Changchun

Changchun is the capital of Jilin Province and was formerly the capital of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. With a population of more than 6 million, it is one of the major cities in Northeast China, and is the largest center for China's automotive industry. In 2007, the city Asian Winter Games.

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South Lake, a large park which is a favorite picnic and recreation spot for locals. In the summer, the lake is used for boating and water sports, and there is a stand of huge lotus plants near one part of it. In the winter, the lake freezes over and serves as a natural skating rink. In winter months it's a romantic and quiet place - but you have to suffer the low winter temperatures. The park almost feels like it is not part of a city, except that there is a good view of the skyscrapers in downtown Changchun across the lake. The park is a very safe place to wander around in the early evening.

Puppet Imperial Palace is another place to visit to take in historical Manchukuo. The palace was the home of Pu Yi, the last emperor of China and puppet emperor of Manchukuo, and this centre of the Manchukuo administration may be worth a visit. Most signage is in English, and the grounds are nicely restored. Scenes from the acclaimed 1987 film The Last Emperor were filmed here.

Jingyuetan National Forest Park is the largest man-made forest park in Asia, and a great place for skiing in the winter.