A Miscellany of Everything in Manzhouli
    2011-09-02 16:46:33     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Duan Xuelian
For hundreds of years, foreign tourists have come to Manzhouli for a glimpse of Chinese life, while people from other parts of China have come to experience the city's heavy Russian and east European influences.

A panoramic view of Manzhouli city. [Photo:travel.sina.com.cn]

Located in the western part of Hulunbuir, a prefecture of China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Manzhouli is the nation's largest and busiest land port of entry. But there is more than just the lively hustle of this emerging industrial zone and border city that has pulled in successive flow of visitors.

For hundreds of years, foreign tourists have come to Manzhouli for a glimpse of Chinese life, while people from other parts of China have come to experience the city's heavy Russian and east European influences.

Manzhouli became a major stop along the railway line constructed by Russia in 1902. Other Chinese cities such as Harbin and Dalian lie along the route. During its heyday, the railway transported numerous Russians to Manzhouli, a great number of whom settled in the city. Even today, there is still an international train from Beijing to Moscow that runs through Manzhouli.

Because of frequent economic and cultural exchanges with Russian cities, Manzhouli acquired some obvious marks of Russian influence. Many of the city's landmarks, including shopping malls, museums and art centers, have been built in a gaudy Baroque style. Directions and signs are all written in Chinese, Russian and Mongolian. Russian products and souvenirs are available at prices that are much cheaper than those in inland Chinese cities. It is recommended that tourists not miss performances by Russian dancers and singers at local theaters.

In addition to the town's exotic atmosphere, excursions to the outskirts of Manzhouli are also highly recommended as the city is surrounded by endless stretches of grassland dotted by gems of lakes. Manzhouli is home to China's fifth-largest freshwater lake. In fact, the city got its name from a gushing spring in the middle of the grasslands.

Last but not least, Manzhouli offers many choices in terms of food and drink. Visitors can find Russian sausages and bread as well as have a Mongolian barbecued lamb feast.

The Manzhouli airport went into operation in 2004 and opened to international flights in 2008.

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