Things to do in Harbin
There are a handful of things to populate your itinerary when visiting Harbin. We have created a guide to help you plan your tour:
Begin in Daoli, a small Harbin district where you can easily walk the streets and do some shopping. From here continue along to Dong Dazhi Jie where you will find many Buddhist temples. These temples were largely destroyed during the Cultural Revolution however some have been well restored and are a great attraction for tourists to the area. In particular, look out for the Qiji Futu Pagoda, with seven tiers it is quite a sight.
Sun Island is found across the river from Stalin Park, China’s last Stalin memorial. Boat trips can be made out to the island from the Park or alternatively you can take a cable car. The Island is home to the Siberian Tiger Park, however is not worthy of a special trip as it is in rather dismal shape while the tigers themselves are locked up in smallish enclosures and are constantly teased. Take the time to wonder through the gardens though as they are a wonderful sight with many animals to watch. While it can be an enjoyable boat trip in the summer, many choose to wait until the water freezes over in winter and then walk or cart across for views of ice sculptures.
You can hardly ever go wrong with a zoo to occupy some time, especially if it is one of China’s largest. The Harbin Northern Forest Zoo is about 40km out of the city centre and a great place to bring the kids.
Alternatively, head to the Japanese Germ Warfare Experimental Base where the Japanese army operated experiments on thousands for top secret research. Not for the faint hearted, this museum provides photo documentary of some of the horrendous and gruesome experiments that took place here during World War II. While it is a rather solemn monument to the war, many find it very interesting though captions are not translated so you will have to settle for deciphering from the images.
Don’t forget that Harbin hosts a fantastic ice festival in winter so if you manage to visit during this time you do not want to miss it!
So no matter what age you are, Harbin offers plenty to entertain the eager traveller.