Harbin is the capital
Heilongjiang Province, which
borders Russia in the north. Situated in the middle reaches of the
Songhua River, it is a busy river port. With several highways and
railways converging at Harbin, the city is an important
transportation hub in northeastern China.
Harbin used to be a fishing village, and its name, in Manchu
dialect, means drying fishnets. Unlike most provincial capitals in
China, it has a very short history. Harbin was incorporated as a
town in 1898. Since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949 it
has rapidly evolved into an industrial city.
The Sonhua flows through the city from west to east, providing an
ideal place for summer swimming.
Winter is cold and long there, usually lasting seven months from
October to April. The long winter gives birth to the famous art of
The Sun Island is one of northern China's most scenic spots and is
famous throughout the country as a resort. The island is in the
Songhua River and contains many sanatoriums, villas, pavilions and
kiosks surrounded by trees and flower beds.
HUNTING GAMES AT TAOSHAN
The hunting Ground at Taoshan (Peach Mountains) is China's first
hunting ground opened to foreign tourists. Located at the western
foot of the lesser Xing'an Mountains, it covers more than 49,410
acres of vast virgin forest, and is only a four-hour train ride
north of Harbin.
Game includes bears, red deer, wild boar, lynx, otters, weasels,
snow rabbits and squirrels.
These are held in Zhaolin Park in January and February every year.
Ice-carvings of a great variety are displayed. In the evening, the
whole park is lit with lanterns, and the glittering ice-sculptures
turn it into a shining crystal palace.