25-Sep-2005 -- This confluence point is located in the city of Liangshui (涼水), just a few miles from the North Korean border.
We were staying in Yanji (延吉), which is the capital of the Korean Autonomous Prefecture. This area is an interesting mix between the two cultures. Many people speak Korean, and there are plenty of Korean restaurants and Norae Bang bars (karaoke). All signs are in both languages.
Our plan was to take the train or bus to the North Korean border town of Tumen (圖們), then catch a short bus ride to Liangshui. We setoff in the morning and found out that the next Tumen bus wasn't for several hours. While pondering if we should wait or try the train, we discovered that there was a bus headed directly to Liangshui leaving in 15 minutes. The bus ride took us right next to the Yalu River (鴨綠江), which separates China from North Korea. The river is only 100 feet or so wide and it would be quite easy wade or swim across. It reminded me of the relaxed border between Canada and USA.
Getting off at Liangshui, the GPS receiver indicated that we were just a mere 0.4 miles away. This was turning out to be quite easy. We headed to the west side of town. My research indicated that the confluence point might be in the nearby woods. A Chinese website bragging about Liangshui indicated that there are black bear and wild boar in these woods. I really didn't believe this but there was still a bit of worry in the back of my mind. Walking west we ended up in a quiet residential area. The GPS receiver showed us directly abeam and north of the point. We turned left and headed south for a few minutes, and low and behold, it was right in the middle of the street.
Facing south, the hills of North Korea can be seen. Nearby are spacious homes and a few commercial buildings. Pretty flowers line the roads and in many homes red peppers and yellow corn are being dried in the sun.
We took some pictures, breathed in the quite and scenic atmosphere, and made our way towards the main road to flag down a bus headed for Tumen. Stopping in Tumen we visited the touristy North Korean border, complete with a one-lane bridge to the town across the river. It was unclear if this was a real or fake North Korean town. At the border's tourist stores, North Korean goods such as postage stamps, cigarettes, alcohol and videos could be purchased.
Happy with our success, we caught the train back to Yanji.
Pictures from my trip can be seen at http://www.stevekuo.com/china2005/