Jilin, China

Position of Jilin in China
ProvinceJí lín 'lucky forest'
Short name
Population24.073 million (1.70%) [24th] comparison table
Area187,000 km2 [72,201 mile2] (1.95%) [13th]
GDP51,141 (4.92%) [26th]
NeighborsLiaoning Heilongjiang North Korea Inner Mongolia Russia
Others or just click on the map
Beijing Tianjin Shanghai Hong Kong Xinjiang Tibet Qinghai Gansu Inner Mongolia Heilongjiang Jilin Liaoning Yunnan Sichuan Guangxi Hainan Taiwan Guangdong Guizhou Chongqing Ningxia Shandong Fujian Zhejiang Shaanxi Shanxi Hebei Henan Hunan Hubei Jiangxi Anhui Jiangsu
Jilin, Changchun, lake
South lake park, Changchun city, Jilin Copyright © Dreamstime see image license

Jilin is part of ‘Manchuria’ the north-eastern region of China. The name ‘Jilin’ comes from the Manchu word for the Songhua river ‘Jilinwula’. It was part of the ancient Korean kingdom of Goguryeo before Jilin was conquered during the Chinese Han dynasty but was sparsely populated until the 19th century. Jilin reached its greatest geographical extent during Qing dynasty times, the lands east of the Wusuli (Ussuri) River on the north Pacific were under its control, including Hǎishēnwǎi (Vladivostok) and even Sakhalin island to the north of Japan. These lands were given up to Russia in the Amur Annexation (1858-60). Rapid industrial development began under the Japanese occupation when it was part of the kingdom of Manchuguo (Manchukuo WG) 1933-45.

Jilin, Rime island, ice
Rime Island, Jilin in Winter

Places to visit in Jilin

Changchun, Jilin's largest industrial city, is famous for its car and truck factories. It has the former palace of the last Qing emperor Puyi who was set up as Manchuguo's ruler and is now a museum; at this time Changchun (meaning Eternal Spring) was known as ‘Xinjing’ (New Capital). The Buddhist Banruo Temple stands to the north-east of the center. Some of the central and University buildings date from the Japanese occupation.

church, Jilin, religion
Church in Jilin.
Image by Lzy881114 available under a Creative Commons license .

Jilin City to the east of Changchun is important for industry - three large chemical plants were built in 1949. It is also the site of the Wenmiao Confucian Temple. Beishan Park to the west of Jilin City has several temples. It has a notable Catholic church. Perhaps its most unusual attraction is a Meteorite Museum that houses fragments of a meteorite that fell in 1976, some fragments weigh 2 tons [1,814 kgs]. The ski resort at Songhua Lake attests to the cold winter weather in the province. It is also renowned for the frost covered trees which are produced when ice droplets form from the mist (called shugua) created by a nearby hydro-electric plant.

Jilin, Changbai, waterfall
Waterfall, Changbai mountains, Jilin

Ji'an on the Yalu River was the capital of the Korean Goguryeo kingdom and is now the border crossing into North Korea. There are tombs and other remains as evidence of the old Korean kingdom and ethnic Korean people predominate. The General's Tomb at Ji'an is a monument dating to the Han dynasty.

Jilin, Changbai, lake, view
Crater lake, Tian chi on the border of China and North Korea

Lake Tian (Heavenly Lake) is a scenic spot in the far south. It is an old volcanic crater lake and straddles the border of Jilin with North Korea. The Longtan Deer farm is a popular tourist attraction nearby. Tianchi is within the Changbai (forever white) mountain range which has thick snow cover in winter. The mountainous terrain and forests are still home to snow leopards and tigers. This area produces considerable quantities of the medicinal herb ginseng.

Jilin, Changbai, tree
Forest in the Changbai Mountains, Jilin

Jilin Geography

The mountainous south eastern region that borders North Korea is home to a high proportion of Korean ethnic people. Jilin province has a very cold winter climate but in the north-west lies a plain of rich agricultural land producing much corn and soy beans. It also has fine pasture for sheep and cattle. Around Tonghua in the south east the mountains provide ideal conditions for growing vines.


Changchun Longjia International Airport 长春龙嘉国际机场 CGQ IATA / ZYCC ICAO
The airport has 1 terminal and is located 19.3 miles (31.0 kms) from Changchun. Live Flight information , rank in China 31
International Links to :Japan Korea
See map of location Changchun Longjia International Airport
Yanji Chaoyangchuan International Airport 延吉朝阳川国际机场 YNJ IATA / ZYYJ ICAO
The airport has 1 terminal and is located 3.7 miles (6.0 kms) from Yanji. Live Flight information , rank in China 65
See map of location Yanji Chaoyangchuan International Airport


Jilin University

After re-organization in 1948 the Shenyang site was chosen for the North-eastern Administration College. It became Jilin University in 2000 after merging with other local higher education establishments. It covers all the main disciplines but is renowned for engineering subjects and natural sciences.. Undergraduates: 43024, Postgraduates: 24021, International students: 1272, GP World ranking 455
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Jilin Climate

Climate Chart for Jilin
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Major CitiesPopulation
Changchun 4,193,073
Gongzhuling 140,909
Jilin City 1,881,977
Liaoyuan 465,249
Shuangliao 386,844
Siping 555,609
Tonghua 510,000
Yanji 326,957

City populations for 2012, Province statistics National Bureau of Statistics 2014

See also