Although Harbin is a popular winter destination due to its global Ice and Snow Festival fame, there is also a lot to do around Harbin in the warmer seasons, especially for those fond of outdoor activities and close encounters with flora and fauna. This is a compilation of some of the biggest and best wildlife and nature parks in the area, why to go, when to go and how to get there.
1) Harbin Forest Botanical Garden 哈尔滨森林植物园
Heilongjiang Province’s Harbin Forest Botanical Garden is located in Harbin’s Xiangfang District, and is China’s only forest park within the city limitations. From Zhongyang Avenue, Harbin’s Central Avenue, it only takes 20 minutes to get there by car. The trees in the botanical gardens are some of Northeast China’s most exquisite: including more than 320 types of medicinal plants, more than 400 different types of herbs and more than 100 different types of flowers including cloves, roses and tulips. The park is perfect for a stroll and to escape the city air, as the air here is clean and pure.
There is a man-made lake in the park, next to which there is another garden, as well as a tower. It costs 5 RMB extra to climb Qingyun Tower, the European-style castle, from which you have a great view over the entire botanical gardens. Within the park you can also rent a bicycle, go rock climbing, and there are other entertainment options including some amusement park rides.
Add: 105 Hapinglu, Xiangfang District, Harbin
Price: 15 RMB entry for adults, 8 RMB for children and seniors, 5 RMB extra for Qingyun Tower
Opening Times: 07:30-19:00 (except October-April due to weather conditions)
Tel: 0451 8668 1442
Getting There: Take bus 28, 51, 67, 69, 81, 121, 208, 209 or 217 to the Botanical Gardens stop (植物园站).
2) Sun Island Park 太阳岛公园
This park is absolutely perfect for all four seasons, and is located on the north bank of the Song River. It is Heilongjiang’s most popular natural scenery area.
The entire of Sun Island is full of special types of trees local to the area, and boasts different areas of natural beauty for visitors to enjoy: there is Clove Mountain, Sun Lake, Swan Lake, Deer Park, a birches forest, a wilderness scenery area, a flower garden and Squirrel Island.
Add: 3 Jingbeilu, Songbei District, Harbin
Price: 30 RMB (adults), 15 RMB (children)
Opening Times: 08:00-16:30 (Nov-Mar) 08:00-17:00 (Apr-Oct)
Tel: 0451 8819 0230 or 0451 8819 0327
Getting There: Take bus 29 or boat from Fanghongjinianta (防洪纪念塔) directly to the park. The boat costs 10 RMB.
3) Harbin Golden River Wetland Botanical Garden 哈尔滨金河湾湿地植物园
The Golden River Wetland Botanical Garden is 1.8 square kilometers large, and is located in the Songbei district. This park is one of the most important areas for ecological preservation of the area. There are a lot of different flora to be found in the area, along with some that are special to the region. There are also a lot of beautiful lotus flowers, and other flowers around the area.
Everywhere you look is a good representation of natural eco systems, wild chickens, wild ducks, special Chinese river birds, and magpies: a rare glimpse into this natural environment. The Golden River Wetlands Botanical Garden are also located inside nearly 40 square kilometers of natural park, which is Harbin’s largest natural reserve, and is unique in the whole country with regards to its riverside location.
Add: 5000 Jiangwanlu Xiduan, Songbei District, Harbin
Price: 30 RMB for adults, 15 RMB for children
Tel: 0451 5555 1277 and 189 0366 9688
Opening Times: 08:00-16:30
Getting There: Take bus 13 to the Jinhewan Shidi Zhiwuyuan Stop (金河湾湿地植物园站).
4) Harbin Northern Forest Wildlife Park 哈尔滨北方森林动物园
The Harbin Northern Forest Wildlife Park is a combination between a rare animal zoo and untarnished forest, and it is currently China’s largest forest wildlife park. Here, it is possible to enjoy both, even from a boat on the lake. There are a lot of very endangered protected animal species in the park, for example the Siberian Tiger, the Asian Elephant, Red-Crowned Cranes, and more than 150 different types of deer, altogether this makes more than 2000 types of animals.
The “barrier-free” approach to the park means that you can get really close to the animals as well as the rare plants, of which there are also a lot, including Korean pine. This park really is the perfect way to fully return to nature.
Add: Pigeon Cave Area, Hamugonglu, Acheng District, Harbin
Price: 80 RMB for adults, 40 RMB for children
Tel: 0451 5655 6666 or 0451 5555 7892 or 0451 5555 7893
Opening Hours: 08:00-16:30
Getting There: Special express buses to the park leave from outside Hushi Building (沪士大厦) opposite Harbin Station daily between 07:00 and 10:00, and return from the park between 14:00 and 16:00. The ride takes about 60 minutes and a single ticket on the bus will set you back 10 RMB.
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Keywords: Harbin Nature Parks Wildlife in Heilongjiang
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