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Harbin Travel Guide

Harbin City, the famous "Ice City" in northeastern China, is located in south of Heilongjiang Province. Not only for its special position, but also as the center of Heilongjiang's political, economic, educational and cultural life, Harbin City is described as the pearl beneath the swan's neck. Lying on the east of the Songnen Plain, what is more, it plays a vital role in communications between South and North Asia as well the regions of Europe and the Pacific Ocean.

Facts of Harbin

Harbin City (哈尔滨市)

Area: 53,068 Square Kilometers
Population: 9,748,400
Area Code: 0451
Zip Code: 150000

Location: in south of Helongjiang Province

Nationalities: Manchu,Han, Mongolia,Korean


Before you visit a city, it is always useful to know at least a little of its history. It was the birthplace of Jin (1115-1234) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties, the latter of which had a very considerable influence on modern Chinese history. At the end of the 19th century, Russia built the terminus of the Middle East Railway here. Later, more than 160,000 foreigners from 33 countries migrated to this place, promoting the development of a capitalist economy in the city.

Harbin was a small fishing village on the Songhua River the name means “where the fishing nets are dried” until world history intervened. In 1896 the Russians obtained a contract to build a rail line fromVladivostok through Harbin to Dalian, and the town’s population swelled. 
More Russians arrived in 1917, this time White Russian rcihgees fleeing the Bolsheviks, and many stayed on for the rest of their lives. In 1932, the city was briefly captured by the Japanese forces invading Manchuria, then in 1945 it fell again to the Russian army, who hold it for a year befbre Stalin and Chiang Kaishek finally came to an agreement. 
The city reverted to the Chinese, though when the Russians withdrew, they took with them most of the city’s industrial plant. Things haven’t been totally peaceful since - Harbin was the scene of fierce factional fighting during the Cultural Revolution, and when relations with the Soviet Union deteriorated, the inhabitants looked anxiously north as fierce border skirnfishes took place. 
Not surprisingly, the city used to be nicknamed “Little Moscow”, and though much of the old architecture has been torn down and replaced with sterile blocks and skyscrapers, the place still looks a little like the last thread- bare outpost of imperial Russia. Leafy boulevards are lined with European- style buildings painted pastel shades, and bulbous onion domes dot the sky- line. It’s possible to eat in Russian restaurants, and the locals have picked up on some of their neighbour’s customs: as well as developing a taste for ice cream and pastries. 

Top things to do in Harbin

Enjoy the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival

Harbin Ice & Snow Festival is held between the 5th of January and the end of February every year. Ice Lantern Garden Party is the other appealing destination in this city that is equally wonderful as the Ice Lantern Garden Party despite their different characteristics.

Visit the top attraction in Harbin City

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 this city 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 local peopel in this city. It provides an enthralling destination which abounds with history, attracting tourists from home and abroad. The other places you must-visit are: the Sun Island, Zhaolin Park, Jile Temple,St.Sophia Church,etc.

How to get there ?

By Air

As of August 1st, 2015, foreign visitors from 51 countries can enjoy the 72 hours visa-free transit policy when transiting in Taiping International Airport. Harbin Taiping International Airport is the second largest international airport in Northeast China. There are airlines leaving for more than 30 medium or large cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and so on. Besides, regular international air services are available between Harbin and foreign cities, such as Blagoveshchensk, and V ladivostok of Russia in Far East, and Seoul in Korea.

By Train

Harbin is the second railway conjunction next only to Shenyang in Northeast China, and the cross of the five railway lines such as Beijing-Harbin, and Harbin-Sufenhe Harbin has two railway stations: Harbin Station and Harbin Eastern Station.

By Highway

Four national highways lead to all parts of the country: 102 national highway, 202 national highway, 221 national highway, 301 national highway. Waterway-Harbin harbor is one of the eight freshwater harbors and the largest freshwater harbor in the northeast of China. Its courses spread all over Songhua River, Heilong River, Wusuli River and Nen River, and communicated with some ports of Russia, arriving Japan, Korea, Southeast of Asia. Now it has Passenger transport Port and Freight Port. 

When to go ?

Heilongjiang enjoys a temperate continental climate. The annual average temperature ranges from -5℃-5℃, descending from south to north. Winter is long and bitter. The temperature averages from -31.5 ℃to -15℃ in January. Summer is short and cool with an average temperature of 18℃-23℃ in July. The annual rainfall is between 400mm-650mm, mostly concentrated in summer. 

Travel Tips

Local Specialties: Russian Dolls, Northeastern Tirana, Fangzheng Paper-cut, Harbin Knit Embroiders, The handcraft picture of Wheat straw 
Local Food: Old Dingfeng Cake, Crisp Pastry, Fried Beijing-style Tripe with Pine Nut, Aired Sausage, Smoked Salmon, Catsup bone, Flying dragon soup, Flying dragon soup, Beiqi Fenggu

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