Though filled with crumbling ruins and national forest, Jilin stands out for its modern attractions and family-friendly fun zones. It also serves as a base for travellers making day trips to ski resorts and hiking or fishing in protected nature parks.
Things to do in Jilin
Jilin is a lively destination for family travel, due in large part to Changchun Film Theme Park. Merging the magic of a Disney-like theme park with film-based entertainment, the park features interactive film technology displays, 4D movies and themed rides. You’ll bump into famous film-star lookalikes and can even become part of a film.
Sitting about 20 minutes outside Changchun, you’ll find the ancient ruins of Ula City, built by the Jurchen Ula tribe during the Ming dynasty. It spans 90 hectares and still holds parts of the ancient walls and moat that once protected the residents from invasion.
Explore Jingyuetan National Forest Park, which carries the moniker of “a pure land in a big city”. It’s a welcome respite from hectic city life, hosting an expansive “created forest” with hundreds of tree species, such as Japanese red pines and Mongolian oaks. It’s also home to the Forest Bathing Spot, a natural oxygen bar where you can breathe in high levels of negative oxygen ions for revitalising your health.
When visiting during the colder months, it’s well worth the uphill drive to Beidahu Ski Resort, home of the 2007 Asian Winter Games. You can enjoy downhill and cross-country skiing or cosy up in the lodge with hot cocoa.
Buses, light rail and taxis provide transportation throughout Jilin. You can rent a car downtown or at Changchun Longjia International Airport, about a 20-minute drive from the city.