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Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture

Located in the Changbai Mountains in southwestern Jilin Province, the prefecture borders Russia in the east and is separated from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea by the Tumen River in the south.

Tianchi Lake in the Changbai Mountains.The Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture has an area of 42,000 square kilometers and a population of 1.98 million, 880,000 or 41.8 percent are Koreans. There are also 19 other ethnic tribes such as the Han, Manchu, Hui, Mongolian, Xibe, and Miao. Yanji City is the prefecture's capital.

The prefecture, a land of songs and dances known in and outside of China, has green mountains and clear waters. Buried underground everywhere are precious mineral deposits. The Koreans are an ethnic group good at singing and dancing. They are enthusiastic, bold, and unconstrained.

Xianjingtai National Scenic Area
Situated in the southeastern part of the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, 100 kilometers from Yanji City and 130 kilometers from Helong City, the scenic area stretches for 499 square kilometers, and the main peak stands 920 meters in elevation. The mountain peaks present a unique topographic feature be cause of the crevices in the granite rocks and spherical weathering.

There are more than 300 man-made landscapes, including the site once visited by Daqinmao or the third King Wen ofBohaiState during the Tang Dynasty, ruins of the Qixing Temple, Nanping Port on the upper reaches of the Tumen River, and scenes on the other side of the border in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea such as Musan, a steel production center; Chongsan Port; and the historical site of the revolutionary war at Leingngdao. The scenic area is of great value for scientific research and tourism development.

The Changbai Waterfall.The Scenery of Fangchuan
Seventy kilometers south of Hunchun City is Fangchuan, a village at the foot of Zhanggu Peak in Jingxin Township. Several kilometers further ahead is the marker erected on the border between China and Russia in 1886 under the supervision of Wu Dacheng, the imperial envoy of the Qing Dynasty, and the representative of tsarist Russia. The village is merely 15 kilometers from the Tumen River. From the lookout tower on top of a hill in the vicinity, one can have a blurred vision of the mist-shrouded Nippon Hai extending to the horizon in the distance and the scenes along China's border with the D.P.R.K. and Russia. On the left is Russia's Podgornaya and on the right is Tumangng of the D.P.R.K.

The Scenery of Hunchun
Bording Russia and the D.P.R.K., on the lower reaches of the Tumen River, the city of Hunchun faces the river and the sea and backs on mountains. It has rich natural resources. The Annals of Hunchun records, "Hunchun has mountains at its back and the sea in front. The rolling mountains, offsets of the northern section of the Changbai Mountains, present an enchanting landscape. When spring changes into summer every year, wild flowers are in full blossom and birds twitters in the trees. Scenic spots are to be found everywhere, of which eight have long been famous." These eight scenic attractions include the Roar of Waves at an Ancient Ferry, the Mirror-Smooth Water at Longquan, the Spring Bright Sky over the Willow-Grown River Banks, the Lotus Pond with Nine Turns, Deer in the Wood Covered with Frost, and Rolling Hills under Snow. These natural scenes have attracted numerous tourists.

Spring water flowing in the Changbai Mountains.Tianchi Lake in the Changbai Mountains
Lying in the crater of a volcanic cone on the summit of the main peak of the Changbai Mountains, Tianchi Lake was formed with water accumulated through the years. It is the largest crater lake in China with a concentration of scenic spots in the Changbai Mountains. The oval-shaped lake resembles a lotus flower floating on the water surface and a jasper inlaid among the 16 peaks of the Changbai Mountains. The lake's water surface is 2,189 meters above sea level, the highest of its kind in China. As the border lake between China and the D.P.R.K., Tianchi Lake stretches for 3.37 kilometers from east to west and 4.4 kilometers from south to north, with an area of 10 square kilometers. The lake water is as deep as 373 meters at the deepest spot. Weather is changeable in the lake area, and the lake water is often found to be enshrouded in clouds and mist.

Scenes of Waterfalls
Known as the "source of rivers and lakes," the Changbai Mountains have abundant water sources. The mountains are high in elevation and have steep slopes and many gorges, giving to the rise of numerous waterfalls. The Changbai Waterfall, 1,250 meters from Tianchi Lake, is an outlet of the lake water flowing between Longmen and Tianhuo peaks to join the Chengcha River. The waterfall has a flow of 1.25-5 cubic meters/per second. It cascades down over a 68meter-high cliff like a white jade belt hanging in the sky, bringing about a thunderous roar and foam that splashes several meters high in the air. There are also the Tizi River, Yuehua, Dongtian, Yinliu and Binghu Valley waterfalls.

The Great Gorge in the Changbai Mountains.Hot and Cold Springs
China is a country with the largest number of hot springs in the world, and the Changbai Mountains have a concentrated distribution of hot springs in China. The wellknown Changbai Hot spring is to the north of Tianchi Lake. Other hot springs are scattered over an area of more than 1,000 square meters, 900 meters from the Changbai Hot Spring. The Erdaobai River flows through clusters of hot springs. On the right side of the river are several dozen spring mouths, including seven large ones, and another five on the left side. They are high-temperature springs whose temperatures differ, ranging from 60 ? to 80 ?. The spring water gushes out of the ground like that spitted out of dragons' mouths. Eggs would be well cooked in 15 minutes in the hot water. The spring water sends off a gas of hydrogen sulfide and contains such microelements as calcium and magnesium. It is referred to as a magic water."

The Great Gorge in the Changbai Mountains
The majestic Changbai Mountains feature endless mountain peaks and winding valleys. The Great Gorge in the mountain range, a natural spectacle discovered in recent years, can rival the Great Canyon in the United States. It is more than 70 kilometers long, 1 to 2 meters wide, and over 100 meters deep. Rising in a stretch of virgin forest, the Great Gorge cuts through the southwestern slope of the Changbai Mountains to run rapidly downhill. There are odd-shaped peaks, bizarre rocks, secluded valleys, clear waters, ancient trees, and rare grass on both sides. A section of more than 10 kilometers of the primitive Great Gorge presents the most magnificent sight.

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