Changbaishan National Park Touring Guide

Where is the Changbaishan national nature reserve park?

Changbaishan located in JiLin Province China

Changbaishan National nature reserve Park is a nature reserve district in Jilin province north eastern of China, in Chinese we call it “长白山自然保护区”. Changbaishan literally means in Chinese “eternally White Mountain.”Changbaishan national park covers a total area of 2000 square km. Tian Chi/ Heaven Lake is the Highlight of Changbaishan, this deep-blue volcanic crater lake at the top of the mountain is surrounded by 16 mountain peaks. In some years, it keeps being frozen even in June. The lake marks the boundary of China and North Korea. The mountain belongs to the five holy mountains of Korea.


Why come to Changbaishan National Nature Reserve Park?

Changbaishan protection – a part of the UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Program

Changbaishan national park is nature protection for plants and animals, a part of the UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Program. There are four natural wonders to see, the Tainchi Lake (heaven lake), high mountains, hot springs and waterfalls. The mountains are covered with pristine forests, an excellent tourist destination. Tianchi Lake is 13 km in circumference, a part of the lake is in China, the other far side is in North Korea. Looking back the history, Changbaishan place was the birthplace of the Manchu state, the mountain was off limits to Han Chinese settlers.

Changbaishan is the tallest peak in Northeast China. It is a dormant volcano, the last eruption was in 1702, One lake was formed in the crater, which is the source of the Songhua River.

Changbai Waterfall (68 meter) Erdaobai River runs off Heaven Lake and creates the longest volcanic waterfall in the world. Snowmelt from the Heavens Lake cascades down a volcanic landscape.

On the way to the waterfall there are natural hot springs- you can enjoy a bath in the bathhouse. The springs are hot enough to boil eggs and corn.
Starting from Feb. 2020, the covid19 pandemic makes the international travel difficult and much less. Hopefully my video will give you some guide for your travel someday in the future. Please enjoy the scenery with my video.

If you come in summer, you will experience a cool, short and changeable summer. Due to the vertical changes of mountainous terrain, there are four landscape belts from the foot to the top of the mountain, from warm temperate, to frigid zone, quite rare in our daily life. You will be able to play golf outside and will see a different mountain views.

If you come in fall, winter and early spring, you will be able to play snow, ski on mountains. There is usually a long and cold winter, windy spring and autumn foggy, with an annual average temperature at minus-7 °C to 3 °C. From early October to late May, access into the park is very difficult due to the heavy amount of snow. Early September seems to be one of the better time to visit. You will probably find the accommodation prices higher around this time.

For most visitors hiking within the Park other than on the prescribed tourist routes is not an option. You can only choose the vehicles inside the park. There is a 12-mile-long concrete roadway with no pedestrian options. If you like to walk, you’d better to join a group organized by a guide and be properly equipped. Because the border to North Korea is not clearly marked, and some tourists lost their way in North Korea before. Camping is forbidden in the park.

How come to Changbaishan national park?

Three Steps of Public Transportation

I do not encourage the expats and international tourists to drive the car by yourselves, there are many public convenient transportation.

First step of transportation by Flight or train to reach the cities close to you, such as, Shenyang city,Changchun city , Changbaishan airport , Yanji airport. I suggest you to choose the public transportation for your connection, such as, high speed trains or shuttle buses. Because there is no fixed price to hire private car and the tourists usually do not take advantage to bargain with the drivers.

Second step of transportation by bus connection to
Songjianghe town to prepare for the west entrance;
Erdao baihe town to prepare for the north entrance.
Changbaishan has two separate areas – the northern slope and the western slope. There are respective north and west entrances separated by 100km.

Third step of transportation by park eco-bus :
Once inside the Park you must switch to a Park eco-bus. The entrance fee is 125 rmb and the eco-bus a further 85rmb. The first eco-bus goes to a major switching station where you can change to another bus for the top of the main route or pay an extra 80rmb to go to the peak up a 10km winding road if the weather permit. The summit can be cold and windy at any time of the year. If you are unprepared, there are jackets for hire.

changbaishan handmade map

Changbaishan National Park Accommodations

Star Hotels and Youth Hostels meeting your budgets

Songjianghe town provides luxury star hotels for the tourists because the Changbaishan international resort is located in songjianghe town. There is bus service to send the people to the west gate of the Changbaishan, about 40 km west of the Nature Reserve. The western approach offers more beauty with forests of trees gradually changing to meadows and flowers during spring and summer. Please understand the private cars are prohibited in the parks. Brand hotels usually provide shuttle bus pick-up to their hotels.

Erdao town is mostly chosen by local Chinese tourists because there are more youth hostels at lower prices. The buses will send you to the north gate. If you speak fluent Chinese and your budget is lower, you may consider to choose the hostels. If you sleep in one of the hotels inside the park near Northgate, you pay only once for entry and the eco-bus regardless of how long you stay.

There are more buses and trains to get out, back to Yanji, Dunhua, Tonghua, Changchun and Jilin City. Buses tend to be faster than trains. If you have any questions to plan your daytrips, please drop me a line, I am happy to provide more touring ideas.

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