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Introducing Shěnyáng

Take a sprawling metropolis, add packs of aggressive drivers, throw in some bad air and, depending on the season, crippling humidity or bone-chilling cold – that’s Shěnyáng at a glance. To rein in some of the urban chaos, the city recently launched an antijaywalking campaign, but that’s done nothing about the manic drivers who career along the walkways!

Yet once you navigate through the urban sprawl, traffic anarchy and challenging weather, well-preserved relics of the Manchu era hide amid the grey socialist-era buildings, as do modern museums that illuminate the northeast’s more recent history. Tranquil temples and a large botanical garden offer relief from the city’s hubbub.