Changbai Mountains land of great development potential

Updated: August 19, 2021

Rich tourism resources

The northeastern region of Changbai Mountain covers the three provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning, starting from Daxing'anling Mountain in the west, extending to the Changbai mountainous area in the east, Heilongjiang in the north and stretching to China's Liaodong Peninsula in the south.

The total area is 802,100 square kilometers and has a population of nearly 100 million, of which 10.7 percent are people in the non-Han ethnic groups. The region's virgin forests and total forest area rank first among all tourist destinations in China.

With the richest, numerous and widely distributed volcanic lava landforms, the region has a unique climate and various natural wonders. With a majority of its land being covered by snow and ice, the region is a paradise for tourists to escape to in the summer.

The multicultural folk customs and unique architectural art also attract many tourists from China and abroad. Changbai Linhai, an immense forest of Changbai Mountain, is a nature reserve that enters the international biosphere reserve network.

The region has a high concentration of tourism resources, forming a pattern of natural landscapes in the east and west as well as cultural legacies in the center.

Charming scenery

The seven wonders of Changbai Mountain are peaks, stones, springs, waters, flowers, grasses and animals.

Changbai Mountain is famous for its crater lakes, snowy mountains, forests and snow plains, hot springs, cirques and rimes.

Changbai Mountain is the most representative and typical natural complex in northern Eurasia, with distinctive resources and a huge development potential in tourism. It joined the UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere programme in 1980, and is known as a rare natural museum and biological gene bank in the world.

The total area of Changbai Mountain is about 200,000 square kilometers, of which 60 percent is virgin forests, and has a distinctive zonal distribution.

The special vegetation succession phenomenon of coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forests makes Changbai Mountain a gene bank of biological species.

Changbai Mountain is also rich in ice and snow. The perfect combination of ice and snow resources as well as terrain provides a good venue for sightseeing and winter sports, such as skiing.

The volcanic landforms of Changbai Mountain have distinctive features, together with the waterfalls and hot springs, they play a key role in boosting the development of local tourism.

Three-dimensional transport network

To speed up the protection and development of Changbai Mountain, a tourist airport has been built in the West Slope Scenic Area.

The implementation of both China and Jilin's plans in developing highways has further improved the transport network in the Changbai Mountain area.

At present, the intercity highway from Changchun to Baishan via Tonghua, and the highway from Changchun to Changbai Mountain tourist airport are both under construction.

Jilin has also included the Erdaobaihe-Helong railway into its construction plans.

Key advantages in development policy

  • Winter tourism in the Changbai Mountains

The average altitude of the Changbai Mountains is 1,640 to 1,826 meters, and the temperature often dips to minus 15 Celsius.

The freezing period is from November to April. The best season for ice and snow tourism, covering skiing, skating and mountaineering starts from October and ends at the beginning of May each year.

The region's snow thickness reaches 1-2 meters and the number of snowy days is more than 140 days a year.

Changbai Mountain now has a plateau ice and snow training base with a total area of about 120,000 square meters.

It is one of the few sports bases in the country that integrates skating, ski training and sports tourism. The average snow depth is 1.5 meters, and the snow quality and snow season have reached the first-class level in the world, meeting all the necessary standards for hosting international competitions.

One of the top 10 famous mountains in China, Changbai Mountain has become an ecological "green lung" in the northeastern region with its vast forest area.

To further protect Changbai Mountain, national ministries and commissions are preparing Changbai Mountain's world natural heritage application.

Jilin province has established the management committee of the Changbai Mountain Protection and Development Zone to preserve the ecological environment and to regulate the use of local resources.

The emphasis on the protection and sustainable use of Changbai Mountain at national and provincial levels is a strong guarantee for its comprehensive protection.

  • The history of Changbai Mountain

The rulers of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) believed that Changbai Mountain was "the cradle for the kingdom" and "the land of luckiness and prosperity". Therefore, from the first year of Emperor Shunzhi, through to the seventh year of Emperor Jiaqing, the area was prohibited.

The rulers of the Qing Dynasty issued an edict, that, those who chopped wood would be punished immediately. Officials who violate the regulations were no exception. Therefore, plenty of virgin forests in Changbai Mountain have been preserved since ancient times.

Changbai Mountain has a history of farming, but its impact on the ecological environment is small. However, severe deforestation happened in the region when Japan took over Manchuria, Northeast China.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Jilin provincial government approved the establishment of the Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve on April 18, 1960. It was included in the list of UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Reserve World Network in 1980, as one of the world's natural protection bases.

The continuous improvement and strengthening of the protections of Changbai Mountain has kept the ecological environment of the region intact and laid the foundations for the development of eco-tourism.

Extreme climate

Due to the high altitude and latitude of Changbai Mountain, the weather changes rapidly, with unpredictable clouds, rain, and snow drifting in and out, and is a rare meteorological tourism resource in China.

The Tianchi Weather Station in the region is home to many national records. The annual average temperature is minus 7.3 C, the lowest in the country, and is lower than both Mohe, known as the "cold pole in China", and Naqu, the "cold pole" in Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region.

The annual average wind speed is 11.7m/s, the fastest in China, and the number of gale days exceeding Level 8 records 269 days, one of the most in the country.

The region has had 258 days of snow cover and 145 days of snowfall in one year, both breaking records in the country. It has 165 days of rime, also the most in China.

The annual precipitation is 1,333 mm and the number of annual precipitation days is 209 days, which are the most in the north of the Qinling Mountains-Huaihe River region. The annual number of foggy days is 265 days, which is the most in the north, nearly twice as much as the "fog city" of Chongqing.

Joint development

Ji'an city, which is close to Changbai Mountain, has a large number of the cultural sites of the Goguryeo Kingdom (37 BC to 668 AD), which have been included in the World Cultural Heritage List.

The natural scenery of Changbai Mountain is peculiar owing to the prominent volcanic landscape features. The management committee is currently applying to make it a world natural heritage.

Changbai Mountain can work with Ji'an to develop tourism in the future, and jointly create a development pattern that complements the natural and humanistic scenery.

At the same time, through strengthening research on the natural heritage of Changbai Mountain and the world cultural heritage of Goguryeo, we can also learn more about the evolution of the natural environment in the region, as well as the trajectory of humanity and historical changes.

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