Harbin, 哈尔滨 in Chinese, is the capital of China's northernmost province of Heilongjiang. It is situated in the southern part of Heilongjiang Province. It occupies53, 068 square kilometers and the urban area is 1, 637 square kilometers. It is in the middle reaches of the Songhua River. It is an industrial city 159 kilometers from the Daqing oil fields, China's biggest one. The area was first settled by people of the Nyuzhen ethnic group in 1097. In the Yuan Dynasty, the city was renamed Harbin. In 1898 it was opened as a port and became a Russian Concession. Tsarist troops and police patrolled the Russian ghetto. From 1932 the Japanese occupied the area until the end of World War Two. You can see much Tsarist and Japanese architecture, although neglected, and cobble stone streets (in Dao Li District). Today, its population includes Han, Manchu, Korean, Hui, Mongolian, Daur, Orogen, Ewenki, Kirgiz, Hezhen, and other ethnic groups.
Harbin is known as the "City of Ice" due to its long, bitterly cold winter. But this is not a disadvantage: ice and snow have become the city's biggest attractions, making winter the best season for tourists to go to Harbin. Ata latitude of 46 degrees north, the city is frozen for four months of the year, and the temperature in winter drops to as low as minus 30 ° C. Its highest temperature is 36 ° C ; its lowest is-38 ° C. The winter is six months long. Annual precipitation is 250-700millimeters, mostly occurring from June through August.
The bitter cold never cools the local people's enthusiasm for enjoying winter scenery and all kinds of winter activities. Having ice and snow everywhere for one third of the year,the locals really know how to make the best use of their wintry treasures: all is white, but their lives are as colorful as ever. They have developed their chilly city into the country's major winter sports base and the home of unique ice and snow art.
To enhance the city's image and boost its tourism industry, since 1985 the city has hosted the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival every year from January to February. The festival is now one of the most popular local festivals inChina, as well as one of the largest ice and snow spectaculars in the world, making Harbin a favorite winter destination for numerous tourists from home and abroad.
There are many things for them todo during the festival: skating, skiing, tobogganing, ice sailing, ice hockey, or simply enjoying the winter scenery. There are many sites that are interesting to visit in Harbin including Sun Island, The Yabuli Ski Resort, Statin Park, Children’s park.