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Home Travel in Heilongjiang Harbin-The Ice City
Harbin-The Ice City

(hā ěr bīn 哈尔滨) is a sub-provincial city and the capital of the Heilongjiang (hēi lóng jiāng 黑龙江) Province in Northeast China. It lies on the southern bank of the Songhua River (sōng huā jiāng 松花江). Harbin is ranked as the tenth largest city in China, serving as a key political, economic, scientific, cultural and communications center of Northeastern China.

Harbin is originally a Manchu word meaning "a place for drying fishing nets". Harbin bears the nicknames "The Pearl on the swan's neck" because the shape of Heilongjiang resembles a swan, and "Oriental Moscow" or "Oriental Paris" for the architecture in the city. Harbin is also known as "Ice City" for its long and cold winter. This city is most famous for its beautiful display of ice sculptures in the winter.


Harbin was the birthplace of Jin (jīn 金) (1115-1234) and Qing (qīng 清) (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 Harbin, promoting the development of a capitalist economy in the city. The economy and culture of Harbin achieved unprecedented prosperity at that time and the city gradually grew into a famous international commercial port. Assimilating external culture, Harbin created its unique and exotic cityscape.

Under the Koppen climate classification, Harbin features a humid continental climate with hot, humid summers and very cold winters. Harbin's nickname of the "Ice City" is well-earned. Its winters brutally cold and at times windy, as the average monthly high in January only reaches −12.3 °C (10 °F). However, the city is dry and sunny during winter. Both spring and especially fall constitute short transition seasons. Summer is very warm, with an average monthly high temperature in July soaring to 28.0 °C (82 °F). The annual precipitation, at 524 mm (20.6 in), is heavily concentrated from May to September, as evidenced by July's total of 142.7 mm (5.62 in).

In legend, she is a resplendent pearl under the neck of the swan; On territory, she is a dazzling oriental star. With the torrential Songhua River around her strong and vigorous body, and with a long history, she enjoys the reputation of “Oriental Paris”, “Oriental Moscow” and “Ice City”. This is a city both old and young; This is a palace where oriental and occidental culture mingled with each other in perfect harmony.

Songhua River Tourist Zone
Songhua River
Harbin is an enchanting city with natural beauty and the Songhua River winding through it. The most beautiful natural scenery is found along the Songhua River in the northern part of the city, extending some 10 kilometers.

Sun IslandOn the south portion of the river, three parks (Nine-station Park, Stalin Park and Dawai Parkall connected to the other), form the longest park along a river in China. On the north side of the river is the Sun Island (tài yáng dǎo 太阳岛) Tourist Zone. Three big bridges have been built over the river. While taking a river cruise, you will surely be attracted by the beautiful flowers, swaying willow trees, and the magnificent towers and pavilions on both sides. The banks of Songhua River and the island found in the middle are ideal natural tourist attractions and sun bathing areas. The lofty Commemoration Tower of Victory over Flood, the flying Songhua River Road Bridge, the exquisite River Club, the magnificent circular Labor's Stadium, along with skillful art carvings in Stalin Park and constructions with childhood color all make the Songhua River look much more supple and graceful and appealing.

Dragon Tower
Dragon TowerThe Dragon Tower---the broadcasting television tower of Heilongjiang Province, is located in the high and new technology development zone of Harbin. The first steel tower of Asia is 336 meters high, like a dazzling jewel inlaid on the earth of Longjiang.

The dragon collects many kinds of comprehensive functions, including the transmission of television of radio in the tower, go sightseeing, in a body advertisement propagate, food and beverage amusement, scientific and technological paradise, wireless communication, environmental meteorological observation and monitoring,etc. , and become new significant view of Harbin, well-known city of northern part of the country, that has enjoyed the reputation of "eastern Moscow "and even Heilongjiang Province . Scientific and technological paradise behaviour area is located intower flat basement and tower 2 , roam leisurely on Hi-Tech and front line science world with glamour space limitless, let you enjoy oneself so much as to forget to go home; MTV photography recording canopy will help you to realize the colored star's dream ; Ten thousands of square meters share space, reach richly spacious and lightly, transparent and make eyes comfortable; the transparent lift on tower turns on the domestic beginning; Arrive 181- metre-high visit layer, gaze far into the distance everything , step on transparent glass fibre reinforced plastic floor just like strolling among the clouds ; 185-meter-high revolving restaurant, adopts the domestic first getting straggly platform, view and food &beverage melting each other, bring up the new concept of food and beverage of port of Harbin; Dragon advertising exhibition locating inside and outside of the tower, show corporate image, " gold stage" of enterprise promoting product sales.In addition, the Dragon Tower is the best place that travel and shopping, recreation getting happy, the recreation square of the Dragon Tower is the new developing pleasant world in the city.

Address: NO.178, Changjiang Road (zhǎng jiāng lù 长江路), Nangang District (nán gǎng qū 南岗区), Harbin
Admission Fee: CNY 155
How to go: You can take bus NO.7, 71, 112, 204, 23, 203, 209 to get there

The Window of Eurasia
The window of eurasiaEurasia window lies in Xuefu No.4 street (xué fǔ sì dào jiē 学府四道街), Nangang (nán gǎng 南岗) district,covers an area of 320,000 square meters, it is another modernized park taking world-famous view as view following World Park of Beijing.
This park is in the pinewood growing green and fresh,with the pure and fresh air, the environment is beautiful. To build structure break the traditional way of building garden,adopt the famous tableland type from west countries to build garden, make Disney castle, Paris Arc De Triomphe, Dutch windmill, Russian cathedral, African straw cottage,Southeast Asia log cabin,etc. dozens of foreign country characteristic building and natural scene set off each other, combine organically. Garden is divided into European street, Asian-Africa district, sports and keeping fit district, quiet recreation district,etc. eight major scenic spots, still thereare Swan Lake, peacock garden, square of dove of peace, court and golf course . In here, visitors can browse through forest style and features and world scene without going out.This Ice and snow Festival takes "new century-winter interesting"as the theme, combining closely the existing Europe type building view in the garden, relying on the topographical ground form, here will become the best skiing in the paradise and the closest to urban area . Park villa district Europe guest room and dance hall, dining room, billiards, bowling, swimming pool that style fit up, serve for visitorsing offer the overall one to come to the garden for holidays, let you enjoy the happiness of four seasons in one day.
We can take No.83 No.336, No.64 bus and get off at politics and law cadre school bus stop. Park ticket is 20 yuan an adult,10 yuan 1.0m-1.4m-high children ,it is free children under 1.0m high,10 yuan old people of 60 and upwards holding certificate, is free old people of 70 and upwards to holding certificate.

Admission Fee: CNY 10
How to go: You can take bus NO.336, 83, 63, 19 to get there

Saint-Sophia Church
Saint Sophia Church
It locates at No.95 Tou Long (tòu lóng 透笼) Street Dao Li (dào lǐ 道里) District and belongs to First class Preserved Building.
Being put into construction in September 1923 and completed on November 25th 1932. The church reflects Byzantine architectural features with 721 square meters in area and 53.35 meters in height. It is the largest Orthodox Eastern church in Harbin. Russian style domes、 Rome style arch high windows and many combinations of different architectural arts all embody the special fascination of the church. Now the church has become a bright spot in the architectural art sceneries of Harbin. In 1996 it was designated as Harbin Architectural Art Gallery. Everyday it attracts lots of tourists and local people to come here for visiting、relaxing and taking pictures, it is getting more and more attention both from home and abroad.

Admission Fee: CNY 25
How to go: You can take bus NO.1, 2, 13, 15, 64, 66, 113 to get there

Central Street
Central Street
Originally built in 1898, it was called "Chinese Street". The street is rich in history and famous for different shapes of architectures along the two sides. Central Street is 1.450 meters in length and 21.34 meters in width of which 10.8 meters is motor way .It is said that the built-in square stones are very precious.
Being put into construction in September 1923 and completed on November 25th.1932. The church reflects Byzantine architectural features with 721 square meters in area and 53.35 meters in height. It is the largest Orthodox Eastern church in Harbin. Russian style domes, Rome style arch high windows and many combinations of different architectural arts all embody the special fascination of the church.Now the church has become a bright spot in the architectural art sceneries of Harbin. In 1996 it was designated as Harbin Architectural Art Gallery. Everyday it attracts lots of tourists and local people to come here for visiting、relaxing and taking pictures, it is getting more and more attention both from home and abroad.

Address: NO.54, Da An (dà ān 大安) street, Dao Li (dào lǐ 道里) District, Harbin
How to go: You can take bus NO.53, 113, 114 to get there 

Safari Park of Northeast TigersSafari Park of Northeast Tigers
The park, covering an area of 1.2 million square miles, is located on the northern bank of the Songhua River. It is the largest wild natural park in the world for the northeast tiger. A special tour car allows you to linger through groups of tigers and appreciate the adventurous and exciting scene. The biggest group of Northeast Tigers of China are raised and trained here.

Admission Fee: CNY 50

How to go:
You can take bus NO.85 to get there

Ice and Snow Festival
The "Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival" is one of the world's four largest ice and snow festivals, along with Japan's Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada's Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway's Ski Festival.

Ice and Snow FestivalGrand World of Snow and Ice
The Grand World of Ice and Snow is the dragon-head brand of the ice and snow festival.The 3rd Grand World of Ice and Snow will move to the north band of the Songhua River,to the west of the Sun Island.The park is a rectangular one with 700 meters in length from east to west,and 300 meters in width from south to north.
It will take the "flying Great dragon and thousands of galloping horsses as the main theme,presenting the unique glamour of the ice and snow art to domestic and foreibgn tourists,making use of the features of ice and snow,by way of multi-dinensional presentation methods,with combination of humane scenes and natural landscape,combination of concrete and abstract contents,and combination of enjoyment and recreation, Emphasis will be put on the traditional Chinese history and culture and rich glamour of the city with brand new creative ideas,artistic presentation,mass participation,and recreation of the grand world of the ice and snow.The Grand World of Ice and Snow will ge divided into 4 Ice and Snow Festivalzones of activities and 10 theme scenery zones.Totally 80,000 cubic meters of ice and 120,000 cubic meters od snow will be used.The site will take an area of about 300,000 square meters.
Every November, the city of Harbin sends teams of ice artisans to the United States to promote their unique art form. It takes more than 100 artisans to create ICE!, the annual display of indoor Christmas-themed ice carvings in Nashville, Tennessee; Kissimmee, Florida; and Grapevine, Texas.
Ice-lantern Exhibition
Ice-Lantern Exhibition is Harbin's traditional activity. It lasts from January to late February every year with Zhao Lin Park as its designated location. Ice-lanterns can date back to ancient times. It was said that some fishermen made rough and simple ice-lanterns made of ice just for lighting. With the time passed, ice-lanterns embodied their cultural features and artistic fascination gradually. The making of ice-lanterns and ice sculptures started in the 1960s, the shape
and color were very simple, but the kind of man-made crafts really enriched people's life. In recent years, with the progress of science and technology especially the rapid development of electronics and optics, the making techniquesIce and Snow Festival and process are becoming more and more advanced and complicated. Modern lightings、 acoustic and other electronic equipment have been widely used. Varieties and shapes have been increased from simple ice anterns to attractivel and vivid ice-sculptures、ancient architects、world marvelous spectacles and life like figures. All the ice- lanterns give people endless enjoyment and appreciation.

At night, the decorated ice-lanterns are brilliant and colorful. Strolling in Zhao Lin Park and viewing the fine ice gatherings with grotesque shapes and gaudy colors, all the visitors can hardly praising the craftsmen's fine skills and the advanced technologies in modern society. Now, Ice-lanterns enjoy high reputation in the world. Harbin citizens are very proud of them.

Food of Harbin

foodThe cooking culture of Harbin diet may well be rich and colorful, there is sediment of the cooking culture of Jing Yuan Dynasty through the ages, there are wild foods of local characteristic delicacy from mountain too, there are results from modern plural cultural exchanges, these have formed unique culture of food and beverage in Harbin, as the flavor of Harbin, its characteristic can summarize as "appear beautiful in being sincere, contain quintessence in being rough ".

The introduces of some special features snackfood
Harbin big bread (dà liě bā 大咧巴)
Called Palestine also, known as a special skill of Harbin, it is the unique flavor food in Harbin. The large such bread is round, it is weigh 2.5 kilograms, taste is special and fragrant, and have traditional European flavors. The big bread after making, the crust is burnt and fragile, the interior flesh is soft, perfume is unique, should preserve, it is the all-ages instant food.
Laoding Feng cake (lǎo dǐng fēng diǎn xīn 老鼎丰点心)
It is the famous cake of Harbin. The moon cake is the most famous, loose and favorable, fine and smooth soft, smell unique, and the characteristic of putting pensioning for a long time but perfume particularly.

Jingzi brand pine nut litter stomach (jīng zì pái sōng rén xiǎo dù 京字牌松仁小肚)
Meat products of Zhengyang floor of Harbin is unique flavor. Mainly render palatable with the fragrance of the pine nut, the color is overflowing in fragrance after cutting, fertile but not oiliness. Because of using the mug bean starch, therefore the transparency is good, delicate and whippy; it is thin and not breaking to pieces.

Aside from Zhongyang Street(zhōng yāng dà jiē 中央大街), the biggest commercial street is Guogeli Street, where the government has recently organized several streets around themes. There is a street for children (clothing and toys), women (clothing), and, bizarrely, Indians. The Indian street features some saris, but little else from the Indian subcontinent is evident here. The shoppingChurin Department Store (qiū lín bǎi huò 秋林百货), located in an immense green baroque-style building on the north side of Dong Dazhi Street (opposite the main post office), was once one of the largest department stores in East Asia. The first floor is where you'll find Harbin's best dalieba-- heavy circular loaves of crusty bread -- and Russian-style red sausage(红肠),which you can take for a picnic in the nearby Children's Park. A few blocks west, at the intersection of Dong Dazhi Street (dōng dà zhí jiē 东大直街) and Hongjun Street (hóng jun1 jiē 红军街), is the Hongbo Shichang (hóng bó shì chǎng 鸿博市场) one of the largest underground markets in the Northeast. The market is set up inside an old air-raid shelter, located underneath the former site of the St. Nicholas Church (destroyed by Red Guards in the 1960s), and offers everything from fur hats to black-market video games.

Have a good time in Harbin!