General tip esp. for people with language problem
First of all, I would like to introduce this wonderful city to ya. I am born in Harbin, however, I spent my recent years in Shanghai and USA instead of staying home. For general information about this city, you can try the following link, which was frequently edited by me:
For pictures of this city, please visit the following link, which is my personal online gallery. The photos are collected online:
It seems that foreign visitors usually meet a language problem in their visit to Harbin. I will be back to Harbin at Feb, 2005 and stay in town for about the whole month. So if anybody is travellin' to Harbin at that time in need of a local guy who can speak frequent English. Please feel free to contact me at: email@example.com. I would like to help.
The best time to come is after X'Mas.All the exhibitions and performances will be on at that time. Try to avoid the first three days of Chinese New Year, since there will be nobody on the street. In local custom, people will select to visit their relatives and friends so no service is been offered at the time.
Please feel free to contact me if any help is needed.
Lin Yang. My lovely hometown.
The Dragon Tower - Part 2
Then a climb up a few more flights of stairs, which rather curiously were glass-fibre, like the hull of a cheap park rowing boat to a small gift shop (what else?), through a doorway onto an astroturfed platform 190 metres above ground looking out over the smog. We saw very little because of the pollution, but this was, unfortunately, the one day we were in Harbin that the sky wasn't crystal clear. Contrary to the photographs which show the platform to be clear of obstructions, the whole thing is encased in railings and chickenwire fence.
Returning inside, you descend to a lower floor, where there are displays of butterflies (why?) and fake Hollywood movie posters (why?), and a cool glass walkway around the circumference of the tower. The drop down to ground level from here - about 180 metres - is impressive.
It is possible to climb up to a higher level of around 230 metres, but we didn't reckon the smog would look much different from being 40 metres higher up.
Hit or miss? On a clear day, it would have been great. Our argument with the danwei at the entrance spoilt the visit, but it probably is worth it. Shrink your kids first though. Do pygmies and other extremely short adults get in at children's rates? I bet not.
Note that there are few restaurants or shops nearby.
No street fare
Many cities in China and around the world are made even better by easy access to all sorts of good, unhealthy street fare. Vendors behind questionably clean carts are just not as common in Harbin, which doesn't help the already dull culinary beat of this northern city. There are a few places, the vendors who gather outside the Carrefour on Heping Lu, and there are a few who sell you a hot sweet potato and popcorn, cotton candy or corn... maybe it's just too cold here, though the fruit and random item vendors still remain.
In any case, Harbin isn't the most inspiring city when it comes to food. And I maintain that in part that is due to a lack of vendors lining the center street, offering something unnecessary-yet-essential to the traveler and local alike.
Snow and Ice: Zhaolin Park
The liveliest of the three Snow and Ice main locations. Because it is in town, it is a bit more crowded, and that makes it a lot of fun: Everyone is on their cell phones, or taking photos, or taking photos with their cell phones.
This is the spot for moderately sized ice sculptures, although you can climb inside many of them.
Harbin - Heilongjiang, PRC
"Cold & Crisp!"
I arrived in Harbin on Guy Fawkes Eve - 2004. From the get-go I realised; this Town would be a test of character for the Southerner used to temperatures of 25+ Harbin has a 5-month Winter, with the Annual Snow & Ice Festival the City's highlight of the year. Perfect for the Winter-enthusiast, although the coal-dust in the air keeps the snow from staying white for too long! See you around!