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Helongjiang Province Travel Guide

Provincial capital: Harbin

Population: 40 millions

Geological location: Heilongjiang Province, abbreviated as “Hei” in Chinese, is located in the Northeast of China, at the highest latitudes and the northernmost end of the country. It neighbors Russia across the Heilongjiang and Wusuli rivers running in its north and east respectively; in the west, it adjoins the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region; and to its south is Jilin Province. It covers an area of 454,000 square km, accounting for 4.7 percent of the nation’s total. Under its jurisdiction are 13 prefectures and cities, 66 counties (cities), 1,211 townships (towns) and 14,488 villages.

Map of Heilongjiang Province

Climate: It has a continental monsoon climate, the kind between the temperate and frigid zones, with annual temperatures of –4 °C to 4 °C. The temperature difference between its north and south parts is 8 °C. Its warm summer with plentiful rainfall and long-time sunlight is good for crops, its annual sun radiation power reaching 100—120 Cal per square centimeter. Most of the areas are windy in spring, and its southwestern part, in particular, is rich in wind energy source.

Tourism resources: Heilongjiang has abundant characteristic tourism resources. Its spots for ice and snow activities are the best in China. Snow-skiing period in the province lasts 120—140 days in a year. In mountainous area, snow on the ground can be 100—300 cm deep and it’s of good quality. Among its smooth mountain slopes, 100 has been chosen as spots good for building large-scale skiing grounds. Its beautiful landscape, forests and grasslands, wetlands and rivers and lakes provide rich resources for developing eco-tourism. Its unique history has also left it a rich cultural legacy and colorful customs. The Bohai State during the Tang Dynasty, the ruins of the Jin-dynasty capital in Huining and the ruins of Longquan Mansion are among those of historical interest. The crossing-border tours to Russia launched on the border rivers of Heilong and Wusuli attract tourists from all over the country. Such cities as Harbin, Daqing and Yichun attract travelers with their distinctive style of northern frontier cities.

By air: Harbin is the provincial capital of Heilongjiang and is the starting point for any travelers in the province. Harbin Taipin International Airport is the second largest airport in the northeast, with connections to most major cities in China, and also some destinations in Russia, Korea and Japan. For detailed information about transport, please refer to Harbin Transport. There are an additional three airports in Heilongjiang, namely Qiqihar, Mudanjiang and Jiamusi, with flights to some of the major cities across the country.

By Train: Heilongjiang Province was one of the first provinces to have its own railway system, first built by the Russians at the end of the last century. Today, travelers can reach Moscow and other Russian cities from here. The major stop is in Harbin, for details on trains to and from Harbin and trains into Siberia and Russian, please refer to the Harbin Transport section. Train is definitely the easiest and most comfortable way to get around the province and the entire Dongbei (north-east) region.

By Bus: There are currently seven highways in Heilongjiang, although the majority of roads here are in very poor condition and train is by far the most comfortable way to travel, wherever possible. An expressway links Beijing, Daqing, Harbin, Mudanjian, and Suifenhe.

Ethnicity: The province is a habitation for many ethnic groups. According to the fourth national census taken in 1990, there are 47 ethnic groups living in the province, of which, Han people made up 94.3 percent of the province’s total; people of 42 ethnic minorities, 2 millions, accounting for 5.7 percent of the total. Major ethnic minorities include Manchu, Hui, Mongolian, Korean and Daur, Sibo, Hezhe, Oroqen, Ewenki and Kirgiz, who are distributed across the province. Dorbod Mongolian Autonomous County is the only area in the province with ethnic autonomous administration. There are 51 cities and counties where the ethnic minority population has reached 10,000 or more. There are 68 ethnic minority townships and 920 ethnic minority villages. The average population density of the province is 81.7 person per square kilometer.