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.