Different from the beautiful natural scenery in south China and the cultural relics in central China, Heilongjiang Province will open miraculous picture with snow and ice in winter. If you a snow lover, visiting Heilongjiang in winter, you can feel the magic power of snow and ice: the International Ice and Snow Festivals in Harbin will bring you into a world of ice (all the buildings, palaces, castles and other architectures in the winter festival sites are made of ice), visitors also can get great enjoyment from snow in the Yabuli Ski Resort.
Heilongjiang Province is located in northeast China, and the capital city is Harbin. It borders Inner Mongolia to the west, Jilin Province to the south. The Heilongjiang River and the Wusuli River run between Heilongjiang Province and Russia. Because the boundary line sharing with Russia is 3,045 kilometers (1,892 miles) long, Heilongjiang Province gets the superiority on frontier trade and tourism.
Heilongjiang got its name from the largest river running in the north province: Heilongjiang River (literally means Black Dragon River). Heilongjiang is the northernmost province in China with the latitude is 53°. Because it is the nearest place to the Arctic Circle (66° 33′), polar day will happen in summer, many travelers would like to visit Beiji Village in Mohe County on summer solstice (June 21 or 22) to enjoy the wonder of polar day.
Heilongjiang is a multiracial province. Besides the Han nationality, there are another 46 ethnic minorities, including Manchu, Korean, Hui, Mongol, Daur, Xibo, Oroqen, Hezhe and Kirgiz. Different ethnic minorities have different customs, lifestyles and cultures: the Oroqen hunters, the Hezhe fishmen, the Xibo shooters and the Kirgiz shepherds. If you are interested in their unique festivals, life styles and manual dress and adornment, it must be a great experience to have a close encounter with them. Jiejinkou in Tongjiang County, located in the downstream section of the Heilongjiang River, is a land inhabited Hezhe people, and travelers can visit local Hezhe families to experience the unique custom and enjoy the beautiful landscape there.
Besides the unique festival with distinctive features of ethnic minorities, there are another two festivals which have the largest scale. One is Heilongjiang International Ski Festival, and the other one is the International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin. These two festivals are held during the period from December 5 to January 5 in next year. Visitors can go to the ski resorts to enjoy the happiness from this winter sport on the ice. Visitors also can enjoy the beautiful scenery in a world made up with ice lanterns and snow sculptures.
Precious Animals and Local Specialties
In the vast land of Heilongjiang Province, live many precious animals. Siberian tiger and the red-crowned crane are two endangered animals living in Heilongjiang Province. In order to protect them, nature reserves are built in the province. Zhalong Nature Reserve in Qiqihaer, ‘the heaven of birds’, in which lives 296 kinds of birds including red-crowned cranes. Siberian Tiger Park is a place to breed and house Siberian tigers, visitors can get close to Siberian tigers through the fence.
Heilongjiang Province is the main production place of ‘the three treasures of Northeast China’ which refer to ginseng, cartialgenous and marten. Hericium erinaceus is a rare kind of edible mushroom with delicious taste and high nutritive value; lucid ganoderma is a kind of fungus with high medical value which grows in Changbai Mountain. All of these can be good souvenirs for visiting Heilongjiang Province.