Heilongjiang Province, also known as Hei, borders Russia in China’s northeasternmost region.
Heilongjiang’s topography consists mainly of mountains, plains and wetlands, with the Greater Khingan in the northwest, and the Lesser Khingan in the North. The Sanjiang Plain in the northeast and the Songnen Plain in the west are part of the Northeast Plains, the largest in China.
The province has a typical moderate-zone continental climate with significant temperature differences between day and night. Its winters are especially cold and snowy, so be sure to keep warm when visiting this place this time of year!
Heilongjiang, the birthplace of Jurchen civilization, has a long history. Today, ancient remains of the Great Wall section built by the Jin Kingdom still stand. This region was also an important central location of the Balhae in the Tang Dynasty. Ancient relics of the mysterious Balhae still lie on the bank of Jingpo Lake.
The region is home to diversified folk customs, including the Northeast China dance, a traditional local song-and-dance duet and Northeastern China’s 18 Oddities, representing the unique customs of many minor ethnic groups including the Elunchun, Hezhe and Mongolian peoples.
Heilongjiang Province comprises 12 prefecture-level cities and Greater Khingan prefecture, including Harbin, Qiqihaer, Heihe, Daqing, Yichun, Hegang, Jiamusi, Shuangyashan, Qitaihe, Jixi, Mudanjiang, and Suihua.
Harbin, known as the “world of ice and snow,” is decorated with ice lanterns and sculptures during the Ice and Snow Festival. Nicknamed the Oriental Moscow, it is home to beautiful Russian-style architecture and Russian restaurants serving delicious food.
The Sun Island has attractive and scenery and is home to the Sun Island Ice and Snow Art Museum, the world9s largest museum of interior ice and snow art.
The Sophia Cathedral is the best- preserved- Byzantine building in China. The huge bulb-shaped dome is splendid, and reminds us of Moscow’s Vasily Cathedral, bringing an exotic atmosphere to the region.
Siberian Tigers Park
Siberian Tigers Park has over 1,000 pureblood Siberian tigers (also known as Northeast Tigers) of various ages. In winter, these tigers standing out against the white snow provide a dazzling sight.
Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival
Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival are held for the whole December every year. During the Festival, one can view the beauty of ice lanterns and snow sculptures, appreciate the ice and snow performance gala, and observe the large winter swimming competition.
Ice and Snow World
In winter, Northeast China is covered with ice and snow. Skilled craftsmen use their wisdom and technique to sculpt the most magnificent forms out of the ice and snow.
Harbin Ice Lantern Gala
The Harbin Ice Lantern Gala starts on January 5th every year. In the hands of artists and skilled workers, ice is transformed into exquisite and vivid works of art. The famous ice lanterns are known as fairy tales that can never be told again.
The Mudan River has marvelous and beautiful scenery. The tranquil Jingpo Lake, just like a pearl, reflects the most brilliant rays of light. Suifenhe Port is an important Russia- China border trade port with exotic landscape.
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The winding Jingpo Lake is attractive and tranquil, containing many islands of various sizes. The famous eight scenic spots there appear like eight dazzling pearls.
The Underground Forest is a red broadleaved pine forest in the underground karst caves formed by volcanic eruptions. The forest is dense, with many wild plants and animals, such as the Chinese Merganser and Heilongjiang Red Lotus.
Diaoshuilou Waterfall produces crashing rapid currents during the rain and flood seasons. Rainbows are formed by the water crashing onto the rocks below. The waterfall has a similar formation as the Niagara Falls and is the world’s largest basalt waterfall.
Sanggyeong Yongcheonbu Site, Capital of Balhae
Sanggyeong Yongcheonbu, Capital of Balhae, was a famous big city in the Middle Ages, with just a few relics remaining to this day. The best preserved of these is the Xinglong Temple, which boasts wonderfull ornaments. It looks splendid in the sunshine, and allows one to recall the glorious history of the region.
Weihushan Resort was the first film amusement complex in Northeast China. It was built by copying the ancient Hailin City and the scenes depicted in the novel Tracks in the Snowy Forest. Jiapigou Village is the major scenic spot in the complex and represents the mountainous villages of Northeast China.
Suifen River Port
Suifen River Port is located on the border between Russia and China. It is one of the most beautiful border ports in the country. The region’s river, magnificent border gate, and bustling Russia-China trade area, make up unique and exotic landscape.
Ice and Snow World
Chinese Snow Town - Hailin
The snowy period in the region lasts seven months and brings the highest volume of snowfall in China, giving it the nickname “China’s Snow Town.” Notable features such as the Snow Town Movie Amusement Park’s Gangster Habitation, Horse Race Course and Wood Cottage make up an exotic cultural atmosphere.
Yabuli Ski Resort - Shangzhi
Yabuli Ski Resort, nestled in a dense snowy forest amongst magnificent landscapes, is the largest ski resort in China. Its alpine ski trails are the longest in Asia. It also has a loop cross-country ski track and special tracks for snowmobiles and sleds.
Chinese Snow Valley - Wuchang
China’s Snow Valley was formerly known as Dongsheng Forest Farm. It covers 14,654 hectares and lies on the northern slope of the mountain peak housing the Chinese Snow Town. Average winter snowfall reaches 1-3 meters and continues for about seven months every year.
Wetlands and Lakes
Qiqihar - Zhalong Natural Reserve
Zhalong is a famous rare bird reserve. Particularly well known for being the home of a large crane population, it has earned the nickname of “Crane Village.”
Mishan - Xingkai Lake
Xingkai Lake is located on the border between Russia and China. Its rare primitive wetland makes it the ideal destination for photographers. The lake is actually made up of two lakes, the smaller appearing gentle and tranquil dotted with boats, and the larger appearing huge and magnificent.
Baoqing - Yanwo Island Wetland
Yaowo Island is the most well-preserved swamp wetland ecosystem in China. Its huge reed marshes, many birds and white water caltrop flowers present beautiful Northeastern China landscape.
Dorbet - Amuta Mongolian Style Island
Amuta Mongolian Style Island has fertile land and clean water. The white Mongolian yurts of different sizes are arranged in perfect order. The touching Mongolian music and delicious roast sheep attract many tourists.
Tongjiang - Jiejinkou Hezhe Ethnic Village
The Hezhe ethnic group is the minority group with the smallest population in China. The square-shaped Jiejinkou Village is home to the tile-covered houses of Han style. Hezhe people have long been hunting and fishing along the Amur, Ussuri and Songhua Rivers, establishing unique customs and habits.
Lanxi - Huangyazi Northeast China Folk Customs & Cultural Village
One of the scenic spots in this village is the Northeast China Folk Customs and Culture Exhibition Hall, which displays the customs and lifestyles of ethnic groups living in the region. The Eight Oddities of Northeast China, a painting done by a local artist depicting customs, is the highlight of the exhibition.
Mohe is located in northernmost China. The Arctic Village in Mohe is the northernmost village in the country and is the only place in Chinese territory where one can appreciate the aurora borealis and polar daytime.
The Arctic Village in Mohe is the northernmost riverside village in mainland China. It is the best place to appreciate the aurora borealis and polar daytime. Every Summer Solstice, local people hold campfire celebrations for locals and tourists alike to sing and dance together.
Yanzhi-gou, also known as the Laojin- gou, has been a gold mining site since the end of the Qing Dynasty. Attractions in the area include the relics of the Temple of Li Jinyong, a cluster of tombs for more than 500 courtesans, the Gold Mining Cultural Museum and the Yanzhi Pavilion.
Winding River in Mohe
Standing on the middle slope of the mountain along the Jiagedaqi-Mohe Highway, one can see the winding river stretching along like a ribbon. In the morning or after rainfall, in particular, the misty environment makes one feel that he is flying in the clouds.
Xing’an Town is a famous “Fish Village” on the upstream region of the Heilong River. D tiring the spring and autumn fishing season, people compete to fish. All of the local households have long- held traditional customs weaving fishing nets and catching fish.
The Arctic Guard Post
In the courtyard of the Arctic Guard Post, there is a watchtower equipped with a powerful telescope. It is a must-see destination where tourists can view the exotic scenery.
Shibazhan Township of Oroqen People
In Oroqen people’s Shibazhan Township, one can experience the customs of this Chinese ethnic group. Here one can see the roe deer skin clothing of the Oroqen people, the strange pole-supported houses, the ancient songs and mask dance. In addition, the local stewed meat and barbecue can be sampled.
Wudalianchi (Five Connected Lakes)
Wudalianchi is most renowned for its charming mountains, bizarre rocks, beautiful water scenery and marvelous springs. The 14 cone-shaped volcanos stand high around the five lakes. The water and mountain scenery make Wudalianchi a beautiful tourist destination.
Laohei Mountain is the highest of 14 volcanoes. The high-rise mountain is mainly composed of black pumice. On its top is the funnel-shaped volcano vent, with steep inner sides, allowing one to view the bottom of the volcano vent on the top.
Longmen Stone Village
Longmen Stone Village refers to a formation of rock clusters of different sizes. The magnificent formation creates an ancient fortress or a mysterious and desolate castle.
Yaoquan Lake Waterfall
The Yaoquan Lake Waterfall is as exquisite as a Sieko bonsai. It is the sole mineral water waterfall in the world. The misty surroundings and crashing water make it a most marvelous scene.
Huoshao Mountain has marvelous primitive geology and topography. The mountain is covered with pumice and has the typical characteristics of a volcano. It is known as the “volcano that forever floats on the Pacific.”
Shilong Wenbo Lake
Wenbo is a volcanic lake as exquisite as a flower vase. Its major features are its highly magnetic water, the hot spring in the cold zone and its three marvels in one lake. Colorful mosses on the underwater Shilong mesa create a beautiful underwater world.
Recommended Tourist Itineraries
A Tour in Harbin, the Oriental Moscow
Route: Ice & Snow World — Sun Island -Sophia Cathedral — Siberian Tigers Park — Yabuli Ski Resort
Sight: Harbin is a world-famous winter wonderland, with its annual Ice and Snow Festival bringing visitors into a fairy tale kingdom. Also known as the Oriental Moscow, it is home to beautiful Russian-style architecture and Russian restaurants serving delicious food.
A Tour in Wudalianchi, the Marvelous Volcanoes
Route: Yaoquan Mountain — Yaoquan Lake Waterfall — Laohei Mountain — Huoshao Mountain — Longmen Stone Village
Sight: Wudalianchi is best known for its charming mountain views, bizarre rock formations, beautiful water scenery and marvelous springs. Fourteen cone- shaped volcanoes stand high around five lakes. Its water and mountain landscapes make Wudalianchi one of the most attractive vacation destinations in the world.
A Tour in Jingpo Lake with Attractive Mountain and Water Landscape
Route: Volcanic Vent Forest — Xiaobei Lake — Diaoshuilou Waterfall — Dagu Mountain — Zhenzhu Gate — Sites of Balhae
Sight: Jingpo Lake is the largest lava landslide lake in China and has a magnificent landscape that stands out like a pearl in the heart of Northern China.
Northeast Chinese cuisine mainly consists of largely portioned stewed dishes with strong, delicious flavors and bright colors. Famous dishes include eggplant with chili and potato, chicken stewed with mushroom, pork stewed with potato, pork with pickled cabbage, Demoli stewed fish, etc.
Spiced Salmon: Spiced Salmon is a famous dish in Harbin. Because of the Wusuli River’s clean and cold water, the salmon here has delicate fresh meat. The dish has a red color and delicious taste thanks to a unique cooking method.
Heilongjiang’s local products are mainly mountainous products and Russian goods such as ginseng, velvet antlers, furs, black edible fungus, mushrooms, dried fruits and wild vegetables. Other popular products include traditional Russian bread, Modern popsicles, Russian chocolate, candies and purple gold necklaces.
Central Pedestrian Street: Harbin Central Pedestrian Street is the longest one of its kind in Asia, known as Harbin’s main street. The unique European buildings and the many boutique shops make the street a fascinating scene in the city.
Heilongjiang’s four civil airports are respectively located in Harbin, Qiqihar, Mudanjiang and Jiamusi. Harbin Taiping International Airport is one of the largest civil airports in China and has regular flights to more than 30 Chinese cities including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Nanjing, Qingdao, Wenzhou, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Dalian and Xi’an.
Heilongjiang has 26 railways including the Beijing-Harbin Railway, Harbin-Dalian Railway, Hailar-Harbin Railway, Siping- Qiqihar Railway, and Mudanjiang-Tumen Railway with Harbin, Qiqihar, Mudanjiang and Jiamusi as main transport hubs.
Heilongjiang has seven national highways totaling 46,617 kilometers, ranking No. 5 in China. There are two expressways, the Daqing-Harbin-Mudanjiang-Suifenhe Highway and the 102 National Highway Provincial Border-Harbin-Jiamusi-Hegang.