Heilongjiang was the first Chinese communist controlled province. The major city of the province of Heilongjiang is Harbin which is also the capital city of Heilongjiang. The province of Heilongjiang was given to the Chinese by the Soviet forces. It was conceded by the Japanese who lost the battle in 1945 to the Soviet forces. The communist’s were then able to control the beginning of the Chinese Civil War from Manchuria in Heilongjiang.
Heilongjiang province has grown with time in terms of area. It included only the western parts of the present province then and Qiqihar was the capital of the province. Songjiang occupied the rest of the province then and the capital was Harbin. It was only in 1954 the provinces were clubbed to form the present day Heilongjiang territory. Heilongjiang later also occupied the then inner portions of Mongolia namely Hulunbuir League. This took place during the Cultural Revolution of China under Mao.
Heilongjiang Province (黑龙江省; Hēilóngjiāng) is in the far northeast of China. The province is famous for its fierce winters, snow and ice festivals and Russian influence.
- Harbin – capital of Heilongjiang Province and a city with Russian influence and a winter snow festival
- Beiji Village – northernmost settlement in China
- Daqing – a city famed for the nearby oilfields
- Heihe – a port on the Black Dragon River facing Blagoveshchensk
- Jixi – an industrial city in the east of the province
- Mudanjiang – gateway to Eastern Heilongjiang Province
- Shuangyashan (双鸭山)
- Ilan Boo – the last area in China where the Manchu language is spoken natively
- Jingpohu National Forest Park – clear reflections of the tree-lined coast and small islands gives this lake the nickname of Mirror lake
- Wudalianchi National Forest Park – nature reserve and health spa destination
- Yabuli – one of the largest skiing areas in China and venue for the 1996 Asian Winter Games
- Zhalong National Nature Reserve – peaceful wetlands home to 260 species of birds
This northeast province derived its name from the river (Black Dragon River) flowing along the border China has with Russia. A distinctive geological land form and peculiar climate combine to turn Heilongjiang into a fabulous tourism destination.
Landmarks and buildings
- Russian buildings — most prominent in Harbin shows the strong Russian influence in the area.
- Temple of Heavenly Bliss — in Harbin is an active Buddhist temple.
Parks and nature
- Siberian Tiger Preserve — in the outskirts of Harbin is home to hundreds of tigers and is a must see.
- Zhaolin Park — in Harbin is home to the city’s famous ice sculptures in the winter.
Museums and exhibitions
- Heilongjiang Provincial Museum — in Harbin is not great but big
What to do in Heilongjiang
- Harbin Festivals — Harbin International Snow and Ice Festivals (from 5 January until warm weather) are the main events in the province and worth planning for if you can stand the cold. Harbin is also home to a beer festival (late August) and a music festival (every two years, next one in 2010)
- Heilongjiang River — cruises on the river from Mohe and Heihe. Mohe has the best Aurora Borealis viewing in winter. It is also possible to take a swim in the river
- Skiing — there are a number of skiing resorts in the province, one of the best is in Wofoshan near Jiamusi
Heilongjiang food is part of the northeastern cooking tradition with many dishes originating from Manchu cuisine. The food here is influenced by the long winters and relies on preserved foods and hearty fare. The staple crop is wheat and not rice and more raw vegetables and fish than elsewhere in China are eaten here.
The most famous specialty from Heilongjiang is the fish banquet based on fish from Heilongjiang River.
The many different types of Russian-style bread.
The winters are long and bitter in Heilongjiang and it has a sub-arctic climate. January is the coldest with the temperatures ranging between -31o Celsius to -15o Celsius. It is summers in July and yet the temperature averages between 18o Celsius to 23o Celsius. The summers are short and some times cool. Rain occur mostly during the months of summer.
Geographical conditions of Heilongjiang
Heilongjiang mostly comprises the mountain ranges like the Zhangguangcai Mountains, Laoye Mountains, Lesser Khingan Range, Greater Khingan Range and the Wanda Mountains. Mount Datudingzi is the highest peak among all the mountain ranges and it is 1690 m or 5545 ft in height. It is located in the border of Jilin province. Greater Khingan Range is the largest of the remaining forests in China and the forestry department operates mainly from this area.
The Amur valley is found in the northern border. The other interior parts are mostly in the low altitudes and are flat lands. Many rivers like the Nen River, the Songhua River and the Mudan River and all tributaries of the Amur flow on these flatlands. Along with Russia’s Primorsky Krai in the border, you can see the Khanka Lake or the Xingkai Lake.
Heilongjiang province has some major cities. They are namely Daqing, Harbin, Mudanjiang, Shuangyashan, Jiamusi, Yichun, Heihe, Qiqihar and Hegang
The local Economy of Heilongjiang
The crops which grow in Heilongjiang are the ones which can sustain the extreme cold climate. The main agricultural crops are wheat, maize and soybeans. Sunflower, flax and beets are the commercial crops which grow in this area.
Heilongjiang is heavily forested area and is the chief source of lumber in China. Usually Korean pines and other pines are the chief forms of lumber. You can also find larch which another good source of lumber. Daxingan Mountains and Xiaoxingan Mountains which house the endangered Siberian tiger, the lynx and the red crowned cranes are the main forest areas in Heilongjiang.
The common herds found in Heilongjiang are the cattle and the horses. The cattle of this area are very fertile and provide highest source for the milk amongst all the other province divisions in China.
Heilongjiang is rich with natural resources like gold, coal and graphite and other natural minerals. There are oil fields in Daqing which are the important source for the petroleum for China. Heilongjiang is also a very important location of windmills which are used to generate power.
Heilongjiang is the northern most part of China. This part of China is an original base for the industries in the People’s Republic of China. The industries located here are associated with lumber, coal, the food products, machinery and petroleum. Heilongjiang opens the gates for the trade and commerce between Russia and China.
This year the per capita disposable income among the residents in the urban area of Heilongjiang has reached 10,245 Yuan. This is a significant rise of 11.6% when compared to that of previous year. In the year 2007 residents of Heilongjiang had a nominal GDP of 708 billion Yuan. It had an annual growth rate of 12.1% and it’s per capita GDP was 18,500 Yuan.