Direct road and rail connections with North Korea also exists, however today these are only in use for the transport of goods and materials back and forth to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. At this time there is no LEGAL way for persons or people to cross the border from Yanbian into North Korea. All visitors to North Korea are required to travel through Beijing to Pyongyang by Air, or may enter North Korea by rail via Dandong.
The airport is situated to the south west of the city center of Yanji proper, within the "New District". The new district is situated on the south side of the Bu'Er Hatong River opposite to the city itself. The airport is situated a few kilometers due west of the Main Train Station which is situated in the same "New District". The airport itself is fairly large and modern, built for future expansions which for now are not likely to come. There is plenty of parking space. Finding a Taxi after your arrival is as easy as scoring noodles in China Town.
YANJI ZHAN - MAIN TRAIN STATION OF YANJI (YEONGIL) CITY:
The Main Railway Station of Yanji City is the only Station in the City today. It is the oldest public transportation facility in the city today and its function has only recently been partially surpassed by the fairly new Chaoyangchuan Airport of Yanji. The Train Station is situated due south of the Central City District (which is marked by the "Square of Times") on the south bank of the Bu'Erhatong River within the "new city district". In this position it lies due east of Yanji Chaoyangchuan Airport.
Naturally, how to get to the train station depends first and foremost on your location within the city. That said, adn assuming one stays in one of the Hotels in the "main" or central district on the north bank of the Bu'Erhatong River (the widest and largest river in town flowing west to east), the Station is most easily reached by traveling along Renmin Road and Gongyuan Road.
The Renmin Road (translated as "Peoples' Road") is considered the main commercial "strip" in town, although you would hardly think so when traveling along it. On the west end of (old) city center Renmin Road meets the Yan River and bridge, after which it becomes the Gongyuan Road. Follow Gongyuan road to the next major intersection (6th road, after six alleys leading south) and turn southward into Yanxi Street. This is the northernmost part of the major road leading parallel to the Yan River. Lying on the west bank, it is called Yan Xi Street (Yan West Street).
Easily follow Yanxi Street southward to pass over the modern bridge that leads across the Bu'Erhatong
Although car traffic and Yanji has increased considerably, get off the main roads and peddle away to see the Cities nooks and crannies.
opt for the local Bus Routes. For anyone not familiar with the city and unable to converse in Chinese (or Korean) the travel uptions may remain limited, but the main Bus Station for travel to the districts is situated on the western side of the main train station (right hand corner as you drive up through Station Street). Here tickets to all local stations are available. There are official bus lines and privately operated bus lines, but any will do. Just make sure you buy the ticket before attempting to baord a bus. That is the way it works.
In case your mandarin Chinese may be insufficient; try writing down your destinations before hand, and have them translated into Chinese on the same paper. Showing this to the desk clerk will help considerably, no doubt. Another way to show your wishes without falling into dispair is to make use of a (paper) Map which one can show to both the ticket office and the bus driver.
Best be on your way without any uncertainties, right?
For anyone bored with the usual and eager to get a real sense of the town, try and hire a bicycle. Yanji is still much a rural town and off the main boulevards there is plenty of space. Mind the Chinese driving style (the right of the strongest prevails!) and off you go. In this way you can zip around town on your own without delay, see everything there is to see and yet not waste too much time.
Nope, as far as we are aware there is no easy to find bicycle rent shop in Yanji, as yet. Maybe when a real tourism gets off the ground, which is unlikely as long as there are no historic landmarks, worthy modern architecture or otherwise something real to see and experience in- and around town. So far history has prevented this.
and stay on this road until it ends at the railway station. Especially in the evening you may be able to make it out at quite some distance on the far side of the wide Yanxi Street boulevard. Various hotels cater to the travelers that come and go through the Chaoyangchuan Airport and the Yanji Zhan and several of these are situated along Yanxi Street. The most luxurious of these Hotels is the Luyuan Hotel, which sits on the north end of Yanxi Street near the (new) Bu'Erhatong River bridge. Other smaller hotels with decent rooms can be found posted near adjacent the Station along Zhanqian Street, the Station road. This is also a good area to get a quick snack or bite. Several eating houses are availble to select from. The main bus station of Town is conveniently located at the west end, hotels on the north end and shops and restaurants in between.
The new Yanxi Street Bridge leading from Central Yanji across the Bu'Erhatong River to "New" District, including the Main Train Station (Yanji Zhan) and Chaoyangchuan Airport of Yanji. The new district lies on the opposite south bank. the buildings here under construction have by now been completed.
The main train connections surrounding Yanji parallel the road connections of the region. That is, the most important rail connections leads westward to Dunhua in Yanbian Prefecture and beyond to the main cities of Jilin and the Provincial Capital Changchun. Another crucial train connection leads northward, via the City of Wangqing in the north of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, to the city of Mudanjiang in south-eastern Heilongjiang Province very near the Russian Border.
A third train connection, much to the interest of Foreign visitors, is with North Korea to the east and south east. No transport of persons takes place on these railways however. Merely Chinese products and mainly North Korean raw materials travel by train across the several "Sino-Korean Friendship" bridges on the Tumen River in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture. No Chinese, and especially not western citizens travel by train from Yanbian into North Hamgyong Province of North Korea.
In addition to the main lines mentioned above, several local or regional lines provide transport to Changbai Shan, the North Korean border at Tumen or Hunchun, or various other more remote county towns and overlooked locations. Make use of these regional lines to travel freely to the main towns of
GETTING AROUND THE CITY OF YANJI PROPER:
Within Yanji City distances are fairly large. Although one can walk around and see the main landmarks within a day, this requires quite the hiking and stamina. The easiest way to get around town is also the most used way: by Taxi ! The locally most popular alternative is to travel by Bus. As is the case in just about any real Chinese city, enough bus lines traverse to city to connect everything. The only problem you may encounter is the fact that local Buses are nearly exclusively used by local citizens. No South Korean tourists, Russian traveler or other Foreign tourist is likely to seen traveling about the city by Bus. Therefor, with most people in Yanbian unable to speak the English language, there usually is a huge language barrier. Be sure to know your plan and destination, check the line numbers closely and you travel around without much problems. If you don't have a clue about the system and the destinations of the bus lines, do yourself a favor and opt for the Taxi. This however may give you the same problems. Dunces: Use a map to show where you intended to be going.
Taxi's in Yanji City:
Getting a Taxi in Yanji is not always easy during rush hour. At other times there are fewer problems. One can also rent a taxi to drive to remote county towns, although you would have to request the help of your Hotel Desk.
As Yanji is still a rural type of Chinese city with close connections to the surrounding rural countryside, Taxi fairs are generally low. In 2007 a drive to any destination within the city went for 5 Yuan. Prices may have risen slightly.
BUS ROUTES & YANJI BUS STATION:
Bus Travel within town. Make sure you know what you are doing. Otherwise, avoid it entirely as a Taxi will get you there best.
Getting out of the city and visiting one of the rural villages takes quite a bit more effort. Except for the easy but more pricy option of hiring a Taxi again, one may
Yanbian Prefecture in order to get a taste of the rural life in
Yanbian. There are more destinations than just the Changbai Shan Mountain, although locally they go completely unadvertized. One can travel to Tumen, Hunchun and a few other towns to overlook the border with North Korea and some of that State's "forbidden territory" or even get more adventurous and go in search of ethnic culture and attempt to reach the ethnic minority villages of the wider regions between Changbai Shan in the south and the city of Mudanjiang in the north. This is however truly off the beaten path. Due to historic circumstances (See: "History of Yanji" and "History of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture") even most local (originally farming) citizenry has little experience in traveling about the region.