Russian Tourists Flock to Yanji

Update: 2013-10-06

Residents from China's neighboring country are touring China, more specifically Yanji, thanks to the addition of a flight that connects Russia to Yanji. The Yanji Airport reported a large number of many Russian visitors during the National Day holiday. The Yanji-Vladivostok flight opened this year, making access to Yanji easier for Russian residents.

"I used to spend seven to eight hours on a bus coming to Yanji. The flight has made things much easier," said a female Russia tourist, who was stopping in Yanji for a few days.

The nonstop flight officially launched May 22 and runs two times a week. It reduces the commuting time between the two cities to less than one hour. The flight uses A320 airplane, which has 138 economy class seats and 12 first class seats. The ticket is priced is 2,000 Yuan ($333).

"Road transportation used to be the only means of commuting between Yanji and Vladivostok, which was time consuming and inconvenient. The flight greatly meets the needs of travelers between the two countries," said Zheng Quan, Yanji deputy mayor.

Yanji sits in the east of Jilin province and adjacent to Russia, the ROK, the DPRK and Japan. It's one of the major transfer stations for tourists in the Northeast Asian region. Russian tourists are drawn to the city recently and its natural scenery, local Korean customs and low consumption costs.

Statistics showed more than 200,000 Russian tourists visited Yanji's Yanbian prefecture in 2012, up 30 percent from the previous year. Instead of flocking to Huichun city, more Russians are coming to Yanji for shopping and recreational purposes.

More Russians are visiting Yanji as China-Russia trade increases. They can often be seen on Yanji's streets and some local merchants also put up Russian logos to drum up business. More than 8,000 Russians will stay at hotels in Yanji during the New Year’s Day this year.