The capital city of Heilongjiang Province, Harbin, is a surprisingly friendly and easygoing city for a city of its size. Since Heilongjiang is a neighbor to Russia, Harbin houses quite a few Russian legacies and serves as an important gateway in Sino-Russian trade today.
The name of Harbin was initially a Manchu word means “a place for drying fishing nets”, grew from a small village perched on the side of Songhua River to become one of the largest cities among NE China, as well as the most important ones. Being Famous for its outstanding performance in agriculture and heavy industry, the city is also a key cultural, political, scientific and communication hub in NE China.
Harbin houses various hot tourist attractions such as Central Street, Church of St. Sophia, Stalin Park and so on. The city’s sights are as varied as the architectural styles in its old streets where you can see temples, churches and synagogues coexist. If you explore the southern part of the city, you may find a bygone Japanese germ-warfare base as a reminder of Chinese less-harmonious history.
The rich cultural heritage of China, Russia and Japan makes Harbin a popular tourist destination all around the year, however, the famous International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival makes winter the best time to visit. When winters come, the entire city would turn into a frozen yet sparkling wonderland, like the one only exists in the most crazy fairy tales.
In addition, as a representative of NE Chinese culture, almost all the Harbiners speak with a fascinating northern dialect known as “Dongbeihua” in Chinese. Dongbeihua is also mandarin but with different intonation and pronunciation.
If you are still wondering where to go this winter, why not come to Harbin to join those happy people and see the most astonishing night scene you may have ever seen?