Harbin Travel Advice, Information and Directory
|Health Care||Accessing Money|
|Book Shops||Visa Extensions|
|Internet Access||Postal Services|
|Phone Services||Plane/Train Tickets|
Health, Doctors and Pharmacies in Harbin
There are plenty of pharmacies around Harbin and there shouldn’t be any trouble finding one (although communication at pharmacies can be difficult).
There are no dedicated international medical centers in Harbin. If you need medical attention your best bet is the Heilongjiang Provincial Hospital which has doctors who speak some English.
Accessing Money in Harbin
ATMs that accept foreign cards are plentiful in Harbin and ATMs almost always have a choice between English or Chinese operating language. Occasionally you will encounter an ATM that doesn’t accept foreign cards, but you can always rely on Bank of China or ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) ATMs which are plentiful enough. Just look for the logo of your particular card (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, etc) on the ATM.
The Bank of China can always exchange money. Locations include #19 Hongjun Jie (by Hongbo Square) and #37 Zhaolin Jie.
Book Shops in Harbin
English-language books are hard to come by in Harbin. You might be able to find a few English titles at the Xinhua Bookstore just off Zhongyang Dajie.
Nothing much in the way of English titles but at least you can pick up a bilingual map at this centrally located bookstore.
Address: 179 Diduan Jie (east off Zhongyang Dajie). Tel: (0451) 8461 5862.
Visa Extensions in Harbin
The Public Security Bureau that handles visa extensions in Harbin, is centrally located just off Jingwei Jie (two blocks south-east of where it intersects with Zhongyang Dajie) at #6 Jingweitou Daojie. Open: Mon-Fri 8-11; 14-17.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去经纬头道街6号, 谢谢。
Internet Access in Harbin
All hotels and hostels in Harbin will have some form of internet access. Almost all hotels of 3 star or higher classification (including all hotels reviewed in our guide) have in-room internet access, which can be used if you’re traveling with a laptop. Many hotels provide this service for free while others charge anywhere from $5-$15 per day, depending on the hotel. Hotels will also have a business center with internet access as well as a printer.
Internet cafes are common in Harbin, however, most have no English signs to identify them. Internet cafe is ‘wangba’ in Chinese and luckily these characters are quite distinctive (网吧). Keep your eye out for those characters when seeking an internet cafe.
Post Offices and Courier Services in Harbin
The Chinese postal service is generally quite efficient. Postcards or letters sent from Harbin will usually take around 8 or 9 working days to reach North America, Europe or Australia. Parcels will take a bit longer. If you need things to be sent urgently then you can use one of the international courier services.
There are plenty of post offices around Harbin. There’s a major China Post branch on the corner of Dongdazhi Jie and Guogeli Dajie, just east of Hongbo Square (Open 8-18). There is a more convenient, but smaller, location at #115 Zhongyang Dajie. China Post also offers an Express Mail Service (EMS) which is a cheaper alternative to using international courier companies. None of the big international couriers have offices in Harbin so EMS is probably the best bet. In addition to postal services it is also possible to make Western Union transfers at the main branch.
Phone Calls To and From Harbin
The international phone code of China is “86″ and the area code of Harbin is “0451″.
If you call to Harbin from abroad, you should dial the international access number (usually 00 or “+”), then the code for China “86″, then the code for Harbin without the ‘0’ (451), and then the 8-digit city number.
If you call to Harbin from inside China, then dial the full Harbin code (0451), and then the 8-digit city number.
If you dial a Harbin number inside Harbin, just dial the 8-digit number, without any prefixes. Note that if you call a Harbin landline from a mobile phone while in Harbin, you should include the ‘0451’ prefix.
For international calls, IP (Internet Phone) international calling cards can be bought at most small shops, newsstands and hotels in Harbin. Just look for a sign saying “IP”. A card with ¥100 credit actually sells for about ¥35 (some vendors will try to charge you ¥40). Rates vary depending on what country you’re calling, but a card with ¥100 credit will generally buy you about 20-25 minutes talking time when calling to the US, Europe or Australia.
If you plan to stay in Harbin for a longer period it is reasonably cheap to buy a SIM card with one of the local operators: China Mobile or China Unicom. A SIM card usually costs around ¥100-120 and generally includes ¥50 credit. You also pay more depending on how ‘lucky’ your phone number is. Average call charges are ¥0.6 per minute and ¥0.15 per SMS. Once you move outside the city where you bought the card you have to pay slightly higher ‘internal roaming’ charges.
Buying Airline Tickets and Train Tickets in Harbin
Airline tickets can be bought at the CAAC office at #87 Zhongshan Lu or through any hotel or travel agency.
Harbin Online Resources
Harbin Government: The official Harbin Government website has some surprisingly good information about business, living and working in Harbin. There is also a limited amount of information related to tourism.