Top 6 Things to Do in Heilongjiang

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Heilongjiang (黑龙江) literally means “Black Dragon River”.  It is China’s northern most province, named after the same name borderline river separating China and Russia – Heilongjiang ( Known as Amur River in Russia), hence the name.

Its proximity to Russia has given Heilongjiang Province much influence from Russia in the manifestation of architecture, food, culture and souvenirs. If you travel Harbin, the capital city of the province, you will see the European style buildings, facades and cobblestone streets.

Beyond the cities and towns, Heilongjiang boasts beautiful landscape of river, lakes, mountains and dominant volcanoes. In the northern tip of Mohe County, you will experience the Northern Lights at the North Pole Village in the county.

In the west of Heilongjiang, you will be fascinated by the pure and clean water of the Wudalian Chi – the famous five connected lakes, formed by the volcanic eruptions. In the most southerly Heilongjiang,  the mirror-like lake known as Jingpo Lake will definitely hold you intrigued. The lake is also formed by the falling lava of volcanic explosions.

Given its sub-arctic cold,  the freezing winter is mostly the tourist high season for the northerly province.  People just  brave the cold and join the crowds to enjoy the fun of  ice and snow featuring the Harbin’s Ice and Snow Festival, Yabuli Skiing, Snow Village’s snow wonderland and more.

The Top 6 to Do in Heilongjiang List is aimed at helping you plan your own Helongjiang trip.

1. Watching aurora borealis and experience the cold  in North Pole Village at  Mohe 漠河北极村
The North Pole Village (北极村)  is in the north of Mohe Town, the northernmost town in China.  The North Pole Village ( Beijicun ) is China’s northernmost  village,  at  north latitude 53°33′30″,east longitude 122°20’27.14″, though it is not within the Arctic Circle.

The North Pole Village ( Beijicun ) is the only destination where you have the chance to see both northern lights ( also  known as aurora borealis) and polar day. Every year  during the summer solstice ( 9 days before and after summer solstice ) is the best time to see the northern lights and polar day in the Northern Pole Village.  The Northern Pole Village and the whole Mohe Town experience polar day – the mid-night sun visible 22 hours during the day.

The Northern Pole Village’s winter is a white snow world, a paradise of brave men ignoring the freezing coldness in the sub-arctic region.  Now the Northern Pole Village has been turned into the Northern ole Village Tourist Scenic Area, the most northly tourist area in China.

Northern Pole Village (Mohe) Travel Tips
Daily four flights connecting Mohe and Harbin.  There is an overnight train ( 21 hours) going between Harbin and Mohe. Shuttle buses from Mohe to the Northern Pole Village : 4 times a day ( summer ) and 2 times a day ( winter), 95km and two -hour bus ride. There are a number of hotels and guesthouses in Mohe Town.

2.  Skiing at Yabuli Ski Resort  亚布力滑雪场
Yabuli Ski Resort is the official name given to the biggest ski resort in China lying about 230km to the south-east of Harbin city and 130km to the west of Mudanjiang city.

Actually Yabuli Ski Resort is composed of three ski resorts with over 10 hotels ranging from basic guesthouse to luxury hotels. The three most well known ski grounds in Yabuli Ski Resort  are Sun Mountain Ski Resort, Yabuli Ski Resort (same name as the official one for the whole area) and Avaunce (Yabuli) Ski Resort. Each ski resort has its own accommodation choices.

Yabuli Ski Resort Travel Tips
Inn winter there are special tourism trains going between Harbin and Yanbuli Train Station,  which is only 200 meters apart from the entrance to the ski resort. Once you are at the entrance,  you still need to walk about 2.5km to get to Avaunce Ski Resort, 5km to Sun Mountain Ski Resort or Yabuli Ski Resort. That means both Sun Mountain Ski Resort and Yabuli Ski Resort are more than 5 km apart from Yabuli South Railway Station.

3.  Ice & Snow World in Harbin 哈尔滨冰雪大世界
Ice and Snow World, situated opposite  the Sun Island Landscape, is the largest and the most brilliant ice and  snow sculpture park in China, also named “the Ice Disneyland”.  Blocks of ice are carved into sculptures and buildings and lit from within to provide glittering lights of ice.

This magnificent park only appears in winter from later December to February.  In other seasons, the park is actually an expansive grassy field. The Ice and Snow World is one of a number of locations where the annual Harbin Ice and Snow Festival take place.  Of course,  the Ice and Snow World is the most attractive and biggest ice and snow event in Harbin.

Day Time Entrance Fee (09:00~12:00): RMB 150.00
Evening Entrance Fee (12:00~21:00): RMB 300
Public Holiday: RMB 330
Open time:  Jan – Feb
How to get there:
Take bus 552, 551, 346, 212, 211

Ice & Snow World in Harbin

Ice & Snow World in Harbin

4. Playing Snow at Xuexiang ( Snow Villge ) 雪乡
Xuexiang ( Snow Village) is located 197km east of Mudanjang City.  Actually Xuexiang ( Snow Village ) is not an official name and its formal name is Shuangfeng Forest Farm (双峰林场) in Changting Township (长汀镇) at Hailin City (海林市), Heilongjian Province. The forest farm is  under the administration of Dahailin Forestry Bureau (大海林林业局).

Xuexiang ( Snow Village ) boasts the longest 7-month period of snowing in China. The snow in Xuexiang is very sticky, one of the best snows in China, nicknamed “China Snow Village”.  Xuexiang ( Snow Village ) is the training base for the National Skiing Team and August First Army Team as well. Many excellent skiers of national and world level come from this train base.

Beside skiing at Xuexiang Ski Resort,  Xuexiang Village also offers a wide range of snow activities such as alpine sleigh rides, horse driven sledges,  snow carved city, snow maize, snow bar, snow photography and so on. If you are lucky,  you can happen to watch the skiing performances by the August First Army Skiing Team.

Xuexiang ( Snow Village ) Travel Tips
Basically the most convenient way to go to Xuexiang is starting from Mudanjing City
1) By Bus
Daily bus from Mudanjing to Xuexiang ( 14:00 – 19:10)
2-3 daily buses from Changting to Xuexiang
2)  Car rental
You may rent or share a car or van from Harbin or Mudanjiang
The Xuexiang area is compact and pedestrian friendly.
There are quite a few farm courtyard houses receiving tourists with reasonable prices – RMB 200 per person including accommodation and three meals a day.

5.  Biking aroud Wudalian Chi ( Five Connected Lakes )  五大连池
Wudalianchi Natural Reserve is about 380km northeast of Harbin and 230 south of Heihe,  Heilongjiang Province. Wudalian Chi is one of the most beautiful landscapes in China, which is formed by the volcanic explosions. It is a wonderland of hardened lava, volcanic peaks,  reed-lined ponds and azure lakes.

The Wudalianchi Natural Reserve encompasses 1060 sq km including forest, arable land, pasture,  and wetland. Wudalainchi literally means “five connected lakes” formed by the volcanic eruptions. The reserve boasts one of the best three cold springs in the  world, attracting busloads of Chinese and Russian who come here to slurp the so-called curative water.  Wudalianchi possesses the rich variety of  creatures and a complete volcanic natural eco-system.

Entrance Ticket: RMB 240
June 01 – October 31: 06:00 – 18:30
Dec 31 – May 03: 08:00 – 17:00
How to get there:
Buses to the reserve from Harbin, or from Bei’an , Qiqihaer or Heihe.

Wudalian Chi ( Five Connected Lakes )

Wudalian Chi ( Five Connected Lakes )

6. Boating on or hiking around Jingpo Lake at Mudanjiang 镜泊湖
Jingpo Lake literally means ” Mirror Lake”. It gets its name due to the azure lake which is formed by volcanic eruptions.  The mirror like lake  is located about 110km south of Mudanjiang.

In summer many Chinese holiday makers come here to paddle and picnic.  You may just hike along the lake to avoid the crowds. Your entry tickets allow you to take shuttle buses to the sights in the scenic area.  Jingpo Lake Scenic Spot boasts two major sights – Diaoshuilou Waterfall and Underground Forest.

Entrance Fee: RMB80
Best Time: May – October
How to get there:
Take highspeed train from Harbin to Mudanjiang, then connect buses from Mudanjiang to Jingpo Lake.

Jingpo Lake at Mudanjiang

Jingpo Lake at Mudanjiang

Any questions,  just drop a line.

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2 Responses to “Top 6 Things to Do in Heilongjiang”

  1. Catherine says:

    hi,
    We are interested in the minorites who live in Heilongjiang. Can you advise where is best to go to see theri way of life, their villages, lifestyle? In June we plan to travel there.
    Thank you,
    Catherine

  2. Daniel says:

    Dear Catherine,

    It is said that there are about 10 minority groups in Heilongjiang Province. Sorry, but we are not in the loop regarding the visits to these ethnic groups. Please search online for more related reformation. Have a nice time in Heilongjiang.

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