Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province in Northeast China, is a special mix of modern and ancient Chinese history.
This one-day trip to the city provides a great opportunity to explore its must-see historical and cultural attractions -- and promises a wonderful overview of Shenyang and an appreciation of the buildings and architecture steeped in its rich history. It will also help you find inner peace by relaxing in nature and satisfy your appetite by enjoying the various local delicacies in the city's food streets.
The first stop of the tour is the well-preserved and glorious Shenyang Imperial Palace (Gu Gong). It was first built in 1625 for Nurhachi (1559-1626), one of the founders of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It served as the center of the two dynasties' rule until 1644 when the capital was moved to Beijing. Epitomizing the ethnic culture of Manchu, the palace is of historic and artistic significance second only to that of the Forbidden City in Beijing.
Then, take a stroll through the street featuring strong authentic Manchu architecture styles and you might feel you are time traveling, seeing with your own eyes the glory of Shengjing, the name for Shenyang during the 17th century.
The next stop is Marshal Zhang's Mansion, the former residence of Zhang Xueliang (1901-2001), the patriotic general and his father, Zhang Zuolin (1875-1928), the warlord of the Feng faction. The square-shaped mansion is a national cultural preserved site in China and is set in a spectacular and uniquely landscaped complex. Throughout the visit you will hear legendary stories about what happened during the Republic of China period (1912-1949).
Recharged after a hearty lunch, you will venture deep into the Changbai Island Forest Park, with its harmonious environment that also provides recreational fun as well as fitness facilities. Inside the park there are 10 botanical gardens featuring a variety of wonderful plants including herbs and roses. A small zoo located on the east side of the Shengli Bridge is home to a variety of birds, as well as monkeys, goats and sika deer. No one can resist the temptation watch and even feed the animals and, most importantly, the entrance to the zoo is free.
Then we move on to Luoshijuan Park where you can walk in a square, gaze at a distant vista from a pavilion, ring a large bell and rest on a wharf.
Shenshuiwan Park is also not to be missed. There, you can view the Sanhao Bridge from a distance, stroll across the Flower Field Square and appreciate a more than 300-year-old willow tree. Boats will take you on a leisurely trip, allowing you to enjoy the scenery on both sides of the Hunhe River.
If you are ready for supper, it's just a short bus ride to the famous Shenyang Tawan Xingshun Night Market. With so many food options at hand, you'll be sure to eat and drink to your heart's content.
Then check into the hotel.
Lunch: Laobian Dumplings (a special dish offered by a century-old shop), Yuanweizhai Roast Duck (duck roasted with fruit wood) and Li Liangui Bacon Pancakes
Dinner: grab some snacks at the Xingshun night market (Northeast-style skewers, grilled tofu, grilled pig trotters, fried stinky tofu, Southeast Asian insect feasts and snacks favored by the post-80s generations)
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