The Songhua River flows right through the centre of Harbin. We were staying in the Shangri-la Hotel which is right on the banks of the river and next to the Songhua River Bridge. We spent an afternoon and a morning walking along the banks of the river which is quite pleasant despite the freezing cold. There are many points where you can access the frozen river and our children enjoyed playing on the ice and watching locals ice fishing. There is an exercise park about halfway between the Songhua River Bridge and the Flood Memorial which was also a big hit with our children.
On the banks of the river at the Flood Memorial, an area is set up for winter activities including ice sledging, ice skating, kite flying, hovercraft rides, dog sledding, snow mobiles and buggies. There are numerous vendors selling candy floss, frozen fruit and balloons. Many people were playing with metal spinning tops. There were many locals here on the days we visited, Saturday and Sunday. If you are not from a cold climate it is an interesting spectacle to see so much activity taking place on the ice. The Flood Memorial itself is not worth making the trip for.
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