About Harbin

Harbin city, the northern most provincial capital of China, situated at the center of northeast Asia, has always been the prime city of trade with Russia and East Europe, it is beautiful and richly-endowed city. European-style buildings can be seen everywhere, known as the "Eastern Moscow" and "East-small Paris", Harbin has always been regarded as a unique and exotic city.


Major Scenic Sites of Harbin:


1. Sun Island Scenic Area


Being famous both home and abroad, the Sun Isiand Scenic Area lies on the north bank of the Songhua River. This dainty area surrounded by boasts crystal lakes, wooden rockeries, beautiful flowers and exotic buildings. In summer, the comfortable weather makes it the first choice to avoid summer heat, and in winter, the spot is a paradise for ice-snow travel. Every year, the Harbin ternational Snow Sculpture Art Expo held here exhibits enthralling ice or snow sculptures and architectures, attracting thousands of visitors. 


Covering an area of 3 800 hectares(9 390acres), this scenic area consists of the Sun Island and some other small islands. The area, with more than twenty scenic spots, can be divided into three parts. Animals' world is located in the north and west. The centre of the garden is featured by flowers, lakes and ice-snow beauty. And in the south, ice and snow series, exotic Russian series, a gallery and a memorial garden can be found. The amazing Sun Gate is composed of five white ellipse gates, with four small gates on the sides and a big one in the center. In front of the gate lies the symbol of the scenery-a tremendous stone named the Sun Stone.

太阳岛占地3800公顷( 9390英亩),由太阳岛和其他一些小岛屿组成。景区有二十多个景点,大致分为三个部分。动物世界位于西北部,公园的中心以花、湖和秀丽的冰雪为特色。南部有冰雪系列、俄罗斯异国风情系列、画廊和纪念庭院。令人惊异的太阳门有五个自色的椭圆门、四个偏门和一个位于中问的大门组成。门前摆放着风景区的标志—块叫做太阳石的巨石。

The Deer Garden, the Swan Lake and the Squirrel Island in the north and west make the zone an animal's world. The Deer Garden is like a natural painting: some spotted deer run or walk on the slope while the others drink water from the stream. Facilities like slides, swings and the labyrinth lead children to a wonderland .In the Squirrel Island, visitors can feed the lovely squirrels in person. Near the Squirrel Island, elegant black swans, whooper swans, tundra swans mandarin ducks, swan geese and other aquatic birds are fostered in the Swan Lake. With a man-made karst cave, the flying Sun Waterfall is near the paradise of animals


Interestingly, the Flower Garden near the Sun Gate is divided into twelve parts according to the signs of the zodiac. Walking clockwise from north to south, every visitor can find out his own constellation in the garden. Twelve breeds of cloves in the Clove Garden blossom from May to Julydriving birds to sing for them.


The Ice Sculpture Garden recaptures many awarded works in the Harhin International Snow Sculpture Art Expo.With an area of 5000 square meters(1.23 acres), the Ice and Snow Art Hall is the largest indoor one world. Exquisitely carved snow and ice works can be appreciated even in hot summer. Ice and Snow Culture Exhibition Hall provides detailed information for those who are fond of snow and ice.


The picturesque Cloud water Gloriette is a must see scenery spot. This gloriette relies on the Sun Lake and has two storeys on the water. In the gloriette, visitors get a whole view of the lake and the Sun Hill while breeze gently brushes their faces. In the center of the Sun Island, five lakes surround an isle and connect the Sun Hill. Weeping willows and the gloriette reflect in the clear water, making the area more charming. Near the Cloud-water Gloriette visitors can enjoy the Japanese flavor in the Harbin-Niigata Friendship Garden.This garden is a typical Japanese courtyard featured by streams and a wooden bridge, blooming with flowers in spring and being quiet and graceful in summer.


Exotic Russian series are situated in the south of the Sun Island. Dining in the Russian restaurant, strolling on the Russian style streets and buying some craftworks are unexpected surprise for visitors. The Russian Artist Village shows Russian paintings while a gallery near the Ice and Snow Culture Exhibition Hall displays Chinese paintings. As the largest private collection exhibition hall in China, the Russian Art Exhibition Hall presents many pieces of Russian artworks. Visitors can watch Russian films and dances and listen to the Russian songs in the Russian Royal Golden Theater. In summer, travelers can swim in the Songhua River, and sunbathe or have a picnic on the beach near the scenic area. In winter, skating and playing ice hockey are both good choices.



2. Central Street


Known as the "Eastern Moscow", Harbin has always been regarded as a unique and exotic city. The most exotic place in Harbin is Central Street. As a new comer to Harbin without any idea of where to go, be sure to start your journey at "Central Street". This long corridor of European architectural art is the pride of Harbin. It provides an enthralling destination which abounds with history, attractiin tourists from home and abroad.


The construction of the Central Street began in 1898. It was called the Chinese Street at its early age and gained its present name in the late 1920s. Originally, the street was opened up by carts used to transport railway supplies. In May, 1924, the Central Street was floored with square stones according to a Russian engineer's design.


Since then it has become a rendezvous of numerous foreign shops, hotels, and bars. Russian leather, British woolen cloth, French perfume, German medicine and plenty more can be found in this fashionable street. In 1997, Harbin government appointed the street as a pedestrian street, which added greater charm to this enchanting location.


Nowadays, with a total length of 1450 meters (1 586 yards), the Central Street reflects a variety of European style buildings. In total, there are 71 works, some of which are replicas reflecting the European style of architecture. Examples of the Renaissance through to the Baroque Period as well as the Eclecticism to the Modern School can be seen in 13 of these buildings.


The present Jiaoyu Bookstore(Education Bookstore)is the biggest form of Baroque architecture in Harbin and also the mark of the Central Street. The ModEr Hotel(formerly the Modern Hotel)and the Daoliqiulin Shopbuilt in 1906 and 1919 respectivelyare fine examples of Art Nouveau architecture. The Fuer Shop(Women and Children's Shop) in 1917 was the former Xiehe Bank. This building reflects classic Renaissance architecture. There are many other exotic and appealing constructions there. All of them are well preserved and continuously play an important role in people's daily life.


The Central Street is a junction where both Harbin's modern and historical civilizations can be seen. It interprets the city perfectly and has witnessed the most brilliant European cultural development for 300 years.


As one of the longest pedestrian streets in Asia, whenever visitors come there, it will open up to them its charming vistas with its profound culture. It has been a comprehensive recreational place combining tourist pleasure with shopping excitewent, and annually attracts thousands of visitors.


3. Siberian Tiger Park


As the natural environment becomes worse, many creatures are endangered and some have died out. The Siberian tiger is considered endangered. It is the targest fetid in the world and is known as the King of the Forest. In the 1980s, it was listed as one of the first-class national protected animals of China. To preserve this valuable species, the Siberian Tiger Park was built in 1996.


The park is located on the north bank of the Songhua River to the northwest of Harbin, occupying an area of 1 440 000 square meters(355.8 acres). It is the largest natural park for wild Siberian tigers in the world at present. The park enjoys a favorable foundation for ecotourism and splendid scenery and it is an ideal place for holiday and leisure. There are over 500 purebred Siberian tigers here, with 100 visible to visitors. In addition, visitors can also see white tigers, lions, lynx, leopards, and black pumas as well as Bengali tigers.

该园位于哈尔滨西北松花江北岸,占地1440 000平方米(355. 8英亩),是目前世界上最大的保护野生东北虎的天然公园。该园具备生态旅游的基础,风景优美,是休闲娱乐的理想去处这儿有500只纯种东北虎,其中100只可供游人观看。此外,游客还能看到白虎、狮子、猞猁、美洲豹、黑色美洲狮和孟加拉虎。

It is a large park divided into ten areas, including the young tiger area, the mature tiger area, the king tiger area, a walking area and a platform for viewing the tigers. Unlike common zoos, the Siberian Tiger Park exchanges the roles of visitors and animals. Except in the walking area and the platform for viewing the tigers, tourists must take a bus encircled by wire mesh to all the other scenic spots while the tigers roarn freely in the fields.


The mature tiger area has an area of 360000 square meters(89 acres)with 30 unruly Siberian tigers wandering there. The tigers in this area are all about 7 or 8 years old. And in the young tiger area, there are over 40 young lovely, active tigers about 2 years old. Visitors can see them playing and fighting with each other in a pool nearby. Some even younger tigers are kept in the walking area, snuggling together. The park also houses some lions which coexist peacefully with the tigers.

成虎区占地360 000平方米(89英亩),生活着30只野生东北虎。这些老虎大约7、8岁。在幼虎区,有大约40只活泼可爱的幼虎,大约两岁左右。游客可以在附近的水池边观看它们游玩嬉戏。有些幼虎其至在步行区喂养。公园里还饲养了一些狮子,这些狮子可以和老虎和平相处。

For visitors who love to see exciting activities, the Siberian Tiger Park is also a perfecfi place. In addition to viewing the tigers walking leisurely in the open-air, visitors can buy poultry or animals to feed them, including ducks, chickens, and even cows. Park employees will set the living animal free among the tigers, and visitors can see the unique live action of tigers preying upon it.


In addition, there is a free Popular Science Exhibition Hall in the Siberian Park. In the exhibition hall, people can see information on tigers in pictures samples as well as in words.



4.St. Sophia Church


Sophia Church in Harbin is the largest Eastern Orthodox Church in the Far East. It is 53.3 meters(175 feet)high and occupies an area of 721 square meters(0.18 acres).In November, 1996, it was listed as one of the Key Cultural Relics under State Protection. Half a year later, the Harbin City government repaired it and renamed it as Harbin Art Gallery. It is a respectable landmark for Harbiners and for tourism.

哈尔滨的圣索非亚大教堂是远东地区最大的东正教堂。整座建筑高53. 3(175英尺),占地721平方米(0.18英亩)1996I1月,它被列为国家重点文物保护单位。半年后,哈尔滨市政府对它进行了修复并将其更名为哈尔滨艺术馆。它是哈尔滨旅游业的一个标志性建筑。

St. Sophia Church has a complex history. Shortly after the Boxer Rebellion, the Russian built the church of timber in March, 1907. Then, the Russian rebuilt it using masonry and timber four years later. The onset of a second reconstruction by Russian was marked on September 23rd, 1923, and a ceremony was held to celebrate laying the corner stone. It was completed on November 25th, 1932, after nine years, and was hailed as a monumental work of art.


The Byzantine style church is so beautiful, it is said to look as if it had been made by God's hands. In fact, St. Saphia means "God's wisdom". Having a Latin cross footprint, the church's original shape was preserved during reconstruction. The church has four floors and is accessible by a door on each side. Until the 1960's, the bell tower over the entrance housed 7 bells of different sizes and tones.


When there were religious festivals in the past, a well-trained ringer would play musical progressions, tolling the bells with ropes tied to his hands and feet. The bells resounded to the skies.


By the 1990's, St. Sophia had undergone considerable decline. The church no longer was in use, and residential apartments and office buildings surrounded it. Magnificent Russian painted murals that adorned the church's arched walls were destroyed out of recognition.


While in 1997, the Harbin government under took to undo the decades of deterioration. But as the original Russian murals were lost completely, they were replaced by topically new murals depicting the architectural history of the Harbin tommunity. And crosses that were removed in six places were replaced. Now, the murals, pendent lamps, dome and the bell tower are restored to their original splendor.