Harbin, the renowned ‘Ice City’, is located in the south of Heilongjiang Province, the most northeastern part of China with a shape of a swan when viewed on a map. Not only for the city’s 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, and plays a vital role in communications between South and North Asia as well the regions of Europe and the Pacific Ocean.
Being the famous ‘Ice City’, 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 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 venues:
Ice and Snow World
Sun Island Scenic Area
Ice Lantern Garden Party
Yabuli International Ski Resort
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.
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.
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, the city created its unique and exotic cityscape. The majestic St. Sofia Orthodox Church and Zhongyang Dajie each built in a European style have the effect of bringing you into an ‘eastern Moscow’. 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 journey.
Besides these rich cultural heritages, this city is favored with beautiful natural scenery. Based on meandering Songhua River and subject to severe low temperatures in winter, the city boasts a unique ice and snow culture. So, it 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. The cool summers make the city highly popular as a natural summer resort. It is widely accepted that the Sun Island Scenic Resort is the best choice during a sweltering summer.
The local people in Harbin have created a very distinctive food culture which reflects the history and special geographical position of this city. However, under the influence of neighboring Russia, a number of authentic western food restaurants have been established here. This coming together of Chinese and Western flavors will definitely fulfill your appetite.
Every year, vast numbers of visitors flock to this city and the city has adapted itself to meet the needs of this great influx of tourists. Convenient transportation by air and water can ease your journeys and ensuring a comfortable way of either getting to or around the city. A large number of star-rated hotels with good services await you here.
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