Check out my rankings of Harbin's Best Bars at Harbinnightlife.wordpress.com
This focuses on the bars for people who live in the city, not really the student life, which was meek. That mostly just involves coffee shops.
Dress Code: Status quo does the following:
If Chinese, then dress for success.
If foreign, then dress like you are aware that you are decoration, otherwise dress as someone who doesn't care.
On Saturday night, the Harbin Walking Street comes alive. The flood monument hosts a big show with singers and comedians performing for the crowd. As you walk down the street you will see performers of all sorts. The best was in front of the USA-BUCKS coffee shop.
The owner of the coffee shop is a local character who sees himself as some sort of military GI Joe guy. On Saturday night, he was dressed as a USN Lt. in full white uniform. He was beating a bongo drum while a band of men playing horns belted out, "Beer Barrel Polka". He also provided a fashion show with Chinese and Russian women in skimpy clothing!
Further down the street small groups played musical instruments and groups of women danced while others drank beer or ate the local ice cream bars.
Dress Code: None
Harbin seems to be a city of somewhat restrained outings- the shops close down fairly early, it seems, even on Friday and Saturday night. There are discos, clubs, KTV bars... places for the youth to party away the night, but the center street, at least, seems to empty fairly early. Maybe it's the cold.
So there's planty of stuff to do, but it's just not a party-all-night town, even though some places are probably open pretty late.
Dress Code: Dress respectably. If you want attention, you'll get it. If you don't, don't dress like you do.
Men don't seem to have the same restraints as western men... you can wear a low-cut v-neck here... or a fur-lined hood on your coat.
Come nighttime, many parts of Harbin are lit-up and they exude an atmosphere different from that of the day.
These 5 photos here highlight 5 different places to enjoy the night lights. The lights usually turn off around 2200.
Note that Harbin's winter is very cold, bundle up well and time yourself so that you don't need to walk home shivering in the dark!
In Chinese, it's known as the Zhongyang Jie, and in Russian the Kitaiskaya. The Russians began building this district from 1903 as the centre for the railroad and related businesses and other European, American and Japanese merchants later helped the growth.
Personally the architecture of district slightly reminds me of a subdued version of the French Quarter in New Orleans USA, and I'll bet it is even more subdued in the dead of winter here.
Yangge is a popular folk dance in the north of China with a long history dated back from the end of Qing Dynasty. "Yang" means seedling in Chinese, "Ge" means songs. Maybe it was a kind of song sung when working in the field, and bacame a dance out of the field as it is today step by step.
It is very popular in rural area in the past several decades.Colorful ribbon or fans in hands and in colourful clothes, people used to dance to celebrate the Spring Festivals, accompamied with gongs, suona horns, trumpets and drums.
Yangge is very easy to dance and that is why it is popular nowadays among the old people in cities to keep fit.
There are small bars and pubs on the Central Street. Which will be fun.
Also Mix at Swan Hotel is also said to be great. You can just say 'Mix' and ppl will get to understand you since it is the same pronunciationin Chinese for this club.
Thanks to its high latitude, Harbin goes dark very early. It leads to a lack of nightlife in Harbin.
Travelling with the monsters always limits evening entertainment a little, but the Red Lion Pub was a hit with everyone. Good, simple Western food and good, cold beer (and great hot chocolate!)
The décor was sufficiently seedy, with rickety wooden tables and uncomfortable stools and benches to feel like we were a long way from north-eastern China. Friendly, smiling and attentive staff.
Dress Code: Good bar food, especially the sirloin steak on the hot iron plate.
However, as it is part of a 4 star hotel, the prices are higher than elsewhere.
In the Ice & Snow World Park there is no possibility you will stand more than 30 minutes outdoors without freezing, so a good option is to warm up drinking some beer (not a cold one, pleaase!!!).
By the way, Harbin is also famous in China for its brewery...
Dress Code: Winter clothing....
As all of China is one time zone and Harbin is in the north east of the country, in october, the sun gets up at 7 in the morning and at 17.30 it is dark. Most Malls are open untill 21.00. Diner starts at 17.00 but some restaurants stay open untill late in the evening. I saw several night clubs but didn't visit them so I can't give you much info. Dining with chinese people I noticed that they tend to drink a lot in Harbin (40% ricewine liquor or 4,5% beer).
The photo was taken at 18:00 in the street of Harbin. I do not think it'd be good to hang around at -30C drgrees. Most of the shop are here closed at 4~6 in the afternoon.