- Sunny island Harbin
- Gardens and parks
- Harbin landmarks
- Shopping in Harbin
- Children's rest
- Delicious points on the map
In 1898, another station appeared on the Chinese-Eastern Railway under construction. They called it Harbin, and the rails went further. Over the past one hundred and a half years, Harbin has grown noticeably and turned into an important transport hub, the center of Heilongjiang province and home for ten million inhabitants of the Celestial Empire. Due to the fact that the city was founded by Russian builders, the architectural style characteristic of Siberia still prevails in the old districts. After the revolution, many Russians moved here, and they also contributed to the development of the city. Today, the administrative center of Heilongjiang province is actively developing tourism, and guests who come here have something to see and where to go. There are museums and several theaters in Harbin, a Botanical Garden is laid out, an ice sculpture festival is regularly held, and the Yabuli ski resort in the vicinity gave the city the opportunity to claim the title of the winter tourism capital of all China.
Sunny island Harbin
Eastern philosophy and principles of arranging the surrounding space are based on close interaction between man and nature. Despite the industrial boom, great attention is paid to nature conservation in China, and in every city there are certainly places where the whole family can go and be outdoors on weekends. The famous park in Harbin is called the Sun Island and it is here that both residents and guests of the city flock at every opportunity.
The forest park zone Solnechny Ostrov is located on the northern bank of the Sungari River and on several small islands. You can get to the park by water public transport (dragon boats and speed boats) and by cable car.
There are many opportunities for active and contemplative recreation in the Sunny Island Park:
- Jiangxindao Beach is the best place for sunbathing and swimming in summer. The beach has all the necessary infrastructure.
- In the Garden of Flowers and Lakes in 12 sectors corresponding to the signs of the zodiac, various varieties of ornamental shrubs and flowers are planted.
- In the Animal World zone you will find the Deer Garden with spotted inhabitants, Swan Lake with majestic birds and Squirrel Island inhabited by tame squirrels.
- In the Ice Garden, you can admire the works of the participants of the festival of snow and ice sculptures. Cold masterpieces are installed in a covered gallery with a special microclimate and are available for viewing at any time of the year.
- The two-story Cloud and Water Pavilion in the center of the Lake of the Sun is dedicated to the friendship between China and Japan. This park area is designed in the style of a typical Japanese garden with wooden bridges.
If you felt nostalgic and irresistibly wanted to eat a plate of dumplings or buy a nesting doll, in the southern part of the Island of the Sun you can fulfill all your desires in a la russe style. In the so-called "Russian district" of the park, you will find shops, restaurants and souvenir shops of the appropriate content.
Gardens and parks
Another park popular with tourists is named after Stalin. It was opened in 1954 and dedicated to the emerging strong friendship between the USSR and the PRC. The park stretches in the form of a wide ribbon along the banks of the Sungari River and at first it was often flooded during spring floods. The townspeople have built dams and now in the park to them. Stalin can come to Harbin at any time of the year. In the center of the green zone there is a shopping alley with souvenir shops and a memorial complex dedicated to the builders of the dam. It is called the Monument to the Victors of the Flood. The column marks the level observed in the year when the water rose to the highest level in the history of the city. The bust of Stalin is also present in the park, as are numerous plaster sculptures of runners, discus throwers, swimmers and other athletes. The 1.5-kilometer alley of roses, fragrant with the onset of each spring, reminds of a flower garden, built at the dacha of a friend of all Soviet children, built on Lake Ritsa in Abkhazia. Stalin's park hosts many events, festivals, exhibitions and performances.
In the Harbin Safari Park immediately after opening in the 90s. of the last century, only eight tabby cats lived, and today their population has increased tenfold. The park is divided into several zones, each of which is dedicated to its own theme. In Harbin Tiger Park, you will see an incubator where newborn tiger cubs are raised, a department with adolescent kittens, an area with African lions and a sector where adult tigers live. Some areas of the park are accessible for inspection only on special cars plying in the habitats of huge graceful predators. On the territory of the Safari Park, a museum has been opened, the exposition of which acquaints visitors in detail with the peculiarities of the behavior of tigers and the history of their breeding in captivity. It was in Harbin that Chinese biologists succeeded in making positive progress in their work on restoring the population of the northeast tiger, which was included in the lists of endangered animals several decades ago.
A city of many faiths, Harbin boasts a large number of places of worship. The list of the most interesting buildings for tourists usually includes:
- Iberian Church is the oldest Orthodox church in Harbin. Built at the beginning of the twentieth century. in the pseudo-Russian architectural style and served until its closure by the pantheon of Russian military glory. The temple was consecrated in honor of the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God on Officer's Street, and at present, activists of the Russian Club in Harbin are trying to restore both the temple itself and the services in it.
- The Church of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos was erected in Harbin in 1930 in the neo-Byzantine style. The church is the only Orthodox church in the city where both Russian and Chinese parishioners pray together.
- In the Sophia Cathedral, which appeared in Harbin in the first third of the last century, an architectural museum is open today. In the collection of exhibits, photographs and models of historic buildings in Harbin occupy a special place. Saint Sophia Cathedral is one of the largest Christian cathedrals in the Far East region. Its height is about 50 m.
- The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the largest Catholic church in the city. The building was erected in 1906 and the church suffered a lot during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Today the long-suffering temple was returned to the diocese and after repair and reconstruction it became operational again.
- Harbin Cathedral Mosque was built in 1897 in the Arabian architectural traditions. In the 30s. XX century it was reconstructed and today the mosque is protected by the state in the list of especially valuable architectural and historical objects.
- The largest Buddhist complex where you can go in Harbin for those wishing to learn Zen, is located in the Nangang region. The building dates back to the 1920s. last century and its name Jile in translation from Chinese sounds like "the temple of the highest joy."
Other attractions in Harbin include the Heilongjiang Provincial Museum. The exposition is located in a building where at the beginning of the twentieth century. the "Moscow" store was located. The halls display more than 100 thousand items that tell about the past of the region, starting from the prehistoric period. Among the exhibits are samples of silk fabrics found in the burial place of Emperor Qi from the Jin Dynasty.
At the Huangshan Memorial Cemetery, you can visit the burial places of famous writers and artists of Russian Harbin.
Dragon Tower is not just a TV tower and meteorological center, but also the location of an observation deck, from where magnificent views of the city open.
Shopping in Harbin
The city's best department store is on the main street. In 1997, it was put at the disposal of pedestrians and now you can walk along the cobblestone road in anticipation of an interesting and varied shopping. Department store "Central" has a huge assortment of goods - from electronics to silk and sable furs. In the department store, you will find ginseng, specialty Chinese tea, cultured pearl jewelry and a variety of apparel and footwear, including world famous brands.
Little tourists go to Harbin with pleasure. In the city, you can go to the zoo, the Flower and Bird Park, and the children's park, and each of them is perfect for a family holiday. A full day outdoors - what could be better for a young traveler?
The city zoo is one of the ten largest in the country. Here you can get acquainted with representatives of the animal world of the Far Eastern region - tigers, Asian elephants, monkeys and rare birds. Animal shows are held in the park on weekends in summer.
A favorite place for all visitors to the Bird and Flower Park is an aquarium with outlandish fish of various colors and sizes. During the flowering of fruit trees, it is especially pleasant to be in the park, and therefore spring is the best time for family photo sessions.
Harbin Children's Park was built in the middle of the last century and its main attraction is the railway for young visitors. A train with seven carriages runs through the park. In the role of his carriage drivers and conductors are excellent students from Harbin schools. For guests in the park, there are pastry shops, cafes and ice cream vending machines.
Delicious points on the map
Classic Chinese cuisine is not the only assortment of restaurants in Harbin. In the city, you can go to Russian, Italian, Thai, Mongolian, French and any other restaurant if the culinary traditions of the Middle Kingdom are alien to you.
At a place called 45 yuan, you have to eat whatever you order. For the rest on the plates, you will have to pay a fine. However, the abilities of the local chef give the waiters almost no chance to get rich.
An assortment of purely Chinese dishes awaits visitors at Golden Hans, Dragon and Dongfang Jiaozi Wang. All three restaurants are located in the center and are popular with lovers of different varieties of noodles and Chinese dumplings.
In the Huamy restaurant you will find a wide variety of dishes. The restaurant's menu, consisting of dozens of pages, includes not only the traditional for the Celestial Empire food from everything that flies, crawls, grows and moves, but also pasta, pizza, cabbage soup, and Caesar, which are quite familiar to Europeans.