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The cool delights of China's summer getaway

By Liu Mingtai | China Daily | Updated: 2016-09-05 08:27

Summer in China can be brutal. Between July and September, most of China is swept by unbearable heat that can bake cookie dough if you leave it in a car parked in the midday sun. When the temperature is soaring and backpackers are trapped in air-conditioned rooms desperately planning their journey to Siberia, a province in North China offers the perfect alternative - Jilin, China's summer getaway.

Surrounded by China's most iconic ecological reserves - the Changbai Mountains in the east, Songliao Plain in the center and the vast prairie in the west - summer in Jilin rarely exceeds 22 C, winning this province the title of Summer of 22 C.

Its rich farmland known as "black soil", pollution-free air and mountain forests attract many foreign and domestic tourists each year. The Changbai Mountains are Jilin's must-see landmark and a national 5A scenic tourism destination. The highest peak in the range reaches 2,691 meters and is covered by white rocks and thick snow throughout the year. Overlooking the border with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the majestic mountains offer a fascinating landscape of forest, volcano vents and wetlands.

"Jilin province is a fascinating place," said Bayin Chaolu, the Party secretary of Jilin. "We are proud of our vast grassland in the west, our splendid mountains in the east and our fertilized farmland in the center."

Thanks to the government's ecological efforts, traces of a wide variety of rare animals can now be found in Jilin's national reserves, such as sika deer, Siberian tigers and red-crowned crane. These stunning sights have made Jilin a popular spot for wildlife photographers.

"We will have to work on sustainable development," said Bayin Chaolu. "Our aim is to create a virtuous cycle of interaction between the economy and the ecology, and between people and the environment."

The massive forests and rich black soil of Jilin have not only nurtured many wild animals, but also developed its unique cultural heritage and habitat. Jilin is home to 1.2 million people of the Korean ethnic group. With the largest Korean ethnic group inhabiting, Jilin offers tourists a cultural treat of Korean art, customs and architecture.

Jilin is also an ideal destination for outdoor sports enthusiasts throughout the year. In autumn, it provides sightseeing walking routes and rural experiences for city escapists. It also has China's top snow sports centers. In 2015, Sohu Sports, China's sports information portal, listed Changbai Snowboard Center as the best in China.

Many tourists also visit Jilin as an outbound transit point from which they can easily travel to the DPRK, the Republic of Korea and Russia.

Ren Xiaojin contributed to this story

The cool delights of China's summer getaway

International dancers perform in a forest music festival in Jilin province. Hu Tingting / for China Daily

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