What I Like about Living in North East China

What I Like About Living in North East China

Why would anyone want to visit N.E China in winter, Shenyang (where I reside) with a population of some 8m+ is off the main tourist routes and is often overlooked. Wedged between North Korea to the south and Siberian Russia to the north, North East China in winter can be bitterly cold.

Shenyang has lot’s to offer, being the founding capital of the Manchu’s Qing Dynasty. History is everywhere in Shenyang with some fantastic historic sites, all World Heritage listed.

Nurhaci Tomb
 A smaller version of the Forbidden City (without the crowds), two Manchu tombs of founding Qing Dynasty Emperors also numerous temples and mosques.

In the recent past, Shenyang has seen some tumultuous events, occupation by Russian Forces, oppression for Japanese occupation and Civil War all of these events have left their mark some for the better.

The Japanese Occupation is still remembered with Bitterness especially amongst the older generations; Shenyang has a unique Museum the 9.18 a museum in memory of Mukden Incident on September 18, 1931. 9.18 MuseumLocated on the site where the Japanese troops destroyed the South Manchuria Railway, giving the Japanese the excuse for the invasion of Manchuria under false pretexts. The museum goes into graphic detail of the atrocities committed by the Japanese forces and the infamous Unit 731 with its biological experiments undertaken on live Chinese victims.

Colonial Russian and Japanese architecture abound, the Rail Network was initially constructed by the Japanese with the two main Rail Stations, North and South classic examples of Japanese Colonial architecture.

Shenyang is a melting pot of culture having influences from Manchu, Mongolian, and Korean cultures. With a significant Korean population, and with Shenyang having its own Korea Town. Korean culture has had a big influence on regional food, pickled cabbage in various forms including Kimchi is common making the staple base for many soups, and dumplings and Korean Noodle Houses and BBQ Restaurants abound.

Back to winter, and guess what it’s been snowing again, the rivers and lakes are frozen, great time for some winter activities.Ski Field China

With two Ski fields in close proximity; and while not world class they are very suited for most levels beginner through to the more experienced. Equipment is available to rent (very cheap) one area provides four alpine ski runs served by five cable ski-lifts that give access to the mountain area of 500acres.

Do you like Ice Skating, there are lots of places to go in the winter. Nanhu Park and Beiling Park both have lakes that are cleared for skating, and skates can be rented by the hour. Many shopping malls have rink’s so you can skate year round if you wish.   

Shenyang Ice & Snow FestivalA great site to visit, in winter, is the Shenyang International Ice and Snow Festival with a multitude of Snow Sculptures and Ice Carvings, Large sculptures of animals, palace and natural scenes with detail that make some look almost lifelike.

I have only just touched the surface; North East China has a lot more to offer. Beautiful mountains, forests lakes and rivers, ancient temples, palaces, little known and rarely visited sections of the great wall. Shenyang is a great hub to explore North East China it, has so much to offer. I hope you enjoyed this brief insight as much as I enjoy living here, I hope to share more very soon.

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About Darren Wilkins


Darren is a semi-retired senior executive and serial entrepreneur who runs a number, of successful businesses both online and offline.

With 30+ years experience in management and as a management consultant Darren has a can-do attitude and offers real practical advice that can be used for any business no matter the size, Darren is using his time focusing on online opportunities and building better businesses.

With global experience managing and directing multimillion-dollar mega construction projects and businesses. Darren has a wealth of practical experience to share and wants to help you and your business.  

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17 thoughts on “What I Like about Living in North East China

  1. Hi, Darren.

    I am a Mexican student and I got a scholarship to study abroad in Shenyang. Unfortunately, The scholarship doesn’t include the cost of the flight from Mexico to China, which is quite high considering Mexican Peso isn’t such a strong currency.
    I will create a crowdfunding project I want to use the first picture that appears on this post. Could I borrow it and put in on my project, please?

    • Dear Patricia, great to hear you are going to be studying in Shenyang and on a Scholarship too, well done. Crowdfunding is a proven and successful way to raise capital all the best in your funding project and please let us know how you go as I’m sure your fellow readers would love to hear about your success with crowdfunding.

      As for the pictures please email us at admin@arcos-creator.com to discuss the details.

  2. I am so envious of you living in China, I have visited there 3 times over the past few years and last time I visited Liaoning Province and went to Shenyang and Dalian. You are so right about Shenyang it’s not on the main tourist routes but Wow there is so much on offer. I remember my highlights being the tombs and the Palace right in the heart of the city, I am looking at the photos now, what a great place, thanks for the further insights.

    PS , I will be back again next year, hope to see you there, Alison

    • I am so glad you had a taste of this beautiful part of the Middle Kingdom, for me it’s the best China has to offer and I have seen most of it. Here in teh North East we get a little bit of every part of China and I am so glad you enjoyed it, See you here next time.

  3. Sweet blog! I found it while looking for info about living in Shenyang China. I will be transferred to Shenyang later this year to work on the expansion of the BMW/Brilliance plant. Do you have any suggestions on the best area to live and easy ways to get around?

    • Congratulations on coming to Shenyang, I suggest you join https://www.echinacities.com/ there are also a few good groups on Facebook just search Shenyang. BMW have a huge plant here so I think you will be well catered for living wise. BMW is in the Nth East of the City and has good, transport with buses and taxies. Taxis are cheap and easy to catch, careful around 4pm as that is the time of shift change so catching at that time can be challenging. The Underground metro is a fast cheap way to get around also and is currently going through a big expansion of the network so transport and getting around is very easy. All the best and hope to see you around.

  4. You must excuse my naivety, I had never thought about westerners living in China, but I guess they do as you are clearly a living example lol. It must be amazing to experience such a different culture so different from what we take for granted, China sound really fascinating and again excuse my ignorance, I had never thought you could ski in China.
    Thanks for an enlightening article.

    • Hi Oscar, thanks for your comment, yes living in China is unique and vastly different than in the west with many of the activities and conveniences we take for granted back home can at times be a real challenge here in China. What can I say, I wouldn’t change it for the world I absolutely love it.

  5. You have inspired me to visit China, it’s been on my list of places to visit and now it’s at the top and next vacation guess what China here I come

    • Well done Vase, China has so much to offer and with a vast culture going back thousand’s of years I am in no doubt you will be in for a suprise.

  6. How come some people have all the fun, living Montreal we get bitterly cold winters and at times are bound up indoors. It sounds like you have so much to do and all at your fingertips, with great winter sports, but all that history sounds like an awesome and very interesting place to live. Thanks

  7. I have often wondered what it would be like to live in China, honestly I thought it would be backward and primitive, it sounds like you have all the comforts of home and lots to keep you happily occupied. The Japanese committed atrocities and did experiments on people too! You know I never realised that, I always thought it was only the Nazis, it highlights our ignorance or does someone want this covered up!

    • Hi Bonney, I just love living in China especially here in the North East, and yes the Nazi’s weren’t the only ones what the Japanese did in the past was quite horrific and the 9.18 museum is a site worth a visit. I like to think these things are in the past and that valuable lessons have been learned and humanity can rise above things of the horrid past.

  8. I went to Harbin last xmas, to see the ice sculptures, I tell it was soooo… cold, really interesting site to see well worth it. I didn’t realize it was so close to Russia and heavily influenced by Russian culture. Thanks for sharing.

    • Yes Harbin can be cold and has a lot of interesting Russian architecture, and I do like the beautiful St Sofia Church, further North than where I am in Shenyang and yes the ice festival in Harbin is world renowned and spectacular.

  9. You are so lucky to live in China, 2 years ago I travelled there and visited Shanghai, Bejing, Xian and Guilin I loved it. I never new about the North East, I really want to go back to china and have been looking at doing a teaching job haven’t decided where though.

    I have been doing a lot of research and the North East looks really interesting and having read your post and hearing from someone you actually lives there has helped my decision.

    Hope to meet you there and share experiences, Monica

    • Hi Monica, so glad my article was of help to you, yes the North East is a little off the beaten track, but that’s what makes it so interesting. There is so much to see and do and so many little-known sites that are untouched by the tourist hoards.
      If you want to contact me direct send an email to Darren via, contactus@arcos-creator.com

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