Dandong - Beijing

Dandong, may 4

One day in Dandong is enough, and maybe even too long... The only point of interest is the bridge over Yalu river. This bridge was bombed in 1950 by the U.S. Army to prevent the Chinese troops from entering Korea. Not to provoke China too much the Americans only blew the Korean side of the bridge (4 sections). The pylons still stand, the bridge sections have been scrapped.
A new bridge between Dandong and Sinuiju was built after the war. Primarily it is a single-track railway bridge, but by means of concrete decks between the rails the bridge is also used for road traffic. Single file, train OR trucks, meaning one-way traffic at all times.

North Korea has only two main border (railway/road) crossings: Dandong (China) and Khasan (Russia).

End of the bridge is
dark North-Korea..
Hotel Zhongliang Do's and dont's
China-DPRK border
Hardly 10 meters separate
China and DPRK

Accompanied by our very motivated but hardly any English speaking (but incessant phoning and sms'ing) guide we made a trip to Tiger Mountain. The Chinese wall starts (or ends) here. Unfortunately sections of the wall were damaged in the Korean war and only recently were restored, but not quite in the original style... More interesting: the river between China and North Korea on this spot is only 10 meters wide, and you could consider wading to the other side. Border patrol appears to be absent, but the number of cameras suggest that there IS control. On the other hand: who wants to escape to the DPRK? On the DPRK-side a strip of no-mans land: no population, nobody allowed to enter.

On the way back to Dandong we passed the War Museum, showing the Chinese version of the Korean war. Some difference in details when compared with the Korean version we have seen in Pyongyang.

The excursion finished with a spectacular lunch from the Szechuan cuisine. Spicy, and a chicken dish that we will not forget!
to finish the Dandong experience we made a river cruise, skirting the North Korean riverfront. Monkey watching..

Tiger Mountain War Museum Dandong Szechuan cuisine River cruise Yalu Rýver

To the station, waiting for train K28 which will take us to Beijing. Departure 6:31pm, arrival 08:41am... It will take 14 hours to cover the 1132 kilometers.

Friendship bridge on the left,
destroyed bridge right
..who backs up..?? Train K28 to Beijing Our shelter till Beijing

Train K28, may 5
We went to sleep at 10pm, it is 6am now. Pete is dozing, Oliver is reading, our Chinese co-traveller preferred for some reason to stay with his relatives. Peace and quietness, time to contemplate China. Outside the windows one vast construction site; villages are erected from scratch, railroads are built. The countryside is unattractive, bordering on downright ugly and filthy. Garbage and plastic debris all over the place. Signs of progress..?
06:55am. We pull into Tianjin station. Bit late. Still 90 minutes to Beijing. I am off for breakfast!

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