting close to the waterfall will still find the relics of the trails too.

Julong Springs

Less than 2 kilometers below the Changbaishan Grand Waterfall, there are dozens of geothermal sites in big and small spreading a thousand square meters of ground, and this Julong Springs, the largest spring cluster in Changbaishan. It colors the surrounding rocks and gravel in beautiful gold, blue, red, green, with mysterious fogs floating in the air. Most of these springs enjoy a high temperature of more than 60℃, and temperature of some hottest ones can reach to as high as 80℃. Put eggs into the hot springs and then you will get a hard-boiled one in almost one second. There is even a special hot spring egg shop opened. Do not forget to have a try if you are there.

Valley Forest

Sudden volcanic eruptions once created huge energy upon nowadays Changbaishan region. Some parts like the summit became taller and taller, while some lower regions collapsed and sank into the valley. When you visit Changbaishan nowadays, you will find a large scale of forest at the bottom of the valley. Ancient trees stand tall in the valley, forming a dense forest. Spruce, mangrove, white birth, elm trees and other timber trees, as well as some precious medical plants can all be found there, and it will be a great experience to stand taller than the forest and get a panorama view of it.

Alpine Garden

On the West Slope of Changbaishan, there is also a beautiful Alpine Garden. Every July and August, all kinds of blooming wild flowers in white, red, yellow, purple and pink will decorate the two sides of the wooden hiking trails, creating an extremely beautiful fairyland.

Changbaishan Mountain Ski Resorts

Featuring an unbeatable climate with nearly nine months of a year are relatively cold and covered with ice and snow, Changbaishan Mountain Scenic Area hosts many great ski resorts. Most of these ski resorts are settled at the foot or middle region of the mountain, including Heping Ski Resort, Wanda Changbaishan Ski Resort, etc. Whether you are big fans of skiing or not, it will be a great chance to add such amazing experience into your tour!

Changbaishan Grand Waterfall Changbaishan Grand Waterfall on North Slope
© 中新网
Julong Springs Julong Springs on North Slope
© 搜狐 / 诗逸生活
Lisuo Lake & Minya Konka Alpine Garden on West Slope
© 汽车之家 / 赵某某0527

Recommended Changbaishan Visiting Routes

Changbaishan Mountain is located in the southeast of Jilin Province, bordering North Korea. Changbaishan is available to be visited along 4 different visiting routes, including the North Slope Route, West Slope Route, South Slope Route in China and East Slope Route in North Korea. The North and West Visiting Routes are the most popular ones and share the best scenery of Changbaishan. They are open to tourists in China all year round, while the south scenic spot is only open for 5 months every year (June to October) due to the impact of climate and environment, where you may encounter some of the most primitive scenery of Changbaishan.

The North Scenic Spot is located in Chibei district (Erdaobaihe town 二道白河镇), and the mountain gate is 31 km away from the town. You can enjoy Tianchi waterfall, volcanic hot spring, underground forest, and other scenic spots there; The West scenic spot is located in Chixi district (Songjianghe town 松江河镇), and the mountain gate is 30 km away from the town. You can follow the classic route to visit: Tianchi Lake - Jinjiang Grand Canyon - Gaoshan Garden (seasonal scenic spot) - Wangchi Lake(seasonal scenic spot) - Iris Garden (seasonal scenic spot); The South scenic spot is located in Chinan district, and the mountain gate is 80km away from the town area. The scenic spot in the south scenic spot include Tianchi Lake, Yalu River Grand Canyon, Alpine wetland, etc. The north and west scenic spots are 110 km apart and the west and south scenic spots are 120 km apart. Please confirm your itinerary in advance to get to the right mountain gate.

Changbaishan Tourist Map Changbaishan Tourist Map

Top 1: North Slope Route

North Slope Visiting Route is the most popular one to visit Changbaishan, especially in winter. This part of Changbai Mountain was the firstly opened region to the public, and thus it nowadays hosts the best facilities like driving road, hiking trails, restaurants. Besides, most of the highlights are gathering there, including the best waterfall cluster and hot spring cluster.

Route Details: Changbaishan North Gate - Sightseeing Bus to Transfer Center on the middle of the mountain - Another Bus to Tianchi - Changbai Grand Waterfall - Julong Springs - Valley Forest - Get out the Scenic Area

Top 2: West Slope Route

West Slopes enjoys the nearest and broadest view of Tianchi. Normally, most of the photos you have seen on the internet are taken from the west size. Besides, West Slope is also a hot choice for summer and autumn travel, because it enjoys beautiful alpine scenery full of blooming flowers. The only problems is that West Slope requires more on visitors’ physical fitness, because the last part getting close to Tianchi can only be reached by foot. It takes about 2 hours for a round trip.

Route Details: West Gate - Tianchi Parking Lot - Hike up to Tianchi - Make a return to the Parking Lot and Take a Sightseeing Bus to Alpine Garden - King Pond (Wangchi) - Get out the Scenic Area

Top 3: South Slope Route

This is the birthplace of the Yalu River. The Tianchi Lake seen from the south slope of Changbai Mountain is more intact here than in the west, North and East. Due to the weather, the south slope of Changbai Mountain is only open to tourists from June to early October. It offers the most primitive natural scenery of Changbaishan. The daily ticket volume is limited, so you need to book tickets in advance. After entering the gate, you can take the scenic bus (CNY 85). It takes about 40min to reach the top of the mountain.

Route Details: South Gate - Tianchi Parking Lot - Hike up to Tianchi - Yalu Grand Canyon - Yuehua Waterfalls - Make a return to the Parking Lot

Changbaishan Location and Transportation

Changbaishan is located on the border between China and North Korea. Its west half belongs to China and the east half to North Korea. Usually, visitors prefer to visit it from its north and west visiting routes in China. The driving distance between the entrances of the two visiting routes is about 110 kilometers, which takes as long as 2 hours by car. Therefore, when it comes to the time needed and ways to Changbaishan, visitors are required to take the different entrances into account.

At present, Changbaishan has one airport in its same name - Changbaishan Airport. Its high speed railway station is under construction and is said to be opened in 2021.

Changbaishan Location Map Changbaishan Location Map

Flight to Changbaishan

Changbaishan Airport is about 17 km and half an hour by car from the entrance of West Slope (west visiting route) and about 110 km and 2 hours to the entrance of North Slope (north visiting route). Its running flights are limited. But there still are direct flights between Changbaishan and Beijing (2 hours) and Shanghai (2.5 hours).

Train to Changbaishan

Since its own railway station is still under construction, visitors getting to Changbaishan by train are required to arrive at the nearby cities first and then drive to Changbaishan for sightseeing.

To North Slope:

The closest railway station to the North Slope is Baihe Railway Station (白河站). About 1 km away from Baihe Station, there is a Chibei Tourist Transfer Center, from where you can make a transfer to the North Slope by tourist bus.

To West Slope:

The closest one to the West Slope is Songjianghe Railway Station (松江河站). After arriving Songjianghe Station, you can ask a taxi to Chixi Tourist Transfer Center first, and then make a transfer to the West Slope by tourist bus.

The two railway stations above operate normal trains to Changbaishan from Shenyang and Dalian. If you are looking for high speed train, you can get to Dunhua Railway Station (敦化站) first, which is about 3 hours by car to the North Slope and has bullet trains from Beijing (8.5 hours), Jilin (1 hour), Changchun (1.5~2 hours), etc.

To South Slope:

The closest town with train station to the West Slope is also Songjianghe (松江河镇). After arriving Songjianghe Station, you can charter a private car the mountain gate of the south slope. It tajes about 4.5 hours to the south slope scenic area.

Changbishan Airport Changbishan Airport
© 搜狐 / 栀子随风旅游攻略
Dunhua Railway Station Dunhua Railway Station
© 搜狐 / ab从头越

Private Car to Changbaishan (Most Recommended for a Northeast China Tour)

For the visitors who plan to expand to more destinations in Northeast China like Jilin and Harbin after or before the visit of Changbaishan, you are highly suggested booking a private car service in advance. There is no flight or high speed train available for you to travel from Changbaishan to these cities. And the normal trains waste a lot of your travel time.

We China Discovery has helped hundreds of visitors travel Changbaishan and the surrounding highlights like Jilin Wusong Island, Jingpo Lake and even tour to Harbin. Convenient private car is included in all of our tours. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us!

Private Car to Changbaishan Private Car to Changbaishan

How to Travel around Changbai Mountain

For environment protecting, all the cars and buses are not available to go inside Changbai Mountain Scenic Area. To help visitors travel the scenic area in ease, there are eco-friendly sightseeing buses provided inside.

On the North Slope, the scenic area offers two kinds of sightseeing bus. One will take you to the main tourist region from the foot of the mountain (CNY 85 per person-full route; CNY 80 per person- partial route) and the other one can take you from Chibei Tourist Center to the North Mountain Gate (CNY 20 per person per ride).

On the West Slope, there also 2 kinds of sightseeing bus offered, which can take visitors from the mountain foot to Tianchi Parking Lot (CNY 85 per person) and the other one can take you from Chixi Tourist Center to the West Mountain Gate (CNY 24 per person per ride).

During the opening days of the South Slope, the bus is also under operation from the foot of the mountain to the parking lot of Tianchi Lake. The bus is CNY 85 per person in cost and about 40min in duration.

Changbai Mountain Sightseeing Bus Changbai Mountain Sightseeing Bus
© 途牛

Changbaishan Weather, Best Time to Visit

Changbaishan belongs to the monsoon temperate continental mountain climate, with significant characteristics of vertical climate change. Normally, the upper region of Changbaishan is colder than the foot areas and the nearby city area. Spring is relatively short there, but winter is long. The temperature throughout the year usually changes between - 7℃ and 3℃, even in July, the warmest month, the temperature seldom exceeds 20℃. Therefore, travelers visiting Changbaishan are required to wear warm clothes. Long sleeve, trousers, athletic shoe and a light jacket are recommended if you are going to visit Changbaishan in summer. While in spring or autumn, a heavy coat or a blazer is better. And if you plan to visit Changbaishan in winter, it’s time to take out all your warm gears, like cotton trousers, thermal underwear, down jacket, fleece gloves, wool hat, thermal underwear, etc.

The best time to visit Changbaishan is from late June to early September, when the weather is the most pleasant. Early winter from November to January are also good, because you will get the best snowy scenery and have opportunities to get free enter to the scenic area.

Wanda Changbaishan Ski Resort Wanda Changbaishan Ski Resort
© 百家号 / 十点街球

Changbaishan Ticket

The entrance fee of Changbaishan Scenic Area is CNY 105 per person. Besides the entrance ticket, there are sightseeing buses arranged inside the scenic area which can take you to the best sceneries there in speed. Extra charges are needed for these sightseeing buses. If you travel along the north visiting road with more attractions and basic facilities, you will find two sightseeing buses, which charges CNY 85 and CNY 80 per person in separate. Only one sightseeing bus can be found along the west visiting route. And it charges CNY 85 per person. During the off winter months from November to April, there may be free admission policies, which allows you to enter Changbaishan in free. And you only need to pay the sightseeing buses. Besides, if you do not want to walk between the mountain gate and tourist center, you can also take a shuttle bus to save some energy.

/ Entrance Fee (CNY/person) Sightseeing Bus (CNY/person) Shuttle Bus (CNY/person)
North Visiting Route (North Slope) 105 85 (must) + 80 (optional) 20 (optional)
West Visiting Route (West Slope) 105 85 (must) 24 (optional)
South Visiting Route (South Slope) 105 85 (must) /

Where to Stay in Changbaishan

Since the altitude of Changbaishan is relatively high, visitors are highly suggested having a good sleep before the trip. Making a stay at a hotel close to Changbaishan is recommended. If you are going to try the North Slope, choosing a hotel at Erdaobaihe Town (二道白镇) is the best choice.And if you prefer the West Slope, a hotel at Songjianghe Town (松江河镇) or close to Changbaishan Airport will be better. Changbai Mountain International Resort only 20 minutes’ car driving from Changbaishan Airport is our best recommendation. There gathers the largest amount of most luxury hotels in this region. There are also cinemas, coffee bars and a ski resort for your entertainment.

Wanda Changbaishan International Resort Wanda Changbaishan International Resort
© 腾讯网

Useful Changbaishan Travel Tips

1. Altitude Sickness: Tianchi sitting atop Changbaishan is at an altitude of 2,189 meters above sea level. You are recommended to sleep well, drink enough water and keep a calm mood to release your body while visiting to avoid altitude sickness.

2. Weather is always changing: Please notice that the weather on the foot and the higher region of Changbaishan is different. And the weather is always changing. So, you are advised to bring a raincoat and outerwear with you at any time.

3. Tianchi may be closed when there is Heavy Snow: For safety consideration, Tianchi may be closed on the days with severe weather like heavy snow. You are suggested doing a recheck before you go.

4. Smoking is forbidden from September to June of Next Year: During the fire prevention period from September to June of next year, any fire, including smoking, is forbidden in Changbaishan.

Changbaishan Nearby Attractions

Few visitors only head to Changbaishan in a trip but add it into a longer tour with its nearby attractions, such as Jingpo Lake, Wusong Island, etc.

Jingpo Lake

Jiangpo Lake, which literally means “Mirror Lake” in English, is about 307 km (4 hours by car) northeast of the North Gate of Changbai Mountain. It is the largest alpine lava barrier lake in China and the second largest in the world. The lake covers an area of about 95 square kilometers, with a length of 45 kilometers, an average depth of 40 meters and a maximum depth reaching 60 meters under the water. The water drops from its northeast side and thus forms a large waterfall in 20 meters high and 30 meter span. While visiting the waterfall, visitors will be treated with a breathtaking cliff diving performance! Besides the waterfall, Jingpo Lake is also famed for its unique winter scenery. As temperature drops to as low as -35℃ in winter, the water on the surrounding cliff of the lake will gradually turn into a spectacular ice waterfall, however, the lake itself never freezes, because there is said to be an underground hot spring, which is really incredible.

Jingpo Lake Jingpo Lake
© 汽车之家 / 小龙虾煲粥你说香不香

Jilin Wusong Island

Wisong Island, or called Rime Island, is located about 377 km and 5 hours’ car driving from the North Gate of Changbaishan. Along with the natural karst landscapes in Guilin, stone forest in Yunnan Province and Three Gorges on the Yangtze River, the Rime Landscape in Jilin enjoys the reputation of "China's Top Four Natural Wonders". And the best place to admire Jilin’s rime scenery is on its Wusong Island, which is only one hour’s driving from Jilin downtown. The rime is actually ice crystal decorated on every large or small branch of trees and grasses. When looks from a distance, they all just like beautiful blooming pear flowers, which is especially gorgeous in winter.

Jilin Wusong Island Jilin Wusong Island
© 搜狐 / 觉敏

How to Plan a Changbaishan Tour

Usually, about 1 day is recommended to visit Changbaishan. Both North Slope and West Slope are good options while the north one is more popular, especially in winter from October to April of next year. The West Slope is more recommended in July and August, because its alpine scenery is more beautiful.

Planning to visit Changbaishan in winter? Never stop your tour there. Northern China, the winter paradise, has far more than Changbai Mountain to offer. If you have 1 day more, you can extend your tour to explore the magical rime landscape at Wusong Island in Jilin. And for the visitors looking for the best experience in Northeast China, a Harbin tour is a must. About 3~4 days more are advised, and then you will enjoy fun on the annual grand Ice and Snow Festival. Dazzling world-class ice and snow sculptures are waiting for your close visit. Fairytale China Snow Town is also calling. For more details about the tour plan, please check our most popular Northeast China Winter Tour below to get inspired!

☛ 7 Days Amazing Northeast China Winter Tour with Changbai Mountain & Wusong Island

Changbaishan Tianchi Changbaishan Tianchi
© 新浪网 / 幸福蜜月婚纱照

Travel Changbaishan and China with China Discovery

Now that you have learned all the basics information of Changbaishan, so can plan your own Changbaishan Tour now! And if you still feel trouble about your tour plan or looking for a hassle-free tour, you can feel free to contact us for help! We China Discovery are experienced in Changbaishan travel and also work very well on tours to any other destinations in China.

If you travel with us, our professional English-speaking guide will accompany all the way and introduce you the best visiting route and photography site and give you the best suggestions according to the weather changing. And our experienced local driver will escort you to Changbaishan and your other favorited destinations in convenient private car. The tour can be tailor-made according to your group size, time, physical condition, plan, interest, budget and every special need. Please feel free to contact us if you need any help!

Changbaishan Valley Forest Changbaishan Valley Forest
© 站酷 / 红几绿

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