Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province, has an advantage transport hub of flights, railways, taxis and waterways. It lying in the Northeastern China is a key international transport center between China and Russia, Korea and Japan.
Harbin Taiping International Airport (HRB) is the second largest airport in Northeastern area of China. It is about 35 kilometers away from the city centre. Totally, there are about 70 airlines in operation now including domestic airlines, regional airlines and international airlines. There are about 50 domestic airlines such as the flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Taibei and the international flights to Seoul (the capital of South Korea), Osaka (Japan), Vladivostok (Russia) and Los Angeles (America).
Official Website: http://www.haerbinairport.com/
Tips: It only takes about 2 hours from Beijing to Harbin by air.
Airport Shuttle buses
The whole journey between Harbin Taiping International Airport and the city centre last about 45 to 60 minutes. The airport shuttle bus cost about 20 CNY per person. There are two places to take the airport shuttle bus in the downtown of Harbin: No.30 Xinyang Road and the Aviation Hall on No.99 Zhongshan Road.
There are only two shuttle buses to leave for the airport which depart at 10:30 and 12:00 in the morning on Xinyang Road. The Aviation Hall on Zhongshan Road has several shuttle buses to the airport. However, there is not a steady schedule there. The shuttle bus will only leave when it is filled with passengers. It will take a long time, so passengers need to go there 2 or 3 hours in advance. The last shuttle bus leaves for Harbin Taiping International Airport at 18:00 from the Aviation Hall.
The taxi from the city centre of Harbin to the airport cost a little more than 100 CNY. It also lasts 45 minutes to one hour.
Railway system in Harbin is the second largest railway hub after the Shenyang Railway system in the Northeast China. There are two railway stations in Harbin: Harbin Railway Station and Harbin Eastern Railway Station. Harbin Railway Station works as a transfer station, while most trains arrive at or depart from Harbin in the Harbin Eastern Rail Station. Trains to most cities in China are convenient such as Beijing, Tianjin，Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hankou, Yantan, etc. The bullet train from Beijing to Harbin only takes eight hours.
How to go to railway station:
The buses to Harbin Railway Station: Bus No.6, 11, 13, 14, 16, 21, 64, 74, 89, 101, 103, 108, 109, 115
The buses to Harbin Eastern Railway Station: Bus No.27, 51, 52, 79, 89, 90
Harbin’s coach system plays an important role in the Northeast China. Harbin has 4 national highways and 3 provincial highways. There are coach routes to more than 20 cities in China such as Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Liaoning, Jilin, Xinjiang, Hebei, Henan, etc. The provincial coaches are convenient as well.
There are six coach stations in Harbin including the Nangang Coach Station, the Jiaohua Coach Station, the Jiaohua Coach Station, the Daowai Coach Station, the Daqiao Coach Station and the Sankeshu Coach Station. The Nangang Coach Station and the Jiaohua Coach Station which are bigger than the others are near the Harbin Railway Station. There are a lot of buses to reach the coach stations including Bus 6, 11, 13, 14, 16, 21, 64, 74, 89, 101, 103, 108, 109,115.
There is an international coach from Harbin (in China) to Vladivostok (in Russia). The coach departs from Harbin at 07:00 every day with a ticket of 500 CNY. The total distance is over 750 kilometers which takes about 12 hours to arrive at Vladivostok. Passports are necessary to take the international coach leaving for Vladivostok. In order to pass the border from China to Russia, there might be a long time stop. Sometimes it even stops for a few hours.
Tips: To avoid taking a coach in winter is recommended. The coaches lack of heating during the extremely chill winter. And the coaches are not safer than trains when they run on the slippery roads during a snow or ice day in winter. Compared with coaches, the trains will be safer, cheaper and more comfortable in winter.
City Transport System
Harbin provides passengers with a well developed bus systems. There are more than 100 bus routes traversing the whole city including two convenient tourist bus routes. The tourist buses go through some famous attractions in the downtown of Harbin. The ticket for a common bus is 1 CNY and 2 CNY is for an air-conditioned bus. Passengers need to prepare some small changes for a bus as there is no conducts to change money on a lot of buses.
There are a few kinds of taxis in Harbin, while there is not a big difference of the cost. The basic fee for the first 3 kilometers is about 8 or 9 CNY and an additional cost is less than 2 CNY for one kilometer. Taxi drivers in Harbin don’t have a good impression in China. Passengers need to make sure the driver is using the meter calculator or reach an agreement on a suitable price in advance. To prepare for some small changes or write the destinations on a card in Chinese is a wise thing to do in Harbin. Taxi drivers might also take other passengers on the way to the destination.
Metro is in construction now and it will be in operation in 2013 which will bring a more convenient city transport system to the public.
The inland port-Harbin Port connect the Songhua River, Heilong River, Ussuri River and Nen River and interlink with the Russian ports. The ships departing from Harbin can reach Japan, North Korea, South Korea and some parts of Southeast Asia. There is a port for the public located at Beiqi Street in Daowai District and a cargo port located at Sankeshu Road in Taiping District.
The ferryboats between the city center and Sun Island run from April 20 to November 10 based on the river situation. Passengers can go to Jiuzhan, Tongjiang Street and Flood Control Monument to take a ferryboat to Sun Island. The ferryboats run from 05:00 to 17:00 every day and the journey lasts about a half of an hour. When the Songhua River is frozen over, the cable car takes the place of the ferryboats.