"Harbin, Northernmost Chinese Metropolis" Top 5 Page for this destination Harbin by calcaf38
Harbin Travel Guide: 354 reviews and 905 photos
Harbin, the capital of the Heilongjiang province and of what was once Manchuria, is not a conventional travel destination. A huge city the size of Berlin, Singapore or Houston, Harbin is an industrial center. Your first impression might be disastrous: polluted air, infernal construction...
And yet, for Westerners, the appeal of Harbin rests in its history. Harbin is a modern city, founded in 1898 with the construction of the Chinese Eastern Raiway, an extension of the Trans-Siberian Railroad. In the early Twentieth Century, Harbin was a true international city. Following the Revolution, White Russians took refuge in Harbin and built the historic district in a traditional 1880 Russian style. Harbin was next occupied by the Japanese as the capital of their Manchukuo state. At the crossroad between two holocausts, Harbin was a haven for Jews, and a place of untold suffering for the Chinese during the Japanese occupation (see Off the Beaten Path tips). After WWII, Harbin was briefly under Soviet control before growing to be the tenth largest Chinese city.
More recently, Harbin was in the news when the Songhua river was polluted by a benzene leak, and the city was deprived of water for days.
Although Harbin winters are brutal (North of North Korea, North of Vladivostok), tourists flock to Harbin for the annual Ice Lantern Festival or Snow and Ice Festival. I was fortunate to visit Harbin during the festival, and I saw many sights right out of fairy tales, or out of dreams.
- Pros:History, Winter Festivals
- Cons:Poor city transit, polar temperatures
- In a nutshell:A fun place to freeze your giblets
This is the most frequently encountered fast food chain in Harbin. The very name is hilarious. The most popular dish is... more travel advice
I wore fleece socks over my regular socks, long underwear (heavy duty for the pants), a mask hat, and thermal fleece... more travel advice
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Harbin Travel Guide
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- 19 Reviews
- 70 Photos
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- 23 Comments
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