Shenyang, one of China's largest cities with a sprawling populace of over 7 million, reigns as the capital of Liaoning Province. Located about 100 miles inland from the Bohai Sea in China's northeast corner, it is best known as an industrial behemoth. Zinc, copper and lead smelting plants combine with heavy machinery, textile, medicine, chemical, transformer, and tractor manufacturing plants to mold the kind of powerful economic muscle that is emblematic of modern China. Especially when compared to nearby Dalian and Qingdao with their tourism mandates and accompanying infrastructure, tourism in Shenyang plays second fiddle to industry. If you find yourself visiting Shenyang, there is plenty to see and do here, especially if you have an interest in China's history, both ancient and modern. Major eye-candy is found at the
Shenyang's golden years occurred at the dawn of the Qing Dynasty (1624-1911) when Emperor Nurhaci chose Shenyang as the first Qing capital in the Manchu homeland of Manchuria. At the time it was named Shenjing, Mukden in Manchu. A major city needed a major building and in 1626 under Nurhaci's orders the
Despite consecutive war related occupations by Russia and Japan in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Shenyang managed to increase its industrial might. Not even during China's Civil War (1948-1949) when Shenyang became the main battleground between the Communists and Nationalists did the city come to an economic halt. Today it is recognized as one of the greatest manufacturing centers in Asia.
Shenyang is comprised of the following six districts:
Heping Better known as downtown, this district sprung up around the South Railway Station, former hub of the Southern Manchurian Railway, is home to many of Shenyang's major sights, all within walking distance of each other.
Shenhe Just east of downtown, this district is noted for harboring the
Huanggu Situated directly north of downtown, this district is best known for being home to the
Sujiatan Coined as the "Southern Gate of Shenyang," this district enjoys a huge reputation for its economic and industrial bent. Rice and corn prosper on its plains, while trees with medicinal qualities canopy its eastern hills. The mining of coal, iron and limestone also reigns large. Tourist amenities are few.
Xinchengzi Positioned about 20 miles north of downtown this district harbors the wildly popular
Tiexi The industrial heart of Shenyang is in the Tiexi district, directly west of Heping's refined urban center.Tiexi was the setting for Wang BVing's documentary West of the Tracks, a look at how modernization is changing the industrial areas of northern China.
Dongling Southeast of downtown is the expansive Dongling district. While it now houses suburban families, it is also home to the