China Photo Journal: Revisiting Chángbáishan

Several months ago, I wrote about my journey to Mount Chang Bai in August 2003. My trek to Changbaishan was one of the first of many pilgrimages throughout North East China. To date, it still remains one of my favorite excursions.

Chángbáishan is located in Jilin Province, China. It straddles the Chinese/Korean border, making it a popular tourist destination for travelers in both countries.

Locals will attest that a pilgrimage to Chángbáishan should be made between the end of June and August for those who want to view Heavenly Lake, the mirror-like volcanic lake nestled in a crater at the summit of Chángbáish?n.

Chángbáishan means “Ever-White Mountain” because it appears white all year long. Snow covers the mountain from November to June. The north side of the mountain often appears shrouded in mist from a famous group of hot springs in the area, which can reach temperatures of 80C and are renowned for their medicinal value.

what a view!

The hike up!

The best way to see Chángbáishan is by accessing it through the North Hill. A long and extremely steep stairway winds its way up the mountain. It takes about two hours to reach the summit. The mountain is covered in wildflowers and natural wildlife.

To tian shi

we climbed this!

On the way in to Tian Shi

At the exit of the tunnel, my friend, Jack, emerges into bright sunshine and a serene and quietly flowing river.

Heavenly Lake

A beautiful photo of Heavenly Lake at the top of Chángbáish?n. Photo: John Kellenberger

This is why everyone climbs to the summit! The view is more than worth the hard work it takes to get there. This volcanic lake is the deepest alpine lake in China.

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Up Close and Personal

One of the highlights of trekking up this side of the mountain is the stairway which gives climbers a direct birds-eye view of The Waterfall of Chángbáishan. When seen at this distance, the direct 68m drop of rushing water will inspire any traveler. The waters from the Heavenly Lake flow to this waterfall from over 1250 meters away.

The surrounding area has a variety of rare animals, including the black bear, the Siberian Tiger, the leopard and the lynx. There are plenty of local attractions for avid eco-trekkers. Wild ginseng grows in abundance and is harvested and sold by local vendors. The waterfall, mountains, lake and hot springs are sacred to both the Manchu and Korean inhabitants within the area.

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Post Author: Carrie Kellenberger

I'm a chronically ill Canadian expat who has been living abroad in Asia since 2003. I moved from China to Taiwan in 2006. My husband and I have owned our own business in Taiwan since 2012. In addition to my own work, I've been writing professionally about Asia, travel and health advocacy since 2007, providing regular content to several publishing companies and travel publications in Asia and North America. Follow Carrie on on Twitter @globetrotteri or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/carriekellenberger/.

6 thoughts on “China Photo Journal: Revisiting Chángbáishan

    MJ Klein

    (August 16, 2007 - 5:56 am)

    whoa! what a cool place. incredible photos Carrie. first reaction: WOW!

    range

    (August 16, 2007 - 7:41 am)

    This is the mirror lake you talked about, it looks great.

    Sarah

    (August 16, 2007 - 9:46 am)

    It’s absolutely breath taking. Stunning.

    jorees

    (August 17, 2007 - 12:30 am)

    This looks absolutely gorgeous Carrie! It has always been a dream of mine to see the Great Wall and your writing and pictures take me there.

    Fretfire

    (August 17, 2007 - 1:13 am)

    Just terrific and breathtaking!! Love the photos. Carrie, I guess you had a real slam there in China!!

    globetrotteri

    (August 17, 2007 - 12:48 am)

    Thank you. Despite having a rough trek there and back, it was a spectacular trip. We have tickets to the Beijing Olympics next summer and we’re heading back to Changchun to see some friends. I would love to revisit Changbaishan. It’s truly a magical place.

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