Harbin is the capital of Heilongjiang Province and 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 7 months from October to April. The long winter gives birth to the famous art of ice sculpture. Harbin Ice and Snow Festival is an annual event held in Harbin. The city boasts its neat, impressive and artistic ice and snow sculptures, carvings, and buildings in parks and on frozen rivers.
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 4 hour train ride north of Harbin. Game includes bears, red deer, wild boar, lynx, otters, weasels, snow rabbits and squirrels.
Situated in a national park some 150 kilometer east of Harbin near Mudanjiang, Jingbo Lake is a volcanic barrier lake. The lake is almost 50 kilometer long and 40 m deep in places and surrounded by beautiful mountains. The stunning Diaoshui Lou Waterfall is also located nearby. During Heilongjiang's short hot summers, Jingbo Lake is a popular area for walking, boating, fishing or simply relaxing.
Harbin's Songhua River freezes over during winter and all types of winter sports are enjoyed on the frozen river. The ice melts away in spring and during Harbin's short hot summer people cross the river to reach one of northern China's most scenic spots; the resort area of Sun Island.
Primarily a scenic retreat from the city for sunbathing and relaxing, Sun Island also has swimming pools, sanatoriums, fairground rides and boats for hire, surrounded by trees and flower beds.
Yabuli International Ski Resort is 194 kilometer east of Harbin and 120 kilometer from Mudanjiang, another major city in Heilongjiang. The place used to be the royal hunting ground in the Manchurian Qing dynasty. Covering an area about 23 square kilometer, the resort is China's largest ski area with best facility, although remaining unknown to westerners.
As China's premier ski resort, Yabuli has a number of good down hill and country trails, ranging from runs for new skiers to highly challenging ones, some of which are comparable with those in North America and Switzerland. In addition, the resort has new runs being planned. Yabuli also has the longest Tobaggan run in the world. In 1996, the resort was chosen to host the third Asian Winter Games, which was proved a success. Windmill Village has normal comfortable hotel rooms and a few villas.
The resort is not only famous as a ski resort in China but also renowned for its scenic beauty. There are a large number of animals in the area, which was granted a National Park status in 1993.
© 2005 - 2011. All Rights