Harbin

General Information of Harbin

Interesting in Harbin

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Location: 53,068 Square Kilometers Harbin, with a total land area of 53,068 square kilometers, is located in southern Heilongjiang Province, on the southeastern edge of the Songnen Plain. The Harbin city center also sits on the southern bank of the middle Songhua River. Neighbouring prefectures of Harbin are Yichun to the north, Jiamusi and Qitaihe to the northeast, Mudanjiang to the southeast, Daqing to the west, and Suihua to the northwest. On its southwestern boundary is Jilin Province.

 

Population: 9,748,400

 

Features of Harbin City

 

Being the famous "Ice City" in northeastern China, Harbin attracts visitors from home and abroad by the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival it helds each year. It is a happy carnival which provides visitors a whole new world of ice and snow. The festival usually begins from January and last for over one month. The best collections of ice artworks are mainly exhibited in the following five places:

 

Harbin Ice and Snow World

 

Ice Lantern Garden Party

 

Sun Island Scenic Area

 

Yabuli International Ski Resort

 

Zhaolin Park

 

The ice and snow are Harbin's greatest attraction. Multicolored ice lanterns, vivid ice and snow carvings and exciting ice sports will be sure to bring you lots of fun. If you wish to enjoy the great fruits of nature and wisdom, please come to the Ice Lantern Festival held between the 5th of January and the end of February every year.

 

Harbin Ice and Snow World is the other appealing destination in Harbin that is equally wonderful as the Ice Lantern Garden Party despite their different characteristics. From the third festival in 2001, the site of Ice and Snow World has been relocated to the western zone of Sun Island.

 

Culture of Harbin City

 

Not only for its special position, but also as the center of Heilongjiang's political, economic, educational and cultural life, Harbin is described as the pearl beneath the swan's neck. Lying on the east of the Songnen Plain, what is more, Harbin plays a vital role in communications between South and North Asia as well the regions of Europe and the Pacific Ocean. Even though you are sure to be attracted by various exotic buildings, the Dragon Tower which embodies the wisdom of the Chinese people is a must on your Harbin journey.

 

Besides these rich cultural heritages, Harbin is favored with beautiful natural scenery. Based on meandering Songhua River and subject to severe low temperatures in winter, Harbin boasts a unique ice and snow culture. So, Harbin is also called the 'Ice City'. Each winter fantastic sculptures created from snow and ice, ice lanterns and exciting sporting events attract thousands of visitors from home and abroad.

 

Attractions of Harbin

 

1. Central Street (Zhongyang Dajie)

 

Known as the 'Eastern Moscow', Harbin has always been regarded as a unique and exotic city. The most exotic place in Harbin is Central Street. As a new comer to Harbin without any idea of where to go, be sure to start your journey at 'Central Street'. This long corridor of European architectural art is the pride of every Harbin. It provides an enthralling destination which abounds with history, attracting tourists from home and abroad.

 

2. Harbin Ice and Snow World

 

Harbin Ice and Snow World is by far the largest ice and snow art exhibition in the world. It is commonly referred to as possessing four of the key 'mosts': the most art attractions, the most beautiful night views, the most recreational activities and the most forms of entertainment.


Furthermore, the festival in Harbin is constantly evolving and each year brings with it a new theme, providing visitors with a totally unique experience from one year to the next. The ice carvings at the Harbin Ice and Snow World are regarded as some of the world's finest examples of ice art, with visitors able to admire some of the largest and most majestic ice-sculpted masterpieces.

 

3. St. Sophia Church

 

St. Sophia Church in Harbin is the largest Eastern Orthodox Church in the Far East. It is 53.3 meters (175 feet) high and occupies an area of 721 square meters (0.18 acres). It is a respectable landmark for Harbiners and for tourism.

 

4. Yabuli International Ski Resort

 

The Yabuli International Ski Resort in Harbin, the biggest and best ski resort in China, is 200 kilometers (124 miles) east of Harbin and 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Mudanjiang in Shangzhi City, Heilongjiang Province. The resort provides great skiing with high mountains and good snow. Local skiers enjoy the high elevation and the fact that the snow is neither too hard nor too powdery. Doing skiing on the slide is easy and safe, bringing visitors a thrilling experience.

 

Nightlife in Harbin

 

Although night is much colder than daytime in Harbin, the locals enjoy their rich and colorful nightlife just the same. Maybe this in part contributes to the many recreational facilities in this city, ranging from tranquil tea houses to noisy KTV.

 

Nobody should fail to see the night view of the Ice City. Strolling along the exotic Zhongyang Dajie with buildings in different styles, you will find the soft-painted buildings quite alluring and even more charming and fascinating by night.

 

Harbin Food

 

Although it is not included in the Chinese Eight Cuisines, Harbin cuisine still has its own specialties thanks to its special geographical position and long history. Local cuisine of Manchu mixes with Shandong Cuisine and exotic Russian cuisine, to give the important components of the existent Harbin cuisine, even the Heilongjiang cuisine.


Like the warm hearted and straightforward locals, the Harbin dishes tend to feature hot and dense, strong flavors. Even then the original flavor is still maintained as few spices are used.

 

Based on traditional cooking skills and local materials, a series of famous banquets was invented by the locals of Harbin. Of the banquets the most well-known is the Fly Dragon Banquet, best prepared by Harbin International Restaurant. The others include Mountain Delicacies and Wild Delight Banquet, Hedgehog Fungus Banquet and Flavor of North China.

 

Shopping in Harbin

 

Panax, pilose antler and marten are regarded as the 'Three Treasures' of Northeast China by the Chinese. Panax and pilose antler of a young stag are the basis of rare Chinese traditional medicine and health care products, whereas the fur of the marten is used for clothing. These can all be bought in Harbin at very reasonable prices.


A commodity that is not only a nourishing food but also a rare herbal medicine is the hedgehog fungus, another popular product of Harbin. For those who enjoy fish as part of their diet, Harbin has an excellent supply of locally caught, salmon, sturgeon, mandarin fish, bream and crucian carp. You will find all these goods quite easily in Harbin's supermarkets and department stores.

 

Harbin Travel Guide

 

1. City-bus: The most convenient way of visiting in and around Harbin is via the extensive bus network with more than one hundred bus routes reaching all parts of the city. Usually, the starting time of these buses is between 05:00 and 06:30, and run until between 19:00 to 21:30. Most of the buses are self-service, so you have to prepare enough small changes before boarding.


2. Trolleybus: No.117 is the only trolleybus route remaining in Harbin at present and runs between Harbin Infectious Disease Hospital and Qinjin Lu, passing Xiangfang Dajie, Harbin Normal University, etc. Working Hours: 06:00-20:30

 

3. Taxi: During your Harbin tour, taking a taxi is the best way to save time in your journey without time limit. Overall, the price of Harbin's taxis is a little higher and is according with logo of the car. Usually, the taxi with a Xiali logo is CNY7 for the first three kilometers (about 1.86 miles) and then CNY1.6 for every additional kilometer. The flag-down rate of a taxi with the Jetta logo is CNY8 for the first three kilometers and CNY1.9 for each additional kilometer. The price of a taxi with the Chery logo is CNY7 for the first three kilometers and the distance surcharge is CNY1.9 per additional kilometer.

 

4. Ferry: At present, six ferry lines are in operation, four of which sail to Sun Island. You can take these ferries respectively at Jiu Zhan, Tongjiang Jie, the Flood Control Monument and Dao Wai Qi Dao Jie between 08:00 and 17:00.

 

China Travel in Harbin

 

The ice and snow are Harbin's greatest attraction. Multicolored ice lanterns, vivid ice and snow carvings and exciting ice sports will be sure to bring you lots of fun. If you wish to enjoy the great fruits of nature and wisdom, please come to the Ice Lantern Festival held between the 5th of January and the end of February every year.

 

Electrically powered buses operating on routes 101, 103 and 114 will take you to the Harbin festival's destination for which the entry fee is CNY10 before 15:30 and CNY 30 after that time. Harbin Ice and Snow World is the other appealing destination in Harbin that is equally wonderful as the Ice Lantern Garden Party despite their different characteristics.

 

From the third festival in 2001, the site of Ice and Snow World has been relocated to the western zone of Sun Island. No.88 and No.118 buses can take you there and a tourist special route operates between 9:00 and 22:00 daily. Moreover, established in 1985 and held annually from January 5, Harbin Ice Festival is China's original and greatest ice artwork festival. 

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