Qiqihar is famous for its handful of wetlands, among them including the renowned Zhalong Nature Reserve which is home to a lot of the red-crowned crane. It is located 30 kilometres southwest of the city. This nature reserve is also home to 296 species of birds due to its setup that has rich reed grass and quality water. Found along the middle and lower reaches of the Nen River and the hinterland of Songnen Plain, Qiqihar is one of the oldest cities that can be found in the northeastern part of China and a prefecture-level city that is the second largest in the Heilongjiang Province. About 5.4 million people are living in an area of 42,205.82 square kilometres, making the population density roughly around 130 people for each square kilometre. Initially settled by the herdsmen of Daur and Tungus people and was once used as a centre of trade between Russia and China, the present-day Qiqihar is driven by manufacturing and is a heavily industrialized city.
Qiqihar Sanjiazi Airport is the airport that is currently serving the city of Qiqihar as well as other nearby areas found within Heilongjiang Province. This joint public-military airport is located in Longsha district, which is about 13 kilometres away from the Qiqihar city centre at an elevation of 145 meters. With a 2,600 meters long runway that is made of concrete, it caters to airlines such as Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and China United Airlines among others for a variety of destinations to and from Beijing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Jinan, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shenzen and Shanghai within China. There are several connecting flights to and from Singapore via airlines such as Air China, China Eastern and China Southern with prices ranging around 977 or 1,007 SGD and more.
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The off-peak season to visit Qiqihar is in June and sometimes stretches to August which is during the summer season. If you are a bargain hunter, this could be a great time to get good offers at lower prices. It is great news if you plan your trip well, this is because there is a good chance that you can save your money because the price for hotels and flights during the peak season will be much higher and cost you a lot of money. Nonetheless, if you want to come over when there is a crowd, the peak season in Qiqihar is from March to May which is during the months of spring. Around this time, the weather is just nice to go out.
Qiqihar, just like other cities in the Heilongjiang Province as well as China, in general, has a monsoon-influenced humid continental climate with four seasons, characterized by long, bitterly cold winters that tend; warm, humid summers; as well as mild fall and spring. The average temperature is usually ranging around -18.6 degree Celsius during winter in January to 23.2 degree Celsius during the summer in July. The average high can go up to 28 degree Celsius while the average low can go down to -23.7 degree Celsius. The annual precipitation is about 415.2 mm with two-third of the precipitation usually happening from June going to August. The relative humidity is about 60% annually with 2,839.3 total mean monthly sunshine hours.
There are a few festivals you can look forward to enjoy in Qiqihar throughout the year, just like the locals. There is the famous Crane Watching Festival that is typically organized in August on an annual basis to promote trade and art among others with the world. In the same month, there is also the Green Food Expo that showcases the local green food industry as well as promoting the greed food industry in a whole. The Ice & Snow Event is yet another major event that one can look forward to when in Qiqihar, with many distinctive ice and snow model arts that are put into the exhibition.
Zhalong Nature Reserve – Opens to the public since 1979, within this nature reserve is a reed pond that is connected to the Wuyuer River downstream while not being too far off from the grassland. This environment provides great sustenance for the various birds that lived here and used it as a migration site during their annual journey from the Arctic to Southeast Asia.
Longsha Park – Located not far off the city centre and found within the city bounds, the Longsha Park is a decent place to stroll and take a view of the city. Various walkways can be explored that offers a different perspective of the city from different areas. Given its location, it is also fairly easy to access if you are coming from the city area.
Dacheng Temple – Dacheng Temple is one of the many temples in the city that can be found, visited and explored as a tourist. It is relatively quieter compared to other contemporary temples. However, this provides a convenience to be able to approach the temple up close and appreciate its design.