Sunday, November 16, 2014

my first impression of harbin

just when i got out of the train, i immediately felt the freezing cold temperature of a February afternoon in China's northernmost province, Heilongjiang. another large open space out of the station in view. like almost anywhere in China, i just have to follow the flow.

what lead me here was simply to see the ice city and St Sophia cathedral. a Russian Orthodox church built during the Russian occupation. a time that formed what Harbin is today. a mix of Chinese and Russian influence.
unlike the cities of Guangzhou and Shanghai, where much of its structures were influence by French and United Kingdom, Harbin was greatly influenced by Russians and Jews. there was even a certain time when the number of Russians were more than the locals.
but what remains of Russia in this city today are just structures and monuments. Harbin's industrial growth went along with China's economic boom. thus, becoming one of the country's mega-city with a population of around 6 million.
unlike the busy streets of Shanghai, Harbin even at its busiest hours remains uncrowded. Zhongyang Street or Zhongyangdajie is the main tourist area whole year round. a street composed of preserved colonial buildings now used as commercial spaces.
hundreds of these colonial buildings are found in the city. this was not what i expected. this has now been one of my favorite cities.

how to get there:
by plane: 
most major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and Guangzhou have regular direct flights to Harbin.
by train:
Trains Schedule Beijing to Harbin
Bullet Train:
Train D29 - Beijing ETD 7:00am ETA 3:00pm (Estimated trip length: 8hrs)
Train D25 - Beijing ETD 10:00am ETA 6:00pm (Estimated trip length: 8hrs)
Train D101 - Beijing ETD 1:50pm ETA 9:50pm (Estimated trip length: 8hrs)
Train D27 - Beijing ETD 3:15pm ETA 11:15pm (Estimated trip length: 8hrs)
Sleeper Train:
Train T157 - Beijing ETD 6:18am ETA 5:00pm (Estimated trip length: 10hrs)
Train K339 - Beijing ETD 11:00am ETA 2:40pm (Estimated trip length: 15hrs)
Train K297 - Beijing ETD 12:00nn ETA 2:00am (Estimated trip length: 15hrs)
Train T39 - Beijing ETD 1:45pm ETA 4:45am (Estimated trip length: 15hrs)
Train K2265 - Beijing ETD 1:57pm ETA 8:30am (Estimated trip length: 18hrs)
Train T47 - Beijing ETD 6:57pm ETA 6:20am (Estimated trip length: 11hrs)
Train K1082 - Beijing ETD 8:43pm ETA 4:04pm (Estimated trip length: 19hrs)
Train T17 - Beijing ETD 9:23am ETA 8:30pm (Estimated trip length: 11hrs)
Train K19 - Beijing ETD 11:00pm ETA 3:04pm (Estimated trip length: 16hrs)

Trains from Beijing to Harbin will be from Beijing South Railway Station (Kaiyang Rd Cor Nanzhan Xingfu Rd)
Train length varies depending on the train speed and the number of stopovers.


Photo Cache said...

it's so much like a european city.

Miss Litratista said...

galing galing! :)

Kikit said...

Love the pics. I only go to visit Beijing and Shanghai. I wished I explored other not-so-touristy cities in the country. Thanks for sharing this.

Kikit said...


Cebu Urbano said...

cheers to one great site! will visit you always for more of your fun updates ;-)

Sendo said...

un din pansin ko... european ung architecture .. :) nice koya dong

Jenn said...

definitely on my bucket list. :) have been wanting to see this ice city. thanks for the info.

SunnyToast said...

I show this to may chinese officemates and they were so happy that you feature china:) they said its really bad to visit this place..its a cold one province:)

Cloudia said...

Harbin! I cleaned a factory in Philadelphia years ago that made brushed from horse hair shipped from Harbin. . . . Nice taste of the Cold Northern city

ALOHA from Honolulu
=^..^= <3

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Luggage Scale said...

With the typical Christmas celebration around the world being almost the same, if you want to have an unforgettable December filled with some oriental feeling, forget about the worries of the past, pack your bags and come and experience a unique Christmas celebration touring China and its many beautiful cities.

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