There is a section of the Great Wall just outside of Dandong called 虎山长城 (Tiger Mountain Great Wall), again along the border with North Korea. The wall itself is not all that remarkable if you’ve been to other sections: it looks way too new & reconstructed, with the site obviously renovated to herd tourists. But I must admit the view of North Korea was unexpectedly beautiful…
This is my second time facing North Korea–the first time being a tour of the DMZ organized by the USO–but this time it’s from China. I’m now in Dandong, a very industrial looking city with 600,000 inhabitants.
As you can see, the Yalu (“duck green”) river separates China from North Korea–the Chinese side looks rather raucous and full of restaurants, while the Korean side… well, there are a number of smokestacks, and an unmoving ferris wheel. You can easily cross the river via the Sino-Korean Friendship bridge (provided you have a visa), but a more interesting sight is the bridge right next to it, the Yalu River Broken Bridge. This original bridge was bombed by the Americans in 1950 during the Korean War (in which China supported the North, being Communist), and the North Koreans have since then dismantled their side of the bridge. The Chinese side is now of course a tourist attraction: there is a 30 RMB entrance fee, a giant screen showing interviews of Chinese war pilots recalling the time (this is *on* the bridge), and finally a viewing area at the half-bridge’s end, where you can pay to use binoculars for viewing the hermit kingdom.
*Update: here are the photos!