I had a week-long placement in the capital city of Liaoning province, and while I looked forward to this, I didn't really know what to expect. It turned out great!
Shenyang is about 625 km / 390 miles northeast of Beijing. I got there late Saturday afternoon, and even before landing on a runway, I noticed that the local environment wouldn't be anything like what I saw in China so far. Once the plane made its way through a thick layer of clouds, it revealed a wavy, saturated green landscape dotted with industrial facilities as far as one could see. I was thrilled to take a closer look at all that.
The city welcomed me with pleasant outside temperatures and nice weather in general.
I was lucky to get a neat hotel, which tempted me to kick back and relax in a comfy bed; however, I was ready to do some exploring! "Nice hotels are all over the planet, whereas Shenyang is only one, only here," I thought and just tossed my backpack into my room and headed out. While I looked up some of Shenyang's points of interest in advance, I had nothing for this neighborhood. But from the hotel, I saw a local heating plant coined with an elegant concrete smokestack, so the first stop was suddenly clear.
After the heating plant, I just opted for my favorite strategy: let the streets dictate my direction and observe as many details of local life as I can. The area had an interesting mix of brand new, shiny housing estates contrasting with old blocks of flats; some streets didn't even have pavement, others were filled with big Audis and BMWs, another with rickshaws and roosters.
I even got the "kick back and relax" thing. Only more of an authentic version, I guess.
The sun quickly descended, changing the city's atmosphere into a different world.
With the darkness, people went out to exercise, eat, shop, watch an outdoor movie screening.. you name it.
I returned by the riverside to witness pretty sunset colors above the cityscape. Good stuff!
There was a spot from where I anticipated a nice view, but while trying to reach it, I nearly stuck my head into a net with several good-sized spiders.
This made me think twice about where to climb, what to touch, what to taste.. Still, the riverside offered an abundance of scenery to enjoy – so the hours flew by.
As the day was gradually coming to its end, the intensity of my excitement had increasing tendencies. It reached the pinnacle when I found this gem:
While I kept going for a bit longer, I eventually got back on track to home. Here are a few photos I took along the way.
As of the first impression, Shenyang did exceptionally. And the following days were no less interesting – read about them in separate posts here.
If you liked this article, you might also enjoy my previous stories about Chinese cities:
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