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Harbin is the capital of Heilongjiang Province with a total population of over 9 million, which borders Russia in the north and situated in the middle reaches of the Songhua River. With several highways and railways converging at Harbin, the city is an important transportation hub in northeastern China. Unlike most provincial capitals in China, it has a very short history. Harbin was incorporated as a town in 1898. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, it has rapidly evolved into an industrial city with many heavy machinery factories of all kinds.
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The Sonhua River flows through the city from west to east, providing an ideal place for summer swimming. Winter is very cold and long there, usually lasting seven months from October to April. The long winter gives chance to the famous art of ice sculpture. The Sun Island is one of northern China's most famous scenic spots and the summer resort. The island is in the Songhua River and contains many sanatoriums, villas, pavilions and kiosks surrounded by trees and flowers. Harbin has now become one of the popular tourist cities both in summer and winter seasons.
Harbin Ice Carving Festival
Harbin Ice Carving Festival is a famous annual event held in the capital city of Heilongjiang Province. Usually falling on January 5 and lasting for two months, the festival exerts a strong draw on both local residents and visitors from many parts of the country and abroad. The city boasts its neat, impressive and artistic ice and snow sculptures, carvings, and building patterns in Zhaolin Park and on frozen Songhua river. World famous monuments like some grand cathedrals, pyramids, Potala Palace and the Great Wall are all carved out of ice, in spectacularly giant sizes! Some of them, embedded with colored lights, are designed for nighttime show. Ice sliding and skiing are popular activities in the city. In the evening, the whole park is lit with lanterns, and the glittering ice-sculptures turn it into a shining crystal palace.

Hunting Games at Taoshan

The hunting Ground at Taoshan (Peach Mountains) is China's first hunting ground opened to foreign tourists. Located at the western foot of the lesser Xing'an Mountains, it covers more than 49,410 acres of vast virgin forest, and is only a four-hour train ride north of Harbin. Game includes bears, red deer, wild boar, lynx, weasels, snow rabbits and squirrels.

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