Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province, is located on the middle reaches of the Songhua River on the Songliao Plain. It has an area of 53,840 sq km, and a population of 9.86 million. Harbin is a political, economic, scientific and technological, cultural and communications center of the northern part of Northeast China.
Harbin is originally a Manchu word meaning “a place for drying fishing nets”. It is known for its bitterly cold winters and is often called the “Ice City”. Harbin is well known for its beautiful ice sculptures in winter and plays an important part in Sino-Russian trade. In the 1920s, the city was considered China’s fashion capital as new designs from Paris and Moscow reached there first before arriving in Shanghai.
Harbin is famous for both at home and abroad with its picturesque scenery, unique architecture styles and a strong exotic atmosphere.Since Harbin is also known as the Eastern Moscow, some Russian architecture can be found here. The best sights that vividly reflect the foreign styles is Central Street (Zhongyang Dajie) which includes a great number of buildings in the European architectural styles ranging from Renaissance and the baroque to eclecticism. Meanwhile, it is also the most prosperous pedestrian street in Harbin, housing multitudinous department stores and restaurants.
The city is especially attractive to tourists in winter when ice lanterns, sports on ice and the large international ice and snow festival make the whole city more spectacular. The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival has been held since 1985. Although the official start date is January 5 each year, in practice, many of the sculptures can be seen before. While there are ice sculptures throughout the city, there are two main exhibition areas: Enormous snow sculptures at Sun Island (a recreational area on the opposite side of the Songhua River from the city) and the separate “Ice and Snow World” that operates each night.
Harbin is the best place to relax yourself at this white world with snow and ice, enjoy the fly moment on the ski boot with very fresh Air.