Fun Things to Do in Dandong, China

Updated on May 7, 2018
Yasmins Art profile image

I moved to China in March 2016 to work as an ESL teacher in a private school. I love to travel to new and exciting places.

Dandong is situated in Northeast China's Liaoning Province. It borders Sinuiju, so it is a great place to experience Chinese culture whilst taking a sneaky glimpse into North Korea.

There are a variety of different things to see and do in Dandong, and it's easy to see many of the city's main sights within a day. I visited during the summer months and had a great time. Check out my snap-happy photo gallery for fun ideas of things to do whilst in Dandong!

My Favorite Things to Do in Dandong:

  • Walk over the famous 'Broken Bridge' to the center of the Yalu river to peer into North Korea.
  • Buy some (fake) North Korean money from the street peddlers.
  • Take a speedboat ride along the Yalu river, stopping right at the edge of North Korea.
  • Climb the easternmost stretch of the Great Wall at 'Tiger Mountain' and see fantastic views over China and North Korea.
  • Follow a steep hillside path right along the edge of the river border. Just don't upset the guards!
  • Eat North Korean cuisine in restaurants along the riverfront.

A statue overlooks the Broken Bridge.
A statue overlooks the Broken Bridge. | Source

Walk Dandong's Broken Bridge

The Broken Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in Dandong. The bridge originally crossed the Yalu River to Sinuiju in North Korea but was bombed by American forces during the Korean War. Twisted, pockmarked metal at the end of the bridge caused by the bombing has been left as a point of interest and the bridge has been turned into a historical landmark.

Walking to the end of the bridge brings you to a viewing platform. Here you can spend a few Chinese Yuan to use the binoculars to get a closer look into North Korea.

The North Korean side of the river seems to house a disused fairground and it's interesting to see the difference between the bustling Chinese side and the much quieter North Korean edge.

This is a great place to buy all of the usual tourist souvenirs, my favorite of which was the North Korean money. Be prepared to haggle for anything you do buy or prices will be higher than you'd expect.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The bridge entrance looks grand, lined each side by patriotic Chinese flags. To the left, you can see the Sino-Korean friendship bridge, which still connects China and North Korea.Chinese flags line each side of the Broken Bridge. A North Korean Ferris Wheel can be seen in the distance. It doesn't seem to be in use. The Broken Bridge spans the Yalu River. Here is the view along the Chinese side of the river. It's busy with street hawkers, tourists and boats and is in complete contrast to the opposite side of the river. This is a great spot to find a restaurant and try out some North Korean cuisine.
The bridge entrance looks grand, lined each side by patriotic Chinese flags. To the left, you can see the Sino-Korean friendship bridge, which still connects China and North Korea.
The bridge entrance looks grand, lined each side by patriotic Chinese flags. To the left, you can see the Sino-Korean friendship bridge, which still connects China and North Korea. | Source
Chinese flags line each side of the Broken Bridge.
Chinese flags line each side of the Broken Bridge. | Source
A North Korean Ferris Wheel can be seen in the distance. It doesn't seem to be in use.
A North Korean Ferris Wheel can be seen in the distance. It doesn't seem to be in use. | Source
The Broken Bridge spans the Yalu River.
The Broken Bridge spans the Yalu River. | Source
Here is the view along the Chinese side of the river. It's busy with street hawkers, tourists and boats and is in complete contrast to the opposite side of the river. This is a great spot to find a restaurant and try out some North Korean cuisine.
Here is the view along the Chinese side of the river. It's busy with street hawkers, tourists and boats and is in complete contrast to the opposite side of the river. This is a great spot to find a restaurant and try out some North Korean cuisine. | Source

Visit Tiger Mountain, the Easternmost Section of The Great Wall

Hushan Mountain literally translates from Mandarin Chinese as Tiger Mountain. It is the easternmost section of The Great Wall and gives great views of the surrounding countryside from the top.

The wall has been renovated so is a relatively easy walk to the top in comparison to other parts of the Great Wall in China. The main circular route around Tiger's Mountain involves walking up the steep but well-maintained path to the top and then descending down the other side on almost vertical-feeling steps.

The top of the wall offers spectacular views over both China and North Korea. The countryside seems to be split in two by the Yalu river and there is a visible difference in the land.

There are two options for returning to the entrance/exit. Turn around and walk back along the maintained path or follow the mountain path along the riverside.

The path along the river is a lot of fun, but is harder-going and involves a bit of clambering over rocks using the railings, so isn't suitable for everyone. The countryside is beautiful here and we even spotted a praying mantis. The walk follows the banks of a river, on the opposite side of which is North Korea, with armed soldiers situated in guard posts along the river's edge.

Note: The entrance to the wall isn't in Dandong itself, so is easiest to access via tax

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The most eastern section of the Great Wall, Tiger Mountain.The views from Tiger Mountain. On the left of the tributary is China and on the right are the fields of North Korea.A rickety old bridge over a steep drop.Waiting for some lunch?  A praying mantis relaxes on a railing. A sign along the trail with border rules such as 'forbidden to throw things to North Korea' and 'forbidden to cross the border'.
The most eastern section of the Great Wall, Tiger Mountain.
The most eastern section of the Great Wall, Tiger Mountain. | Source
The views from Tiger Mountain. On the left of the tributary is China and on the right are the fields of North Korea.
The views from Tiger Mountain. On the left of the tributary is China and on the right are the fields of North Korea. | Source
A rickety old bridge over a steep drop.
A rickety old bridge over a steep drop. | Source
Waiting for some lunch?  A praying mantis relaxes on a railing.
Waiting for some lunch? A praying mantis relaxes on a railing. | Source
A sign along the trail with border rules such as 'forbidden to throw things to North Korea' and 'forbidden to cross the border'.
A sign along the trail with border rules such as 'forbidden to throw things to North Korea' and 'forbidden to cross the border'. | Source

Take a Speedboat Trip Along the Border

Taking a speedboat ride along the Yalu River is great fun. Tourist boats can be accessed easily from around the Broken Bridge in Dandong itself, but traveling a little further out of the town, these tours are longer and possibly a better experience.

Continuing along the same road past the entrance to Tiger Mountain brings you to a little boat dock. There are big, slow tourist boats or smaller, faster speedboats that take trips up the river, stopping at the very edge of North Korea.

Armed military guards are situated in guard towers along the border. Traveling further along the river reaches a small North Korean settlement. The boat pauses on the water to allow you to watch as people fish and wash clothes along the river's edge and people walk around with rifles.

At one point, our boat stopped alongside a jetty, where four men in military outfits were crouched. People handed them money and cigarettes before the speedboat set off, back towards the Chinese riverbank.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A line of speedboats wait for customers. Ready to go!
A line of speedboats wait for customers.
A line of speedboats wait for customers. | Source
Ready to go!
Ready to go! | Source

Dandong

Would you visit Dandong?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Yasmin Crawford-Hunt

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Yasmins Art profile image
        Author

        Yasmin Crawford-Hunt 3 weeks ago from Shenyang, China

        Thank you, Bill.

      • bdegiulio profile image

        Bill De Giulio 3 weeks ago from Massachusetts

        I enjoyed this very much. I was not at all familiar with Dandong but found it very interesting that you can get so close to North Korea. Enjoyed the pictures also.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wanderwisdom.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://wanderwisdom.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)