1 The Imperial Palace, Shenyang

Pre-empting Beijing’s Forbidden City, this was the historical seat of the Manchus before they seized the capital.

2 Old Yalu Bridge, Dandong

Walk halfway to North Korea on this structure, bombed by the US during the Korean War.

3 Puppet Emperor’s Palace, Changchun

The second act of the “last emperor” Puyi’s life was played out here, where he was installed by the Japanese as leader of Manchuria.

4 Changbai Shan

The northeast’s loveliest nature reserve – see the crater lake and root around for wild ginseng, though beware of North Korean border guards.

5 Winter ice festivals

Most Manchurian metropolises have one, but Harbin’s is the biggest and best, with illuminated ice sculptures that tower higher by the year.

6 Russian architecture, Harbin

Harbin’s a great summertime destination, too, with local beer guzzled by the truckload around the city’s beautiful Russian buildings.

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