Harbin is the capital of Heilongjiang Province. The city is about 110 years old and is the biggest city in the northeastern section of China. Being the famous “Ice City” Harbin attracts numerous visitors from both domestic and abroad. If your Harbin tour starts in winter you will be happy to enjoy the annually Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in the city. On the other hand, Harbin is also a city featuring beautiful European-style houses and combined both Chinese and foreign cultures.
The beautiful Songhua River runs through the city and brings with it endless beauty and fertility. Situated in such a central area of Northeastern Asia, Harbin is a vital hub and is often called a pearl in the Eurasia Land Bridge.
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Best Season of Harbin Tour
Harbin is located in the most northeastern region of China. The city influenced by the continental climate a lot. Harbin has long cold winter and short cool summer. In winter, Harbin is extremely cold with the temperature of -14.2C. While weather in spring and autumn in Harbin are changeable, sometimes there will be some rain during daytime. Autumn and spring is the transition season, they will be very short on time. Though December to February is very cold in Harbin but it is the best time to visit this ice city since there will be beautiful snows during these months and Harbin Ice and Snow Festival will be held in winter. If you could not stand the low temperature July to September is also good time for your Harbin Tour.
Time Zone: East 8 time zone
Clothes and other Staffs to Pack
It is no wonder that travelers should take enough warm clothes in winter for the fierce cold weather in Harbin. Down jacket is the first choice and thick sweater, snow boots, gloves and warm hats are all necessary. As for spring, better take the same cloth with winter since it may be cold as winter in sometime. Summer is cool in Harbin. Prepare T-shirts, skirts and shorts. An umbrella is a good choice to prevent from the hit of the sudden rain. Big temperature difference will appear in autumn, remember to take a coat in this season. Temperature in early morning and evening will be low.
Accommodation of Harbin Tour
Harbin has almost one hundred star rating hotels in service for the travelers. Hotel ranging from five stars to three stars are all available in the city. You can also find some budget hotels associated with Youth Hostel. All the hotels include some budget hotels are completely facilitated and with elegant designation, even you are stay in a small hotel the services will also be great. It is recommended that visitors make reservation in advance in the tourist season.
Traffic: Ways to Get in Harbin
--Harbin Taiping International Airport is the second largest airport in Northeastern China at present. It is located about 33 kilometers away from Harbin City. There have flights depart to almost fifty domestic and international countries, including Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Xian and Hong Kong, etc. Cities within America, Russia, Korea, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia can also be reached by scheduled flights. Flights to Frankfurt, London, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York are all available.
--There are two railway stations in Harbin, Harbin Railway Station and Harbin Eastern Railway Station. Travelers can take trains to Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Jinan, etc in these stations.
Internal Transport: Travelers can take city bus, trolley bus and taxi in Harbin to get around. Take a city bus is the most convenient and economic way for Harbin tour. Most of the buses provide service during 06:30 to 19:00 every day. There are two special tourist routes operating between 07:00 to 19:00 daily. If you want to have more privacy take taxi is a good choice in Harbin. According to the brand of the taxi the price is also different. The price of them is about seven RMB.
Harbin Tour Tips
Time: Better avoid the period from May 1 to May 7 and October 1 to October 7 because there is long national vacation in China, it will be so crowd in Harbin and also all around the nation, so pick a good time outside that.
Food: Influenced by Russia, Korea and Mongolia, Harbin cuisines are usually fumigated, stewed or pickled in sauce. Dishes in Harbin are saltier and served in a much larger amount than other cities. Food materials in vegetables are often used for ingredient, cucumber, cabbage, corn and potato are often in use. Barbecue and hot pot are also popular in Harbin. Dumplings are the must-taste snacks in your Harbin tour. Famous local dishes are Pa Qietiao, Xiaoji Dun Mogu, Zhurou Dun Fentiao, shredded chicken fried with bean curd, stewed pig’s elbow, Old Dingfeng Cake, crisp pastry, fried Beijing Style Tripe with Pine nut, aired sausage, smoked salmon, Khleb, smoked sausage, flying dragon soupm, vermicelli and Jiang Gujia, etc.
--Some local restaurant to recommend:
Lao Du Yi Chun Dumpling Restaurant (No.25, Xishisandao Jie, Dao Li District)
Harbin Wu Ji Lao Hao Jiu Lou (No.208, Xidazhi Jie, Nan Gang District)
Da Feng Shou (No.283, Yiman Jie, Nan Gang District)
Lao Shang Hao Sha Guo Ju (Lao Shang Hao Casserole)
Wuji Jianggu Duncai restaurant
Dongfang Jiaozi Wang Restaurant
Yanchuan Meishi Restaurant
Water: Tap water in the hotel could not be drink directly.
·What to buy?
Three Treasures in Northeast China are really worth to buy in Harbin. They are Panax, Pilose antler and marten.
Panax is ginseng grows on the mountain of Harbin and pilose antler is the basic rare Chinese traditional medicine and health care products.
The fur of the marten is used for cloth. It is popular cloth materials in North part of China.
Moreover, Russian Dolls, Fangzheng paper-cut, Harbin Knit Embroiders and the handcraft picture of wheat straw are all nice goods to keep as a souvenir. As for food, black fungus, mushrooms and dried fruit are popular in Harbin, too.
·Where to buy?
Russian style food and ornaments in Harbin can be purchase in the commercial areas such as Central Street and Guogeli Street. Here are more department stores and shopping centers in Harbin to recommend:
Lane Crawford (No.167, Zhongyang Dajie, Dao Li District)
Grand Shopping Center (No.373, Guoheli Dajie, Nangang District)
Harbin’s No.1 Department Store (No.118, Shitou Dao Jie, Daoli District)
Harbin Parkson (No.222, Zhongyang Dajie, Dao Li District)
Festivals and Customs
·Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival will be held in December and it will last for one month. The festival is listed in one of the world four ice and snow festivals. During the festival, visitors can not only enjoy the beautiful snowy scenery, but also participate in a sort of sports on ice. Among them, the annual winter swimming draws a good many visitors. The highlight of the festival is the ice lantern and snow sculpture exhibition.
·Harbin International Fair for Trade and Economic Cooperation is an annual fair in Harbin. It will be held in June from 15th to 21st every year. The economic development of Heilongjiang Province and the surrounding provinces of northwest China are promoted enormously by this renowned international fair.
·Harbin Summer Music Concert is a traditional event in Harbin. It will be held in 6th to the 15th on August. A large number of visitors from both home and abroad are attracted by this world famous pageant held once every two years. Travelers can see many colorful performances during the festival.
Recreation in Harbin
Go sightseeing, shopping and wandering in the night market are all good ways to relax in Harbin. Although night is little colder than daytime, entertainment in Harbin is still flourishing. No matter young or old, travelers can always find something they like in the city. Famous local shows like Eren Zhuan (a song-and-dance duet popular in the Northeast of China) and opusculum could be found in Liu Laogen Grand Stage on Zhongshan Road, Nangang District. Bars and clubs are also popular among young people in Harbin.
--Here are some good ones to recommend:
Barbizon Western Food Bar (No.207 Guogeli Avenue, Nangang District)
David’s Camp Music Bar (No.299 Guogeli Avenue, Nangang District)
USA Barker Bar (No.166 Central Avenue, Daoli District)
Golden Ocean KTV (No.63 Min’an Street, Daoli District)
Fair Point KTV (No.112 Changjiang Road, Nangang District)
Qianshoufo International Recreation Club (No.125 Yiman Street, Nangang District)
Red Leaf Club (No.91 Min’an Street, Daoli District)
Sugar Club (No.2 Manzhouli Street, Nangang District)
Coco Club (Changjiang Road, Xiangfang District)
Bruce Bar (No.259 Liaohe Road, Nangang District)
Must-see Attractions of Harbin Tour
Harbin Ice and Snow World: Harbin Ice and Snow World is the largest and snow art exhibition in the world so far. First set up by Harbin Municipal Government in 1999 it is commonly be regarded as the most art attractions, the most beautiful night views, the most recreational activities and the most forms of entertainment in Harbin city. Travelers can see ice carvings in the park and they are also being regarded as some of the world's finest examples of ice art. Moreover Harbin Ice and Snow festival will be held in the park every year. One of the highlights for any visitor to the festival is to visit the site at night when multicolored lights set underground illuminate the sculptures. That will be the most beautiful scenery you have ever seen in Harbin.
Saint Sophia Cathedral of Harbin: The Cathedral in Harbin city is a Russian-styled church. It is a beautiful Russian Orthodox Church in the city. Situated in Tou Long St in Daoli district at the heart of Harbin, this church was originally built for use by the Russian army. Saint Sophia Cathedral is the largest Orthodox Church in Far East. Nowadays, Saint Sophia Cathedral has become the symbolic architecture of Harbin. In November of 1996, it was listed as one of the Key Cultural Relics under State Protection.
The Sun Island Scenic Area: The Sun Island Scenic Area is a famous scenic spot even in the world. It covers a total area of 38 square kilometers and is characterized by the simple and wild landscape. It's a wonderful fairyland for townsmen to have a camp, bath and picnic. The Sun Island together with some smaller islands and sandbars constitutes the Sun Island Scenic Spot. It's a good summer resort for traveling and relaxing. There are more than ten characteristic places are built in the scenic spot, such as, mount Sun, the Sun Lake, the Water Lily Lake, the Sisters Bridge, the Bridge with a Pavilion, the White Jade Bridge.
Yabuli International Ski Resort: The Resort is located about two hundred kilometers away from Harbin city. It is the argest and best ski resort in China right now. In this resort there are usually 150 days good for ski all year round, starting from mid-November to next late-March. The ski resort has two sections: one for competition, another for leisure. At present, Yabuli Ski Resort has become the biggest training centre for alpine skiers and the mountain hosts of many professional skiing competitions in China.
Siberian Tiger Park: Siberian Tiger Park is located on the southern Songhua River and close to the famous summer resort Sun Island in Harbin. Siberian Tiger Park consists of Adult Tiger Garden, Cub Garden, and Popular Science Exhibition Hall. Adult Tiger Garden is the world’s largest wild garden devoted to protecting the endangered Siberian Tiger. In the garden, there are 30 wild tigers. In the Cub Garden, there are more than 40 cubs under 3 years old.
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