Where Civilizations Once Clashed

You'll be hard-pressed to find Ji'an in any English-language guidebook on China. Nestled deep in the mountains dividing China and North Korea, the capital of the ancient Koguryo kingdom—that stretched from Siberia to Seoul in its 5th century heyday—has always been insular. Even today, reaching this historical jewel of China's Jilin province is no easy task. From Beijing it means an overnight train to the Manchurian sprawl of Shenyang, then another eastward to the industrial city of Tonghua, followed by a gut-churning hour in a taxi via the hairpin turns and dense forests of the precipitous peaks of the Changbai range....

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