Heihe is the most visited Chinese city in the Amur Region. It is located in the visa-free zone, so the Russian nationals will only need to bring their passport and pay the duty (for more information on how to get to Heihe, see this article).Sights and Entertainments
Walk along the promenade after a busy day. There are many cafes and dances there. Besides, it will be interesting to see Blagoveshchensk from the outer country's river bank.
You can recreate well in Vansu Park. There you will find a great variety of attractions. The Ferris wheel is the most popular of them. It is 82 metres high and it can be seen even from Blagoveshchensk. When rising up, visitors can enjoy the beautiful view of the Amur River banks and the two sister cities. You can enter the park for free, the amusement ride tickets are paid separately.
There is a small botanic garden on the Big Heihe Island. You can get here by the bridge next to the promenade pier near Centenary Square. In the evening, the garden is beautifully illuminated with multicoloured light bulbs.
Lungbin Park is another picturesque place in the city situated not far from the railway station. A lotus pond is the favourite place for locals. You can also see the buildings and monuments in the traditional Chinese style in the park.
Not Far From Heihe
History enthusiasts may find it interesting to visit the village within the Aihui District situated 30 km away from Heihe. The old buildings were renovated there. This village is know as a place where the notorious Aigun Treaty was signed to demarcate the Russian-Chinese border along the banks of the Amur River. River fish is the main dish in the village.
Lake and Skiing
15 km away from Heihe, there is Lake Woniuhu, which is translated as a "lying cow". This place is perfect for nature lovers: there is a water-table surrounded by mountains and forests. There is an ice rink there in winter, when the lake is frozen. The Longzhu Ski Centre is also situated there. There are several skiing pistes for different levels of skiers.
There is the Golden Law Temple to the west of Heihe. It is a small but a very atmospheric temple. The traditional Chinese lions with a ball in their jaw welcome travellers. When you get past them, you'll see the statue of Buddha. In the temple you can buy incense sticks, set and burn them.
Taoist Temple of Celestial Beings
12 km away from Heihe, there is the Celestial Taoist Temple - the Long Shou Shan Temple or the Temple of Celestial Beings. It was built in the traditional style a short while ago. The stone lions welcome visitors at the entrance.
9 km away from Heihe, there is the Russian-Chinese Park of National Traditions better known as the Russian Village. The matter is that the park has recreated several national villages, including the Russian one. Birch fences, an Orthodox church, Russian wooden houses were built there.
The food is diverse in Heihe. However, most tourists prefer local cuisine, which is broadly served in local cafes and restaurants. At the samovar-type places, visitors cook by themselves (we advise to come early while the selection of food is still large). In general, it is better to eat at local-oriented small cafes: their service level is higher and the prices are lower.
Heihe Salad is one of the most popular dishes. It is made of clear noodles, cucumbers, carrot, cabbage and wood mushrooms seasoned with soy-bean sauce, sesame oil and Chinese rice vinegar.
When in the Celestial Empire, you must taste Peking Roast Duck, meat with sweet and sour sauce and pineapple, traditional dumplings, fried noodles or rice and tofu.
Many people go to Heihe for cheap shopping. You can buy almost everything there: food, clothes, computer equipment, home appliances, souvenirs, etc. Almost all local Chinese can speak a little Russian. Payments in the market places are made in Chinese yuan and Russian rubles (buying in yuan is more profitable). You must bargain to buy goods at a more favourable price.
Heihe has several trade points. Yuandong and Big Heihe Island (situated near the customs office) are among them. Another well-known place in the city centre is the Pedestrian Street. It hosts a variety of shops, cafes and hotels. There's a Huafu Shopping Centre right there.
If you're ready to get up early for the best deals, head to the Morning Market on Culture Street. You can often find good quality products here at a lower price than at the shopping centre. The market already closes at 9 a.m. and unsold goods are moved to the Pedestrian Street where they are sold at higher prices.