Most people come across the city of Dandong because it’s the last stop in China before entering North Korea. Dandong is actually a very interesting small-sized (for China) city with a great mix of Korean, Manchu and Han cuisine and a lot of things to do.
But it is certainly most famous for being the largest Chinese city on the border with the DPRK, and it is from here that many of our Pioneers will leave China at the start of their tour.
Dandong is great for a visit of course, from exploring the ‘Broken Bridge’ which was bombed by the US during the Korean War, visiting a North Korean supermarket or just tasting everyday life on this border river.
In 2017, we opened the YPT Dandong office with a great view of the Amnok (Yalu) River from the window!
So, how do you get there?
Overnight Train from Beijing
The K27/K28 train from Beijing is the daily overnight service that takes 13 hours and also works as the first half of the Beijing-Pyongyang train. Hard sleepers are comfortable, food is available and it gets you into Dandong bright and early! Catch a glimpse of the train in this video.
High Speed Rail from Beijing
If you don’t like the idea of an overnight trip, the fast train gets you from Beijing South to Dandong in only just over 6 hours, with two trips a day to choose from. You can then spend a night in a hotel and be fresh for the train to Pyongyang the next morning!
Other Train Services
There are of course regular trains from other cities in the northeast of China, such as Shenyang, Dalian, Changchun and Harbin. And there is also a high-speed train from Shanghai Hongqiao!
At present Dandong Airport is closed for runway enlargement, which will last until late 2018. When it reopens again there may be a more regular service between Dandong and Beijing.
In the meantime, the regional hubs of Shenyang and Dalian offer good connections with Beijing and beyond in China, as well as international flights from Japan and South Korea for example. Then you can hop on a fast train and be in Dandong in only a couple of hours or from Shenyang airport; there is even an airport bus that takes you directly to Dandong in three hours.
Ferry from Incheon, South Korea
Another interesting option is to arrive in Dandong on the overnight ferry from South Korea! We don’t recommend the 4th class option of “multiple” people to a room, but six-person and four-person cabins are affordable, and if you book far enough in advance you might be able to get the VIP two-person cabin. YPT can book your ferry from Dandong to Incheon for after a tour, but be aware there are only ferries in this direction on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
YPT can provide support for any train tickets, flights and ferries as required, just ask your sales agent for help
Book a Dandong Day Tour with YPT on its own or as an extension to any DPRK Tour.
Check out our range of ultra budget DPRK tours which all start and finish in Dandong
Or join our Borderlands road trip along the China-DPRK border which starts in Dandong!.