A short train journey from Shenyang bought us to the town of Anshan, from where we taxied out to the nearby Qianshan National Park (a quick note on transportation – there are super-cheap buses from the East train station, but if you, like us, arrive at the West train station then a taxi is unfortunately the only option). There are actually several interesting sights in the town itself, including the world’s largest jade Buddha statue in the Jade Buddha Palace, but unfortunately lack of time meant we had to skip these out.
The Qianshan National Park was one of the best I’ve visited in China. Unalike western national parks where there is just wildness and you can wander around as you wish, the Chinese parks tend to have clearly marked paths, temples, pagodas, and even cable cars. Qianshan was no exception, but for once I felt that they had done a good job of combining the sights and facilities expected by Chinese tourists with actual nature – for example there were many walks up and down the mountain through the trees with stunning views over the landscape. The temples were bright and festive, possibly due to us visiting during the week-long Chinese National Day holidays, and although the entrance was quite crowded it was easy to escape the tour groups by heading further in.
I could easily have spend a couple of days here exploring all the sights – although most weren’t particularly historical, instead being modern temples and statues, the opportunity to get away completely from the city and enjoy the scenery was fantastic.