Siberian Tiger Park

This park is a must visit while you are in Harbin. The Siberian Tigers (also known as Manchurian Tigers) are large, beautiful creatures and this park allows you to view them up close. The admission fee gets you a ride through the various enclosures in a mini-bus, where you can see the Siberian Tigers as well as lions, ligers, panthers and white tigers. At one point, the bus will stop for a feeding show. Visitors can purchase live animals to have fed to the tigers along with their entrance ticket (prices are ¥40 for a chicken, ¥100 for a duck or pheasant, ¥600 for a sheep and ¥1500 for a cow). Animals are either thrown out the window of a jeep, or emptied out of the back of a truck (depending on their size). The speed with which the tigers attack is incredible. Note that if you have purchased an animal you should give the receipt to the driver when you board the bus. Once off the buses, you are taken through enclosures more similar to a zoo.

Now, the idea of this park annoys some people. Siberian Tiger Park claims to be a sanctuary and breeding center for the tigers, so the idea of handing them live animals on a silver platter is seen as unhelpful for their return to the wild. It’s a valid point, so let’s just call the park what it is – a zoo. And it should be enjoyed as such because it’s truly a fascinating experience.

Admission: ¥65. Open: 8:00-16:30.

Tel: +86 (0451) 8808 0098. Website: www.dongbeihu.net.cn

Directions: Siberian Tiger Park is north of the Songhua River, about 10km from Sun Island Park. You can get there by public transport but it involves changing buses and then taking a mini-cab to the entrance. It’s easier to get a taxi (about ¥40-45 from the center). Getting a taxi back out of there can be difficult. But there will be someone offering you a lift to the main road (pay ¥10-¥20) from where you can easily get a taxi or a bus (#85).

Show the taxi driver: 请带我去东北虎林园, 谢谢。     (Please take me to Siberian Tiger Park. Thank you.)