Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China.
The largest branch of Heilongjiang River.
Songhua River is the biggest branch of Heilong River with a height of 1900 km, flowing about 1,434 kilometers (891 miles) from Changbai Mountains through Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces. The river drains 557,180 square miles (1,443,100 km2) of land, and has an annual discharge of 2,463 cubic meters per second (87,000 cu ft/s).
Water in Songhua River can be regarded coming from the heaven. Songhua River in Chinese means the river in the heaven. This word aims to describe Songhua River as a long river which can bring prosperity to the areas as well as the magnificent scenery along it.
The extreme flatness of the Manchurian Plain has caused the river to meander widely over time. The result of the meandering is that the river is surrounded by a wide plain that is filled with swirls and curves, showing paths the river once took.
Ice lantern art is the unique one along Songhua River delta. During the winter days, all dwelling houses here will be covered by ice. People will carve ice lanterns which are made by themselves and hang it at the door.
Accordion to the historic records, Ice lantern art was developed well during the Qing dynasty. Originally, this lantern was a decoration for poor families. While, because of it high value, this kind of art has developed into a booming art till now.
The weather in winter in Heilongjiang is extremely cold. Sometimes the temperature falls to minus 30 degrees Celsius. And the ice period of Songhua River lasts up to five months in a year. There are a lot of winter activities that you can do on the freezing river, ice skating, playing snow tank, ice biking, winter swimming, etc.. There is a lot of fun on Songhua River in winter.
【Chinese name】: 松花江
【Best time to visit】: December to next February, when is winter in Harbin. A lot of winter activities are available during the time period.
【How to get there】: You can see Songhua River near downtown Harbin. You may walk from the Central Street. Or taking Public Bus 101, 103, 13, 21, 204, 7, 64, 107, 108, 109, etc. to get to the river side.
Other tips: There is a cable way crossing the river. It connects Tongjiang Square in Daoli District at the southern bank of the river with Sun Island Park at the northern bank. You may have a 360-degree overlooking view of the river and the view on the both sides. You may also take the bock from Shunhang Dock to get the Sun Island Park at the northern bank.