Shenyang travel guide
Shenyang is the capital of Liaoning Province and offers travellers many things to do and see outside the bright lights of Beijing or Tianjin. Rich in history, Shenyang will certainly keep you busy with her amazing wealth of cultural monuments, parks, restaurants and night-life.
Shenyang has a long and colourful past; in the beginning it was a trading centre for the Mongolians but it was during the 17th century, when it became the secondary seat of power for the Manchu Empire, that Shenyang really began to prosper and grow. It then became famous for coming under the rule of various other people, from warlords to the Japanese, then the Russians to the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party. Each one of these groups has made their own mark on the city, making Shenyang a truly unique place to visit. To get the most out of your trip, a city guide to Shenyang is vital.
The Imperial Palace (Gugong), is the number one tourist attraction in Shenyang. Said to based on the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Imperial Palace is a striking piece of architecture which will amaze each one of your senses. Commissioned by the Manchu emperor Nurhachi (1559 – 1626) in 1625, the palace was the home of the Manchu rulers until they headed south and captured Beijing, forcing the end of the Ming Dynasty.
Wandering around the Imperial Palace allows you to take in all the various halls, including Dazheng Hall. This room was where the Emperor Shunzhi was crowned and standing here makes you conjure up fantasies of how the ceremony would have taken place. Venture into the central courtyard to explore other ceremonial halls and various other buildings.
The North Tomb (Bei Long) is situated in Beiling Park and will be the next stop on your journey through Shenyang. The tomb is the final resting place for the man who is recognised as the founder of the Qing Dynasty, Huang Taiji (1592 – 1643). The path you take to reach the central mound, known as the Luminous Tomb (Zhao Ling) has various statues of different animals, each guarding it from those who would disturb the emperor’s eternal slumber.
Huang Taiji is not the only Manchu emperor to be buried in Shenyang; indeed, his father, Nurhachi is entombed in the East Tomb, resting quietly with his mistress. You will find it about 15km outside of the city.
Museum lovers will not be disappointed when they visit Shenyang. The Liaoning Provincial Museum is one of the best places in the entire country to go to if you are interested in Liao Dynasty ceramics. There are also various displays highlighting the wonderfully varied history of this amazing province.
Restaurants in Shenyang cater to all budgets and tastes. The local cuisine is called Liaocai with an emphasis on ginger and garlic but you will find that the flavours are not as spicy as other regions. You will also find that the city has a big Mongolian and Korean population so you can sample the authentic dishes from these two ethnic groups.
There is a wide range of hotels in Shenyang. From budget hostels for the road-weary backpacker to comfortable family-friendly lodgings to the high class sophisticated five star hotels, the choice is yours.
Situated in the middle of the province, Shenyang is a stunning place to visit. Full to the brim with wonderful cultural attractions, history and natural beauty, Shenyang is a holiday destination you should not miss out upon.