Harbin and Chengdu, China
According to simplyyellowpages, Harbin is the administrative center of Heilongjiang Province, a major political, economic and cultural center in Northeast China. The city was founded by the Russians in 1898 as a railway station on the Trans-Manchurian Railway, which is why the older parts of Harbin still retain elements of architecture typical of Siberia to this day.
The popular ski resort Yabuli is located 195 km from Harbin, where there is a direct bus from the city center. The ticket price is 2 CNY.
Harbin Taiping International Airport is the largest in Northeast China, with flights to more than 200 airports in more than 100 countries around the world. Between Harbin and four cities in the province – Qiqihar, Mudanjiang, Suihua and Jiamusi, high-speed trains run. In addition, highways to Beijing, Lobei, Heihe, Daqing and Tongjiang diverge from the city in all directions.
In the city itself, there are currently over a hundred bus lines, taxis (from 8 CNY, after 3 km the cost of each km is 1.9 CNY).
Shopping: Harbin shops
Central Avenue is the busiest shopping area in Harbin. Here you can buy first-class Changbaishan ginseng, sable fur, antlers – an excellent tonic, as well as beautiful agate products and healing magnetic bracelets.
Entertainment and attractions of Harbin
Sunny Island, located within the city on the northern coast of the Songhua River, is a famous tourist destination. This quiet and beautiful corner can be reached by trolleybuses No. 101, 102 and 103, buses No. 13 and 79, then board the ship. You can also use a special tourist bus that will take you directly to the island along Friendship Street and the bridge over the Songhua River.
Cathedral of St. Sophia in the Byzantine style is the largest Orthodox cathedral in the Far East. In 1996, it was included in the List of Important Monuments of State Protection, and in June 1997, after restoration, it was renamed the Harbin Palace of Architecture. There is also a functioning Church of the Intercession (1907) and an obelisk to the Soviet Liberation Army.
The Buddhist temple of Jile, built in the twenties of the last century, is a sacred place for pilgrims of the North of China.
Other Attractions: Museum of Science and Technology, Zoo, Botanical Garden, Heilongjiang Provincial Museum, Opera.
International Ice Lantern and Sculpture Festival
Time: January 5-February 25.
The Harbin Snow and Ice Festival is not only a grandiose spectacle, but also a meeting place for creative people from all over the world. Every year teams of sculptors from the USA, Canada, Japan, Russia, Singapore and many other countries come to the festival. Visitors can see more than 2,000 ice compositions, the production of which takes more than one hundred thousand cubic meters of ice and the same amount of snow.
The best works are exhibited at three main venues: Sunny Island, Snow and Ice World Park, and Zhaolin Park. Entrance ticket to the World of Snow and Ice exhibition costs: 150 CNY for adults and 75 CNY for children. Entrance ticket to the exhibition in Zhaolin Park and Sunny Island costs: 30 CNY for adults.
Winters in the city are very cold, the temperature at night can drop to -40 °C. Snow begins to fall in October, and begins to warm only in April. Due to the pleasant coolness, which is not typical for southern China, where real heat reigns at this time, Harbin is a favorite place for business conferences and meetings.
Chengdu is the administrative center of Sichuan Province, a monument city with 3,000 years of history. For rich natural resources, mild climate and an abundance of cultural and historical attractions, Chengdu is called the “heavenly abode”. In addition, it is a major tourist and transportation hub, from where you can get to the three gorges on the Yangtze River, Tibet, Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong protected areas, the Museum of Terracotta Horse and Warrior Statues in Xi’an.
Transport in Chengdu
Chengdu is connected by flights with 60 cities in China (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, etc.), as well as with Thailand and Singapore. Shuangliu International Airport is 20 km from the center. Buses leave from the Mingshan Hotel, once every half an hour, the fare is 8 CNY. In addition, the airport can be reached by bus number 303 or by taxi (30-50 CNY).
Several important railway lines of the country intersect in Chengdu: Baoji – Chengdu, Chengdu – Chongqing and Chengdu – Kunming. Excursion trains run to the cities of Kunming, Emei, Yibin, Jiangyu. All trains receive two stations in Chengdu: North and South.
The most convenient city transport is buses (1 CNY, air-conditioned 2 CNY). A cycle rickshaw costs about the same as a taxi, but with its help it is much more convenient to explore the city. Within the city, the starting price of a taxi is 8 CNY for the first kilometer, then for each kilometer – 1.9 CNY.
Large shopping centers and stores are concentrated on Zongfu, Yanshikou, Qingtai and Tianfu Square. You can visit the Songxiangqiao Art Passage, and in the evening wander along Qintai Street, where beautiful art crafts are offered for an inexpensive fee.