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Harbin --- Ice City of China

City at a Glance:

In the map of People's Republic of China, the outline of Heilongjiang Province is like a swan spreading its wings and getting ready for flight. Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province, is like a dazzling pearl under its neck. It is the biggest city in northeastern China. It is also the province transportation center and multi-functional tour city, characterized by ice and summer holiday tours.

More than 20,000 years ago in the old stone age, Harbin was already a densely populated region by human beings. 800 years ago, ancestors of the Manchus built their capital here. In the later years of the Qing Dynasty, many Han and Manchus peoples moved into this region. By the end of the 19th century, more than 50,000 people inhabited here and the city took on shape. Since 1898, with the construction of railways, Harbin has developed into a hub of both water and land communications. Harbin administers 7 districts and 5 counties with a total population of almost 5.3 million, among whom 2.87 are living within the city proper.

Harbin is one of the sources of ice and snow culture in the world. Geographically, it is located in the very center of Northeast China under the direct influence of the cold winter wind from Siberia. Therefore, it has been regarded as a "City of Ice". The average temperature in summer is 21.2 Centigrade, -16.8 Centigrade in winter. It can be as cold as - 38.1 Centigrade in winter. Therefore, the annual "Harbin Summer Concert" and the "Harbin Ice and Snow Festival" are well-known all over the world. Every year, in January and February, there will be snow and ice festivals and ice lantern park touring activities being held in many parks in the city. Yabuli Alpine Skiing, winter-swimming in Songhua River, ice-lantern exhibition in Zhaolin Garden, snow carving and ice and snow recreations are world famous. Harbin Ice and Snow Festival has become a special celebration with its unique art form. Harbin, "Ice City of China", will gradually develop into a national tour center of ice and snow. It is also an ideal place for those who love winter swimming. On very cold winter days, you can find many brave winter swimmers in the water holes of the frozen rivers. Harbin, with its time-honored history of the humanities, is not only a historical and cultural center for northern minority peoples, but also a famous city where the culture of west and east blend together.

The city proper is beautiful where you can see the Confucius Temple, The Temple of Ultimate Bliss, classic western buildings and churches of the Orthodox Eastern Church, Catholicism and Christian religions. Thus, it gets the name "Small Paris in the East".

The zoo and the northeast tiger zoo have large collections of rare animals and birds from this part of our country. The Forest Plant Park, called "Window of Forest Plants in the North" is a charming place with green, luxuriant grass and trees. These and the beautiful amusement park and Street-Center Park make tourists enjoy themselves so much as to forget to go home.

In the suburban area of the city, we find Changling Lake bank, western suburban fishpond and Changling holiday village. They are all good places for fishing, picnicking, wild-bathing, campfires and camping. Songfeng Mountain, Erlong scenic spot, Yunquan Hunting Ground and Yabuli skiing Griund are also tour resorts famous throughout the country. The world famous Harbin Summer Concert has developed into a traditional music festival and attracts large numbers of tourists from home and abroad with its colorful performances. The China Harbin Economic and Trade Fair, held once a year, has invited foreign trade economic and technology corporations from over fifty countries. Harbin is developing into an international trade center in the area of northeast Asia.

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