North Slope View of Changbai Mountain
The Changbai Mountain is renowned for the top 10 mountains in China, and a National Nature Reserve in Jilin Province. The respectable leader Deng Xiaoping highly appraised after his trip, he said, “It will be a lifelong regret for not mounting the Changbai Mountain.”
Now we are in the world-fame Changbai Mountain National Nature Reserve. It was founded in 1960. In 1980, it was listed among the International Man and Biosphere Protection Net as a World Nature Reserve. In 1986, it was in the list of National Forest and Wildlife Reserve and in 2000, it was authorized Grade AAAA Tourist Site.
Changbai Mountain Nature Reserve is a nature and forest ecosystem with the Tianchi Lake as its center. The reserve covers a area of 196465 hectares and situated in the three counties of Antu, Fusong, Changbai, and is close to the DPRK （Democratic People's Republic of Korea） to the Southeast. It is also the best preserved nature reserve with the most abundant species of wild plants, and most intact ecosystem among those at the same latitude all over the world. There are more than 2540 species of wild plants and 1508 kinds of animals, among which 364 kinds are vertebra animals and 780 are insects.
The natural environment of Changbai Mountain is of complicated variety. Climate, soil and living things are changing distinctly with the rising of elevation. From its foot to top, 4 distinctive sceneries are formed because of striking change of temperature: Broadleaf Trees, the Belt of Conifers, Birch and the Belt of Tundra. At the foot of the mountain, trees are lush and flourishing, but in the top of the mountain there are no trees, no grass at all. （If we climb the mountain, it seems as if we traveled from the temperate zone to the polar zone. A poem pictures this:
The mountain experiences 4 seasons in a day,
Its temperature differs dramatically in a 10-li way.
The Changbai Mountain is a dormant volcano which has erupted three times. The 1st eruption took place in August, 1597, April 2nd, 1668 and April 3rd, 1702-over 300 years up to now. and now its geographic changes are still going on.
The magic and charm of the mountain lies in its magnificent nature vies and winter scenery with thick snow. Here you can enjoy the boundless virgin woods, vertical landscape belts, distinctive volcanic landforms and the deepest crater lake of the highest elevation in the world. The Changbai Mountain Waterfall is of 68 meters dropping in elevation with hot springs scattering densely in this are. All this shows the mountain is a charming resort you're longing for.
Now our bus is going through the green corridor, you can have a look at the beautiful view.
1.The Belt of Conifers and Broadleaf Trees at the elevation 500-1000 meters above sea level. The trees grow lush and in profusion. This place is called “the sea of trees and the plain of snow.” In some particular areas on either bank of the 二道 White River grow a special plant-Beauty Pine. Most of the 300 Changbai species of vertebrates grow here. （兽类有东北虎、梅花鹿、马鹿、野猪、黑熊等；鸟类有鸳鸯、榛鸡、大山雀等； 爬行类有蝮蛇、草蜥、松花蛇等；两栖类有中国林蛙（哈什蛙）、花背蟾蜍等。Such as beasts like northeast tigers, spotted deer, red deer, boars, and black bears; birds like mandarin ducks, hazel grouse, tomtits; reptiles like vipers, grass lizards, snakes; and amphibians like Chinese forest fogs and figured-back toads, etc. ）
2.The Belt of Conifers between 1000-1700 meters. It is moist and its temperature drops sharply. （树木以耐寒的针叶树如红松、云杉、冷杉、落叶松等为主。针叶林带常见的兽类有紫貂松鼠、棕熊等；鸟类有三齿啄木鸟、黑琴鸡等；爬行类有蝮蛇、送花蛇；两栖类有日本雨蛙、林蛙。There grow many species of trees with cold-enduring conifers as their major, including red pines, dragon spruces, firs, larches, etc. There are beasts such as sables, squirrels, brown bears, etc.; birds such as 3-teeth, wood peckers, heathbird; repitiles, such as vipers, snakes; amphibians such as Chinese frogs, Japanese hylas, etc. ）
3.The Belt of Birch which locates from 1700 to 2000 maters. The mountain is steep and it is severely cold in winter, rainy and windy in summer. （岳桦林带的兽类高山鼠兔，鸟类有山雀、柳莺等；两栖类有林蛙。There are beasts such as mountain mice and hares and birds such as mountain tit, willow warbler. And the amphibian is the Chinese frog.）
4.The Belt of Tundra distributed above 2000 meters. It lies on the middle and upper part of the volcanic cone. （高山苔原带有多年的草本地衣、苔藓等；每年六七月，太原上百花争艳，宛如美丽的天然花园。这个地带的主要兽类有高山鼠兔，鸟类的代表种类是白腰雨燕。Every year in June and July, the wild flowers are in full bloom, competing for beauty each other. Seeing the thriving mountain top garden, you cannot believe your eyes. The main animals here are mountain mice and hares and the common bird is white-waisted swift.）
Now, here we are on the peak of the mountain with a full vies of the Tianchi Lake. The lake lies on the top of the volcanic cone. It seems as if it is a shining pearl dotted on the peaks. It looks a fallen leaf in the shape of an ellipse: 4400 meters long from north to south; 3370 meters wide from east to west. The deepest is 373 meters and 2189.1 meters above sea level, and its storage capacity is 2001 billion cubic meters. Thus, it is the deepest mountain lake with the highest elevation. In addition, it serves as the border lake between D.P.R.K.
Its water is as clear as crystal. 16 precipitous peaks are standing over the lake and are taking reflections in the lake.
The beauty of the Tianchi Lake comes along with a legend. It goes like this
Once upon a time ,the Lady Queen Mother had two daughters .They were alike and beautiful .Nobody could tell who was more beautiful .One day ,at a peach immortality in Chinese mythology , god Taibai太白 presented Lady Queen Mother a magic mirror of jade .announcing that it could tell who was more beautiful ,the elder one or the younger one . As a result, the mirror judges that the younger sister is more beautiful. Naturally that irritated the elder files into a rage and then throws the mirror away. While the mirror drops onto Changbai mountains, it becomes the Heavenly Lake.
1.Baiyun Peak（2,691 meters at altitude）
Lying to the northwest of the lake , It is the highest peak in the Northeast named “Baiyun （white cloud ）Peak” which has 2,691 meters in elevation.
白云峰 2691-------天文峰2670-------玉柱峰2662------华盖峰 2640-----芝盘峰2603-----龙门峰 2595
Black Draught Gap
The Black Draught Gap is a cliff opening half way up the major peak of the Changbai Mountain .It is located on the roadside of the way to the peak. It's the best place to overlook the Erdao White River Valley and the Changbai Waterfall running down the narrow north gap of the lake. It's 500m high from the cliff to the valley bottom.
These is a gap between Tianwen Peak and Longmen Peak north of the lake .The water spills out and flows 1,250 meters northwards along Tian River and drops suddenly from the rift. It is of great momentum.Thus, the waterfall which has a drop of 68 meters is formed and is called the waterfall of Changbai Mountains. Rushing down the valley and canyon, the water looks like white skill. Local people call it “ White River”（or 二道White River）。 It is headstream of the Songhua
Now we are staying by the “Small Heavenly Lake”,which is also called the Lake of Sliver Ring.It has a circumference of 260 meters and a total area of more than 5,000 square meters. The lake is deeper than 10 meters .And the water there is perpetual.
There is also a group of hot springs in Changbai Mountains .It is hard to believe that there are tens of springs gathering in this 1,000-square-meter area. The temperature of the water is between 60 and 82 centigrade. So they are characterized by high temperature springs. And by scientific investigation, the hot springs of Changbai Mountains contains scores of beneficial minerals and can cure many diseases.
Generally according to the principles of nature, forest should grow on the ground. But it is strange that a forest grows under the cliffs .This is the so-called “Underground Forest”. The valley is 50-60 meters high and its bottom is 2500-3000 meters long from north to south. And the towering old trees help decorate the mountain range to be an attractive green world.
How time flies! Our visit is coming to an end now .And we have to say goodbye to each other .I am looking forward to your next visit to the Changbai Mountain Range . Hope you have a pleasant journey back.