When coming to Vasaloppet China, you should also take the chance of visiting some interesting places in Changchun. Here is some information on the capital of Chinas Jilin province – Changchun.
Changchun in its present form is a new city with only about 200 years of history. It expanded rapidly as the junction between the Japanese-owned South Manchurian Railway and the Russian-owned Chinese Eastern Railway from 1905-1935. Changchun had branch lines originating in Changchun extended into Korea and Inner Mongolia.
In 1932, Changchun became the capital of Manchukuo — a Japan-controlled state in Manchuria that existed from 1931 to 1945 and was led by the Japanese in the name of Pu Yi, the last Chinese emperor of the Qing dynasty. Then known as Hsinking (新京 Xīnjīng), the city underwent rapid expansion in both its economy and infrastructure, and many historic buildings from those times are still standing today.
Changchun was invaded by the Soviet Red Army in 1945, which looted the city of everything they could. The Russians maintained a presence in the city after the Chinese Civil War until 1956. The city fell from Kuomintang forces to the communists in 1948 after a 12-month-long siege by the PLA that resulted in a massive famine with a civilian death toll of 100,000 to 300,000.
Renamed Chángchūn (Long Spring 长春) by the People’s Republic of China government, it became the capital of Jilin Province in 1954.
South Lake (南湖公园; Nánhúgōngyuán). Is a large park which is a favorite picnic and recreation spot for locals. In the summer, the lake is used for boating and water sports. In the winter, the lake freezes over and serves as a natural skating rink. The park is a little getaway from the city, but with a good view of the skyscrapers in downtown Changchun across the lake.
Wenhua Guangchang (文化广场; Wénhùa Guǎngchǎng; lit. Culture Square). is a nice urban hangout which offers a glimpse into Changchun’s Japanese imperial past. The square is surrounded by several historical buildings from the Manchukuo era. On the north end of the square sits the majestic former New Palace of the Emperor of Manchukuo (新帝宫), which was intended to replace the Puppet Imperial Palace mentioned below. On the south end of the square are the former Manchukuo State Council and Military Affairs buildings. These buildings, which are now affiliated with Jilin University, offer prime examples of early Twentieth Century Japanese architecture.
Puppet Imperial Palace (伪皇宫; Wěihuánggōng). The palace was the home of Pu Yi, the last emperor of China and puppet emperor of Manchukuo, and is well worth a visit. Scenes from the acclaimed 1987 film The Last Emperor were filmed here. A visit here is organized for Vasaloppet China travel package buyers.
Jingyuetan National Forest Park (净月潭国家森林公园; Jìngyuètánguójiāsēnlíngōngyuán; lit. Crystal Moon Pond), is situated 45 min from downtown to the south east of the city. It is the largest man-made forest park in Asia, and a great place for hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. Don’t miss out on testing the tracks here before the race on Jan 2.
The Changchun Film Studio was formerly called the Northeast Film Studio, and was funded and developed amid the War of Liberation. Changchun Film Studio is the country’s largest and most comprehensive film production base. Since 1949, the Studio has produced over 2,000 films. It has seven studios, four recording centers and four modern developing and printing buildings. There are also branches for dubbed films, animation films, TV-films etc. After the launching of a reform plan, the studio also became part of Changchun Movie Wonderland, which was completed and put into operation early in 2005.
People’s Square (人民广场; Rénmín Guǎngchǎng) is one of the focal points of Changchun. It is close to Baishan Park (白山公园), and a mini “Culture Square” of sorts. The site commemorates the Russian soldiers, and specifically Russian pilots that died to liberate Changchun during the Second World War