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Benxi

Benxi is a prefecture-level city located in the Liaoning Province of China, south-southeast of Shenyang. Population: 1 567 000.  It was founded as a metallurgical center in 1915. Benxi Iron and Steel Company ("Bengang") is the largest employer in the city, and used to be the 4th largest steel company in China. The second largest industry in Benxi is coal mining. In the old days Benxi had pollution problems due to steel production and coal mining. As steel and coal production slows down in recent years Benxi's pollution problem is no longer as severe.

During the disaster of Air France flight AF447, Benxi Iron and Steel Company lost 5 employees, including the executive Chen Chiping who was the wife of Liaoning's provincial governor. The countryside surrounding Benxi has beautiful mountains, lakes, rivers and limestone cliffs around Guanmenshan Forest where the trees acers turn bright red in Autumn.

Tourist Activities
The Benxi Water Cave National Park, applauded as the "longest underground water tunnel in Asia", was formed 5 million years ago, allows visitors to enjoy spelunking and boating. The cave is so vast its entrance harbors an underground wharf, docking up to 40 guide boats. The boats silently drift through the illuminated cave revealing a weird world of stalagmites, stalactites, and bizarre rock formations that would cause even Salvador Dali to gasp. Guides accompany each boat.

A river 3,000 meters long, 2 meters deep and wide enough for 20-30 boats, is found flowing through this cave 35 km from downtown Benxi. The cave is also filled with countless stalactites and stone flowers, pillars and curtains.

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