Harbin Taiping International Airport serves Harbin, capital and largest city of the province of Heilongjiang in northeastern China. Once named Yanjiagang Airport, the airport has been operational from 1979 and has undergone numerous expansions and reconstructions since then. Today Harbin Taiping International is the main air transport hub of the region, being one of its largest and busiest with an area of more than 60,000 square meters and over 7 million passengers passing through annually. The passenger terminal is divided into 2 sections, International and Domestic, with plans for further expansion already in the works (as of August 2015).
Harbin Taiping International Airport is served by more than 20 airlines and offers flights to over 50 domestic and international destinations around the world.
Getting around Harbin
Harbin Taiping International Airport is located about 33 kilometers from Harbin City, with numerous airport shuttles available for making the commute. These shuttles can be found outside the airport terminal on the first floor (fares are rather affordable, at about CNY20 per person as of August 2015). Otherwise, taxis can also readily be found outside Harbin Taiping Airport – expect a 45-minute ride into town. Tourists are advised to only board official airport taxis, and to agree on the fare with their driver before beginning the ride to avoid being ripped off.
What to see and do in Harbin
Say ‘Harbin’ and what comes to mind might be sparkling snow and ice, for China’s northernmost city is most renowned for its annual Snow and Ice Festival (to the point where its nickname is ‘Ice City’). A month-long spectacle for the senses, Harbin’s Snow and Ice Festival has been held in January each year since 1985 and involves amazing artwork carved and sculpted from nothing more than snow and ice. The largest festival of its kind in the world, the Harbin Snow and Ice Fest started as a simple domestic celebration of winter; with time, though, the festival grew to attract a huge international audience who brought their own artistic talents along with them, resulting in a massive collection of the largest and most elaborate ice sculptures in the world showcased in one place at the same time. To make an even more magical sight are the multicolored lights that are often added to the ice sculptures to give color and sparkle – these are sometimes referred to as ‘ice lanterns’. By far Harbin’s most famous attraction, this Snow and Ice Festival is definitely a spectacle you don’t want to miss seeing at least once in your life.
If you can’t make it to Harbin during winter, fret not – the city’s Sun Island is there to provide beauty and entertainment during the summer months.
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