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Mountains above the rest, Jilin a must visit

By Martyn Joseph Newlands | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-07-25 10:06
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A butterfly landing on my face whilst we rafted down a river. [Photo provided by Martyn Joseph Newlands]

Jilin is not a place that was ever high up on my list of places that I wanted to go to in China, but after visiting it I can confidently say it should be at the top of yours. This wonderful province has a unique blend of cultures - as it boarders two other countries - and a unique landscape with plenty of hidden and well-known jewels.

When "A Date with China" invited me along to their Jilin trip, I accepted even though I didn't have much knowledge of Jilin. I went with absolutely no expectations, but they were blown out of the water and high up into the mountains.

Our first stop was the Jingyuetan National Forest Park, which covers an area of 96 square kilometers and is situated in the southeast of Changchun city. The freshness and calmness of this park was idyllic, with pockets of people out for their afternoon run or just getting some alone time. We were taken to a cable lift that took us up to one of the highest points in the park with views that seemed like they stretched forever, seas of endless green. Up there we were then told that we got to toboggan down the hillside, which I had done once before beside the Great Wall of China, but this time I was in amongst the trees and wilderness. It was a unique experience that I will treasure for years to come.

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