Due to its location in Northeast China, not to mention the pervasiveness of winter-themed festivals in the area, it's not unrealistic to expect that summer in Harbin should be a cool and enjoyable affair. Unfortunately, this notion is mistaken, as when summer arrives in Harbin, temperatures regularly rise to well over 35 C?. But there's no need to fear such hot weather in a city better known for snow and ice sculptures. For starters, there will be plenty of ice-cold beer to drink at the annual International Beer Festival. And once you recover from your inevitable hangover, why not head out to one of these great summer spots located close to Harbin to cool off even further?
1) Jingpo Lake 镜泊湖 View In Map
Jingpo Lake (镜泊湖) is the largest dammed lake in China (and the second largest in the world). In 2011, the lake became one of China's national 5A tourism scenic areas. Jingpo Lake is separated into northern, central, southern, and upper lake regions. The area also features eight different scenic overlooks, the most famous of which is the Diaoshuilou Waterfalls. The southern region of Jingpo Lake is rather shallow – only about one metre deep in the shallowest area – but the northern region is much deeper, reaching a maximum depth of about 60 m. The surrounding environment is clean and beautiful, and the lake is perfect for a leisurely boat ride on a hot day. Fishing for the specialty sand carp is also great fun, and the meat when roasted or put in soup is tender, fresh and delicious.
Add: 70 Jingfu Jie, Jiangning'an City, Mudan
Tel: 045 3699 6711
Price: 80 RMB
Opening Hours: 24 Hours
Getting There: From Harbin take the fast train (about 4.5 hours) to Mudan (牡丹). From Mudan take the bus to the visitor centre at Jingpo Lake (镜泊山庄). The ride will take about 2.5 hours.
2) Huangtou Mountain View In Map
The Huangtou Mountain National Forest Park (横头山国家森林公园) is home to Harbin's largest flower park. The park's air is fresh and pure, making it the prefect place to vacation, get away from the city and get back in touch with the natural world. The park covers over 100,000 hectares, and boasts Harbin's highest peak, which is 826 m high. In total, the park features six scenic areas, although only one ticket is required to see them all. For the most peaceful experience, visit the park on a weekday, as it can get pretty crowded during the weekend. Although very pleasant in the summer, autumn is still the optimal time to visit if you're interested in seeing the leaves change colour.
Add: in Jindai Faxiang, 59 Km southeast of the Harbin city centre
Tel: 0451 5656 3335
Price: 50 RMB
Opening Hours: 07:00-17:00
Getting There: from Harbin Train Station take bus No. 601 to Acheng Train Station (阿城火车站), which should cost about 7 RMB. In Acheng, switch to a passenger car that will go directly to Huangtou Mountain (横头山), which should cost about 10 RMB
3) Erlong Mountain View In Map
Erlong Mountain (二龙山) is a 4A level scenic area. It features a number of large natural attractions that are sure to please even the most jaded of nature buffs. In terms of entertainment, you are welcome to ride through the area on a motorbike, do some summertime downhill skiing, as well as go for a ride on one of the antiquated boats (available for groups of 2 or more). With the combination of outdoor excitement and high-speed entertainment, you'll never want to leave… and if you stick around long enough, Erlong Mountain is turned into a pretty decent ski slope during the winter.
Add: Gucheng Bingzhou Xinan, 50 km east of Harbin City Centre
Price: 30 RMB
Tel: 0451 5790 8222
Opening Hours: 24 Hours
Getting There: from Sankeshu bus station (三棵树客运站) take the shuttle towards Bing County (宾县). From there, take bus No. 7 to the entrance of Erlong Mountain
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Keywords: Harbin summer escapes mountains and lakes near Harbin
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