Heilongjiang is a province of China located in the northeastern part of the country. 'Heilongjiang' literally means Black Dragon River, which is the Chinese name for the Amur. It borders Jilin Province in the south, Inner Mongolia to the west and Russia to the north. The population of the province is over 36,890,000 (in 2000) and includes such nationalities as Han, Manchu, Korean, Mongolian, Daur, Oroqen, Hezhen, Kirgiz, and Ewenki. It covers an area of 454,000 square kilometers (175 square miles), at the highest latitudes and the northernmost end of the country. Therefore, it is the province with the longest winters.
Heilongjiang is a land of varied topography. It is higher in the northwest, north and the southeast, and lower in the northeast and southwest. The interior of the province, which is relatively flat and low in altitude, contains the Songhua River, the Nen River, and the Mudan River, all tributaries of the Amur. However, actually much of the province is dominated by mountain ranges. The famous Greater and Lesser Hinggan Mountains are its major forest area.
Heilongjiang has a continental monsoon climate, the kind between the temperate and frigid zones, with annual temperatures of -24.8 to 39.2 degrees Celsius. Its warm summer with plentiful rainfall and long-time sunlight is good for crops.
As one of principal areas of land cultivation in China, the main crops of Heilongjiang include wheat, soybeans, beet, flax and sunflower which all occupy a significant position in China. This province is abundant in forest and land resources and its soil is fertile. Farming in Heilongjiang is highly mechanized, and vast reclamation projects have been instituted under the Communist government.
With its beautiful landscape, Heilongjiang Province is one of China's famous scenic provinces. Snow-skiing period in the province lasts 120 - 140 days in a year. In Harbin, the capital city, annual Snow Festival there adds charm to the beautiful northern landscape with the perfect harmony of its natural ice and snow scenery and the exquisite man-made ice sculptures. The beautiful landscape, forests and grasslands, wetlands and rivers and lakes provide rich resources for developing eco-tourism in the province. The unique history of Heilongjiang has also left it a rich cultural legacy and colorful customs.
The boundless great plain, the magnificent forests, snow-bound mountains, countless precious wild animals like swan red-crowned crane, Northeast Tiger, and Northeast Leopard as well as the unique local culture are attracting thousands of tourists home and abroad.