Since the Yalu River is the natural border for China and North Korea, I figured if I traveled along the Yalu River, I would be able to find some traditional Korean villages, so I decided to do it. I'd hitchhike or just hike along the Yalu River if it was summer. Checked the map on my phone, there were a few cities not far from the Yalu River, I was going to go visit Changbai Mountain (长白山) after Dandong, but it was a long way to go, so I made a stop at Kuangdian (宽甸), a city in between Dandong and Changbai Mountain with Yalu River on its right hand side. Kuangdian was totally with no tourists, which I had seen it coming. The map on my phone said there were a few Korean villages in the outskirt of Kuandian, however...
The view outside of the bus I was on from Dandong to Kuangdian was silently dead.
Streets in Kuangdian.
The map on my phone says there's a Korean village probably 10 km away from downtown, so I took a local bus and paid a visit there, when I got there, it turned out to be nothing but a few buildings and a mountain range behind. I was told by some villagers who passed by that there was a Korean village there, but for some reasons, they all moved, leaving nothing behind.
Local buses ran out when I was ready to come back to the city, so I had to hike all the way out of the village before other city buses available, on my way back, saw a church that stood out all the other buildings in the village.
Back on the main road, this one was pretty wide and straight and flat. My map said the North Korea was not far from where I was standing. Later, a friend of mine from Kuandian told me that this main road could turn into a run way for any airplanes in no time.
Visited a park up in a mountain near the hotel I stayed at.
Pine trees in the park.
On a board where photographers posted their works in the park, one of the pictures caught my eyes, it was a picture of a traditional Korean wooden house with some Koreans in front of. That was exactly the place I wanted to look for, I was hoping I could find a place like that and stay a night or two in those wooden houses on this trip. My best chance to be able to find some places like that was in Yanji, a city I was heading to.
All the roads were closed because of the snow, buses stopped running. And no one could tell me when all the buses would be back on running. I didn't want be stuck in a place, so I did a little research and then headed to the nearest train station by a private car to get a train to a city where I would take another train to Erdao Baihe (二道白河), a little town at the foot of Changbai Mountain (长白山).
Sunset from the car.
View along the way to that train station.
It was an old style green train, we didn't get to see as many these days. The inside of the train was big and very spacious.
The transfer train I booked left at 3 am in the morning. There were plenty of seats available, most of the passengers laid down as soon as they got on the train.
There was not so much to see in Kuandian, I wouldn't recommend if you are a tourist, but if you are looking for a place to stop by in between long travels, this might be perfect. More stories are coming, thanks for reading.