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Harbin Travel Guide

Harbin

Harbin was just a tiny town in China's northeast for hundreds of years until at the end of the 19th century the Russians decided Harbin's Frozen Beauty they wanted to build a railway from Moscow to Vladivostok. The railway was laid in 1896 when the Chinese government 

was forced to grant Russia a concession at Harbin, which quickly grew to dwarf the old Chinese town. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, thousands of White Russian refugees crossed the Black Dragon River, better known in the west as the Amur River. At one stage around 160,000 foreigners from 33 countries were living in the city and they set up well over 1,000 companies, including China's first beer brewery in 1900. The city soon became known as the "Moscow of the East," and at only seven days train journey from Paris was proud to know the latest fashions well before Shanghai or Hong Kong.

Harbin comes alive in the winter sculptures and buildings rise up out of the ice that grips the city. Snow, ice castles and a frozen river it's a glittering spectacle that's well worth the risk of a little frostbite.

If you tell a Chinese person you're going to Harbin, they'll most likely shudder and encourage you to alter your plans: "Too cold," they'll say. Despite that, it's not too cold for the three million people who live in this city perched up in far northeastern Heilongjiang Province. Tradition has it that China is shaped like a rooster, Heilongjiang being the head and Harbin the eye and the city retains important unique features and a peculiar charm that you won't find anywhere else in the country.

Memorable Experiences

Wandering down Central Street and stopping at a Russian café for a coffee and croissant.

Watching everyone walking on the frozen Songhua River, flying kites, skating, having horse rides and buying an ice cream from an open box laid on the street.

On approaching the Ice Lantern Festival, realizing that the castle you can see is made entirely out of ice, and big enough that you can enter it.

Top Harbin Tours

9 Days China Religious Tour

  • Tour Code: CRT10
  • Days: 9
  • Destination: Beijing-Harbin-Zhengzhou-Kaifeng-Luoyang-Shanghai

From USD
$1791

Summary: A tour to experience China's Jewish history and Jewish culture.Tour from Beijing to Jewish Community in Harbin, Kaifeng, Luoyang and Shanghai..

9 Days Harbin Ice Carnival and China Spring Festival Tour

  • Tour Code: CIC08
  • Days: 9
  • Destination: Harbin-Beijing

From USD
$1177

Summary: Enjoy the Chinese New Year carnival in Beijing and the 2015 Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival in shivering Harbin. The ice festival starts on January 5, 2015 and the new year day falls on February 10..

3 Days Harbin Snow and Ice Festival Tour

  • Tour Code: HIF03
  • Days: 3
  • Destination: Harbin

From USD
$481

Summary: Harbin International Snow and Ice Festival, a winter pleasure for all adults and children. Book your Harbin Holiday packages with China Holidays now!.