Heilongjiang Gardens and Museum, Harbin
Late October isn't the best time to visit a botanical garden, many would say. Most of the leaves have dropped, the few that remain, despite their best efforts, do little to cover up the surrounding city.
A large complex, the Heilongjiang Botanical Gardens offer a desireable escape from the city, much welcomed after the chaos that is everyday life for many.
Get your wedding portraits taken in a magical world of trees, often uncommon in such great numbers in cities, of course... or in front of the castle-like structure... the pink castle-like structure. Maybe you can get married in there too.
Water plays a big part in a section of the gardens, and you can rent paddle boats or cross the ponds on chains susupended above the water. It's not that deep (there is very little water in the fall and winter) and only a few feet deep in the summer).
Not just as a tourist site, but as a place to get away from the city without ever leaving, it's peaceful and quiet. They have food vendors and bathrooms, but they seemed to be closed for the season.
Heilongjiang has some extremely interesting ethnic minorities. I have already put up some information about a few of these groups on review pages under my Heilongjiang Province page.
There is a good museum on these minorities in the Confucius Temple in the southern part of the town. Sadly, it is one of the many places we failed to get to while we were in Harbin. We arrived at 3pm to find that's when the place closes!
The Heilonggijang Provincial Museum (HPM) is an integrated museum for almost 80 years of its history. With the initial name of 'Manchuria Research Society', HPM was originaly build on June 12, 1923. The present name was adopted in 1954. The exibitions in HPM are: 'Heilongijang History Exibition', 'Nature exihibition' (all kinds of stuffed or preserved animals from Dino's up to current species) and the 'Deng Sanmu's Calligraphy and Carving Art exhibition'.
The history exibition was the most interesting form me and featured art work and daily objects from 5000 bc up till now. All captations where in chineese but the dates where in arabic figures, so I least I could figure out when what was made or used.