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Heilongjiang: A Tourism Paradise
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is a magnificent land, which is well-known for its large forests, vast wetlands, spectacular sights of ice and snow and long border rivers.


Green area covers 19.19 million hectares of the province, accounting for 41.9 percent of the province's total land.


And 20.3 percent of the forests are listed in a national natural forest resources protection project, according to the Heilongjiang provincial government.


The Yichun Forest Park is the epitome of the green landscape of the province, where green coverage reaches 82.2 percent.


With such vast forests, the climate in summer is quite cool. No wonder the province is nicknamed the "cool bar."


The forests are not only a key part of the local ecological system but also a natural shield for an agricultural base in the Northeast Plain and an animal husbandry base in Hulunbuir Grassland, in the neighboring Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.


Wetland resources are another attraction of the province, providing optimum places for sightseeing, rafting and fishing.



For instance, the Jingbo Lake, one of the world's major high-mountain lava-blocked lakes, and Wudalianchi, one of the world's three major cold springs, both situated in the province, are popular summer resorts.


The Zhalong Nature Reserve, included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance in 1992, is home to red-crowned cranes.



The Xingkai Lake, a boundary lake between China and Russia, is also a frequently visited scenic spot.


In addition, Heilongjiang Province also offers a unique northern scene in winter - a wonderland of ice and snow.



The Ice and Snow World, a winter tourism destination located in Harbin, capital of the province, is decorated with ice lanterns and snow sculptures in winter, bringing tourists to a seemingly fairytale land.


Well-furnished skiing grounds are also beckoning tourists from home and abroad.


Capitalizing on the rich resources, the local tourism sector has seen rapid growth in recent years.


According to the province's statistics, the arrivals of tourists from home and abroad grew at an average annual rate of 10 percent. And the number exceeded 40 million in 2004.


Tourism revenue of the province stood at US$3.1 billion last year, with overseas tourists contributing US$302 million.


To spur further growth, local authorities have mapped out a general development plan for the provincial tourism industry.


These photos of Heilongjiang Province have been taken by renowned photographer Cheng Yinggang, chairman of the Harbin Daily Press Group and vice chairman of China News Photographing Association.


Cheng, born in 1954, graduated from the Chinese Language and Literature Department of Heilongjiang University. He has published a collection of photos titled "Hundreds Facets of Chrysanthemum Spirits", featuring some 590 top varieties of chrysanthemum in China.







(China Daily June 27, 2007)


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