Harbin Travel Guide
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.
Wandering down Central Street and stopping at a Russian cafÃ© 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.
- Tour Code: CRT10
- Days: 9
- Destination: Beijing-Harbin-Zhengzhou-Kaifeng-Luoyang-Shanghai
- Tour Code: CIC08
- Days: 9
- Destination: Harbin-Beijing
- Tour Code: HIF03
- Days: 3
- Destination: Harbin