For all Geographic & Historic Maps on Toudao Zhen, Helong County and Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, please refer to Jilin Province Maps Index.
This page was last updated on: April 11, 2013
The Yanbian Report
Introduction to Toudao Zhen (头道镇 ; 두도진)
Toudao Landmarks & Monuments
Toudao Town & Area Maps
Toudao is a small but growing provincial town in the rural Helong County (City) of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in north east China's Jilin Province. It is situated to the south-west of Yanij City, near Longjing and can be found situated in the south west of the county along provincial road No. 202. The No. 202 provincial road is the main road connecting between the Capital of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, Yanji City , and the most important tourist destination of the wider regions, the Changbai Shan (Ever white mountain) and its Changbai Shan mountain reserve, the largest nature reserve in China (P.R.C.) today. This road follows the valley of the river Hailan River in which Toudao sits. Toudao is situtated on the northern bank of the river and sits at a safe but convenient distance from it among fertile farmlands.
With Longjing slowly but surely turning into an extended suburb of Yanji City, the town of Toudao just beyond is still a thoroughly out of the way place where foreign visitors, especially Caucasians still are a rare sight. As a result, little or nothing is reported on or known about this town and township in Yanbian Prefecture. In fact, using the Google Map it is unclear in which sub-district of Longjing County the small town of Toudao is situated.
Although until fairly recently the exclusive realm of the local peasantry of mixed Korean and Han Chinese blend, the town of Toudao seems to have been caught up in the ongoing urbanization drive that has made the nearby City of Yanji and the county town of Longjing itself grow substantially. Since around the year 2010 the smaller town of Toudao has also grown, seeing the benifits of a modernized provincial road 202 and a modest influx of city inhabitants moving away from the center of Yanji City itself.
Please browse around the Town of Toudao Zhen and wider Area's using our Geographic & Historic Maps. Find out more about the City and Area through our many Photographic Reports on the main historic landmarks and Monuments and their history.
A Full listing of Toudao Zhen Landmarks, Monuments, Hotspots and other sites of importance in alphabetical order. Search through the list to find your Full Report and Photo-Virtual Tour of each monument or landmark within the City.
Transport in Toudao and Helong County
Toudao Zhen does not have a Main Railway Station and is not connected to any railroad. There is no airport or airfield but for that of the Capital of the Prefecture at the city of Yanji.
ROADS AND CONNECTIONS IN TOUDAO:
The main and only road connecting Toudao Town to the outside is the S 202 Provincial road, which traverses the Hailan river valley and the hilly landscape beyond. Take the direction north-eastward out of Toudao to travel to Longjing the seat town of the neighboring county with its train station and drive onward from there to reach Yanji City only some kilomters beyond.
As for the other direction, beyond Toudao the S 202 Road continues in a southwestern direction to lead via the much smaller farm villages of Xicheng zhen and Tushan Zhen to Helong Town (County Seat). At Helong the S 202 splits into two roads (with the same S 202 designation) both of which reunite at some point due west to south-west of Helong County Town. Of these two branches, the northern branch travels in an arch due north of the railroad (Helong Line) to pass along the scenic and historical site of Loaling Mountain, weheras the south branch of S 202 road travels on the south side of the railroad tracks to lead around the Zhentou Peak (Mountain). Along the way it passes several remote villages and the large Helong Huanggou Forest Farm.
Beyond the re-unification point of S 202 road one finds oneself firmly in mountainous terrain as this is the south border of the Changbai Shan Mountain and its reserve. Further down the road one enters Fusong County of Baishan Prefecture of Jilin Province, which officially is not a part of the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture. To the south of Fusong County however lies Changbai Korean Autonomous County of Baishan Prefecture which by all means could and should be recognized as a continuation of the Korean ethnic enclave(s) straddling the North Korean Border in this wider region.
A Schematic overview Map of Jilin Province entire delineating provincial borders and parts of neighboring Inner Mongolia AR in the West, HeilongJiang Province in the North, the Russian Primorsky Krai Maritime Province to the East, North Korea in the East and South-East and finally Liaoning Province in the South-West. The Map depicts the rough location of Toudao Town in Green.
- Click through to see the Full Map and Details ! -
on the town of Toudao in Helong County (City) but it may have a slightly higher elevation.
Surface Area of Toudao Township: No Data available.
Urban - No Data.
County of Helong: 5069 Square Kilometers (1,957 sq mi) of which an unknown area Square is counted as urban area.
Population: The population of Helong County is estimated at approximately 220,000 (No year)(County Government website mentions 210 thousand in the year 2011). No Data is publicly available on the population of Toudao Town and/or its surrounding villages.
Toudao is surrounded by farmland in the Hailan River Valley and hills among which smaller farming villages dot the countryside.
As for tourism. No such thing exists in Toudao town. No visitors come from far away to see any of the towns landmarks, as there simply are few and at first glance, none. Although tourist laden buses may traverse the road, traveling between Yanji in the north and the popular destination of Changbai Mountain and its huge mountainous reserve in the south beyond Helong County it appears as though none of them makes stop overs at Toudao Town, regardless of its regular farmers market. As for that matter, all facilities in town including the market seem
Hilltop views of Toudao Town and the valley of the Hailan River (Hailanjiang) in which it sits (Photo's: August 2010).
to cater exclusively to local needs. The market of Toudao is as much a regular Chinese Farmers market as anyone could dream of, if it were not for the added local flavor brought in by the ethnic Koreans, many of whom reside in Toudao and in the smaller surrounding farmers villages. That said, if you happen to pass by in your car when going to or returning from Changbai Shan, the Town of Toudao may provide for an interesting and restful stop. Not only are their several restaurants in town where one could try out an original Korean style dish, the overal calm of the town may be considered soothing as compared to the noise of the City Yanji. Dwell about main street to taste the athmosphere and when your timing is correct, catch a glance of the local peasantry from the remote surrounding villages who flock about for their often weekly shopping.
Other "attractions" of the village are sparse, but one can make a brief walk about town to discover some of the now fast disappearing "old architecture" of the town, which until well after the turn of the millenium (2000 AD) consisted of Korean styled farm-houses constructed of wood and mud. Mud walls are not able to withstand the whithering climate of the regions and nowadays are no longer used, however in the first 50 years of the Peoples Republic of China this was all that simple farmers could afford and thus had to make do with regardless.
Naturally, the village market grounds consist of a large open space in the center of town. Find it just off main street.
For further explorations of Toudao Town one can climb the hilltop due north of town to enjoy the scenery of the Revolutionary Martyrs Monument, a solemn column overlooking both town and wider valley.
Head to the north-west end of the village and browse about to find the inconspicuous village Church, a Christian Church which is fairly new (no data on opening) and is still somewhat frowned upon by the larger powers within the county and Yanbian Prefecture. Although Christianity seems to be popular among the Koreans (Chaoxian) on both sides of the border and with many Han Chinese, other locals stringently adhere to the party and its line, and are thus somewhat suspicious of this "new" spiritual activity. As such, it seems
A view along the main street of Toudao Town on an average market day (Photo's: August 2010). Toudao serves as a base for taxi companies serving both the city of Yanji as well the many out-corners and villages along by-roads within the county and ever wider regions. With no ambulance services available (until recently) and few other viable modes of transportation available Taxi's serve as the main public transport and often save lives by taking people to the Hospital in Yanji City.
Photos of buildings and advertizements along the streets of Toudao Town. As one can tell from the signs there is considerable Korean ethnic presence in Toudao (Photo's: August 2010).
that the local Christian Church mainly finds it ears among the farmers women to whom it offers various forms of practical help and education. Out of necessity, the Church operates on a low profile everywhere in Yanbian Prefecture and this seems to be the case in Toudao. Most of its activities are inconspicuous and aimed at the local farmers population who do not often openly discuss its presence, especially not with outsiders. Everyone knows about what is going on though.
Perhaps the largest and most well known tourist destination within Toudao Township are the so called "Ancient Tombs at Longtou Mountain" which officially are world renowned and are revered by Korean Nationalist. Unfortunately, as far as can be told none of the existence of this world cultural heritage site goes advertised in Toudao Town, nor in fact in Yanji, the Capital of the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture. Thus,
even when in Toudao Town, unless one speaks fluent Chinese or Korean, the exact location of the Tombs are difficult to get information on. Even non-locals from other towns encounter this odd problem.
Road and path leading up to the Revolutionary Martyrs Monument which stands on a hilltop north of the town of Toudao (Photo's: August 2010).
Traditional Korean architecture in the streets of Toudao Zhen in Helong County (Photo's: August 2010).
As far as the information available can tell, the Mausoleum Site consisting of a collection of twelve Tombs used for the burial of royalty of the Balhae (Bohai) Kingdom (698 AD – 926 AD) is located on the Longtou Mountain, which supposedly is found in "southeast Toudao Township (头道镇), Helong County (和龙市), Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, Jilin, China" (Source: Wikipedia.org). In other words, it should be very close to Toudao Town. This information is however practically worthless as even with the aid of Google Maps one cannot locate the Longtou Mountain, let alone any site on it.
Upon further investigation it turns out that local schools have not and do not teach about the (complicated) history of the
Toudao. It is either that, or walk out of town.
Awaiting for a passing bus could take for ages. As it happens, this rather backward and underconnected town is the base of at least one substantial taxi company serving the city of Yanji and also the wider rural regions. To make a quick connection, find main street which runs east to west through the center of town. Follow the main street to its western end, by which time you can expect to see at least one but usually a few loitering taxi's. At most times of day one could arrange for a taxi ride to just about any destination within the county or in Yanji providing one has the finance and the ability to make clear ones wishes and final destination. As absolutely no one in Toudao seems to speak English (and certainly cab drivers do not) a fluency in Chinese is near essential. In case this skill is not available, try using a map to point out where you want to go and hope for the best. Do not be stupid and expect a taxi ride to the next Prefecture or any destination beyond Yanji. All drivers are local. It is possible to rent a Taxi for one day no doubt, again providing one has the finance.
Going rates are not available but are much lower than those in large cities. They are comparable to those within the nearest substantial city of Yanji.
BUS CONNECTIONS IN TOUDAO:
No information available.
Local Taxi's are stationed in Toudao Zhen and usually several can be found on main street where they stand out from afar due to their bright yellow color.
The Town Hall and administrative building of Toudao, just south off main street (Photo's: August 2010).
TRAINS IN THE VICINITY OF TOUDAO ZHEN:
No train connections are available in Toudao eventhough the the town sits only a short ways north of the Helong Railway Line which connects Yanji City with the County Town of Helong and beyond to Baicheng, the seat of Baishan Prefecture and the Changbai Shan Mountain.
The nearest train stations are at Longjing Town further north up the s 202 Provincial Road and the Train Station of Helong Town at a considerable distance traveling south westward along s 202 Provincial Road. Both stations are situated on the Helong Line that runs to Yanji.
VICINITY OF TOUDAO ZHEN AND RURAL HELONG COUNTY:
No tIf no Foreign visitors browse about in Toudao Town, certainly no one ventures beyond into the country side. One can however. One minor road leads west out of town whereas another one leaves the north-east corner of town to lead up north into the hilly countryside and the various minor settlements beyond. This is all rural farmland and for anyone not familiar with the area (as most are) it is easy to loose ones way once the country road starts disecting itself and also frequently has mud paths leading away from it. For steady and secure navigation one had better brought along a compass and some sort of GPS device with satellite navigation. For any first time visitor a local guide is well advised.
Head out of Toudao and take to the country roads and trails of S 202 either by use of a motorcycle, or when fit on foot. No nicycles are available for rent in Toudao Town. Possibly one could get hold of a motorcycle in the local town shop though. Get a real taste of the countryside by taking on foot to the mud paths in the countryside. In this way one can explore between the fields, enjoy any of the available natural beauties and wildlife and get down to the smallest of villages which are often populated with people who have never left this small area of Yanbian in China. Until recently connections with even the Capital Yanji were difficult and for these villages this goes double as they are often only connected to the main road by some sort of cart path or foot path. The inhabitants of the small villages dotting the hillsides rarely see outside visitors and may respond accordingly. When entering a village be sure to make friendly gestures and beware of the always available watch dogs.
area and have rather payed attention to the cause of Communist Social Education from a Chinese Point of
view. In other words, for clear political reasons the historic tales taught in school were only about Chairman Mao and the great achievements of the Chinese Communist Party, while such controversial things as the Korean Heritage and ancient and traditional heritage (of either culture) were thoroughly off the agenda. Even more so, teaching these subjects might well have been regarded as a traiterous or counter-revolutionary activity before, during and likely even after the "Cultural Revolution Era (1966 AD - 1976 AD)" leading to personal danger for everyone and anyone involved. Clearly, no such lessons were taught in the farm schools of Yanbian and so their is little or no historic awareness among the general populace of any history of the region. The saying is that "the farmer does not care for what he does not know about".
In effect this means that the Koreans, who are labeled an "ethnic minority" nationally and locally, and their distinct Korean Culture go entirely ignored. Other than the love for their food and the obligatory Korean style dresses at the most
Ethnic Korean family in Toudao Town. Eventhough in 1955 AD the Koreans made up over 60% of the populace, they were officially labeled an ethnic minority of the Peoples Republic. Today their status remains the same and their distinct culture goes purposefully ignored by the Provincial Government and others. Although not in all aspects.
formal of occasions to signify the subjugation to- and "unity" with the Motherland Peoples Republic of China, the Korean culture of Yanbian goes fairly unmentioned and apparently is not explained to the youth in schools. As a further result of this, locals raised in Toudao and surrounding villages have little or no idea of the existence of what may be considered the world cultural heritage of the "Ancient Tombs
of Longtou Mountain". Nevertheless, they should be regarded of the utmost importance, not in the least because of the political implications of the presence of these ancient Korean Tombs in what today is considered Chinese territory.
At any rate, the hard to locate "Ancient Tombs of Longtou Mountain" are supposed to cover an area of some 500 meters wide (East-West) and 400 meters long (North-South) neatly arranged facing the south and according to the directions of the compass. Inside this area are the twelve original tombs of royalty of the Balhae Kingdom (698 AD - 926 AD), the most important and renowned of these being the Tomb of the Lady Princess Jeonghyo (Chinese: Zhenxiao) constructed in the year 793 AD. Upon the excavations of this particular tomb
in 1980 it was found to contain, among other things, the first complete discovered and detailed murals created by artists of the Balhae Kingdom. No such well preserved find had been done before or has been done since. As if this was not enough, the underground burial chamber measuring 10.5 meters in height, 5 meters long and 2.6 meters wide and covered with blue-green bricks was found to contain a stele holding a complete epitaph of the Lady Princess, thus giving valuable information on the life and the regions in this early era. According to the Peoples Daily Newspaper, which published an article on the site during the 1980's: " The epitaph explains that Princess Jeonghyo (정효공주, 貞孝公主) is the fourth daughter of King Mun, the third ruler of Balhae. Princess Jeonghyo was also the younger sister of Princess Jeonghye (정혜공주, 貞惠公主).
The epitaph also recorded that the Princess died on Monday, 6 July 792, during the fifty-sixth year of the Daeheung era. She was accompanied in the burial at Ran Valley (染谷) in Xi Yuan (西原 or Western Plains) in the winter of 809 (已卯) (in the western Gregorian solar calendar this is Monday, 11th January 810 AD / In the Chinese lunar calendar this is 28th November 809). She was given the posthumous name "Jeonghyo" to qualify her as virtuous and filial. She was likely a horse-rider, as the remains of a horse were found in the chamber".
The epitaph recorded the year of death as 792. This corrected previous works such as Jin Yufu's (金毓黻) Book of the Balhae Kindgdom (渤海國志長編), which recorded 793 instead.
The skeletal remains are scattered all over the chamber when discovered by archaeologists, due to previous lootings. However, the looters missed several golden and copper items, jewellery, pottery, and figurines. Reconstruction showed that the bones belong to a woman, presumably the princess; but there is also a male, possibly an attendant or child. In addition, there is the horse skeleton.