Jile Temple (Jílè Sì, 极乐寺) is one of northeastern China's most beautiful Buddhist temples. Built in 1920 by Master Yanxu, a famous disciple of the Tiantai Buddhist clan, the structure has several halls and rooms dedicated to Buddhist leaders and bodhisattvas. On the 8th, 18th and 28th of April (according to the lunar calendar), Buddhist festivals are held at the temple, attracting tourists and locals, with many taking part in the religious ceremonies and participating in the local folk activities. Book Harbin..
The former site of the Qing Dynasty Royal Hunting Grounds, Yabuli Ski Resort (Yàbùlì Yángguāng Dùjiàcūn, 亚布力阳光度假村) is China's largest ski resort, boasting 23 sq km (14 sq mi) of mountainous terrain. With temperatures averaging around -10°C (-23°F), a visit can be quite uncomfortable if you don't bring the appropriate clothing. The mountain offers skiers the most challenging runs in the country, alongside easier routes for the less experienced. In 1996, the resort was chosen to host the..
Built in 1953, Stalin Park (Sīdàlín Gōngyuán, 斯大林公园) stands as evidence of the friendship between the world's two most powerful communist countries at the time of construction. The park features a spread of flowerbeds, trees and themed statues. At the centre of Stalin Park stands the Flood Control Monument, built to commemorate the tremendous feat of the Harbin people in controlling the massive flood of 1957. The 13 m (43 ft) monument consists of one Roman-style column topped with..
Situated on the northern bank of the Songhua River, the Siberian Tiger Park (Dōngběi Yǔlín Yuán, 东北虎林园) is the largest natural refuge for Siberian Tigers in the world. The park is home to about 70 tigers that are monitored and taken care of by the park tenants. For a fee, guests may purchase live animals and feed the Siberian tigers. One of the park's highlights is watching them feed, but beware: it can be a gruesome affair. Visitors to the park can get frighteningly close to the animals, perhaps even closer than..
The Japanese Germ Warfare Experimental Base (Qīnhuá Rìjūn Dì Qī Sān Yāo Bùduì Yízhǐ, 侵华日军第731部队遗址) now shows little evidence of the atrocities of its recent past. Established in 1939 by Japanese troops to "research the capabilities of the soul and the endurance of the human body," the site is said to have witnessed the execution of over 3,000 POWs and the experimentation on 10,000 POWs and civilians from China, Korea, Mongolia, Britain and the former Soviet Union. Before the Soviets reclaimed the..
Constructed in 1898, Central Avenue (Zhōngyāng Dàjiē, 中央大街) is Asia's longest pedestrian street, running 1,450 m (1,586 yd) north-south through downtown Harbin. The cobblestone street is lined with more than 70 buildings, housing both European and Chinese-style offices, shops and restaurants. Dubbed by locals as "the gallery of European architectural art," this street is a testament to Harbin's culturally diverse past and present. Home to many of the city's best shops and restaurants, Central Avenue is one of Harbin's greatest..
Built in 1900, Zhaolin Park (Zhàolín Gōngyuán, 兆麟公园) encompasses 65,000 sq m (16 acres) along the banks of the Songhua River. Originally called Daoli, the park was renamed in 1946 to commemorate General Li Zhaolin, whose remains were buried in the park. Starting in late December, but officially opening on January 5th each year, the park celebrates the annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. Ice sculptures and replicas of famous buildings throughout the world are recreated and lit from within, creating a..
One of the most famous historical tourist attractions in Shenyang, the Shenyang Imperial Palace or Mukden Palace (known in Chinese as Shényáng Gùgōng, 沈阳故宫) was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004 for its relationship to the Forbidden City in Beijing. Completed in 1636 under Abahai (Huáng Táijí, 皇太極), first emperor of the Qing Dynasty, the construction actually began under the Ming-conquering Manchu ruler Nurhaci. Covering 60,000 sq m (71,759 sq yd), the..
On September 18, 1931, Japanese forces, who already occupied parts of Manchuria (present day Liaoning, Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces), blamed Chinese dissidents for the bombing of the Japanese-owned railway. Historians are generally in agreement that Japanese militarists staged the bombing and then blamed the Chinese as a pretext for launching the Second Sino-Japanese War. It was an incident that would became forever known as the Manchurian Incident or Mukden Incident. Within the September 18th History Museum (Jiǔ Yī Bā..
The Zhao Mausoleum (Zhāo Líng, 昭陵) or North Tomb is situated amongst the expansive greens and lakes of Beiling Park (Běilíng Gōngyuán, 北陵公园), near the Shenyang Imperial Palace. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Zhao Mausoleum is one of Shenyang's most popular historic and cultural attractions. Commissioned by the first Qing emperor Abahai, also known as Huang Taiji, the tombs feature masterful artistry combining Manchu and Chinese architectural elements. Wandering through the mausoleum's grand palaces and..
The Fu Mausoleum (Fú Líng, 福陵) or East Tomb is the final resting place of Nurhaci, the great Manchu leader and founder of the Qing state, and his wife, Empress Xiao Ci. A UNESCO world heritage site, the Fu Mausoleum is listed as an extension of the Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Bejiing and Shenyang. Showcasing masterful Manchu architecture, the East Tomb incorporates elements of traditional Chinese feng shui. The tomb stands on the western edge of Dongling Park (Dōng Líng..
Beishan or Northern Hill Park (Beishan Gongyuan) is a large, quiet park, situated in the west of Jilin. The park has many interesting features, and is considered an optimum venue for its summer lotus flowers and winter "rimy pines." Originally the park was established in 1927, but has undergone renovations and expansion many times since then. The park is reminiscent of many of the similar areas in Suzhou and Hangzhou, with pavilions, bridges, corridors and terraces well designed and scattered about among the hills. Three small linked lakes..