Heilongjiang is a province of the People's Republic of China located in the northeastern part of the country. "Heilongjiang" literally means Black Dragon River, which is the Chinese name for the Amur. The one-character abbreviation is ºÚ.The Manchu name of the region is Sahaliyan ula (literally, "Black River"), from which the name of Sakhalin island is derived.
Heilongjiang borders Jilin in the south and Inner Mongolia to the west; it also borders Russia to the north.
The Amur River marks the border between the People's Republic of China and Russia to the north. Heilongjiang contains China's northernmost point (in Mohe County along the Amur) and easternmost point (at the junction of the Amur and Ussuri Rivers).
Heilongjiang is subarctic in climate. Winters are long and frigid, with an average of ?31 to ?15¡ãC in January, and summers are short and cool with an average of 18 to 23¡ãC in July. The annual average rainfall is 500 to 600 mm, concentrated mostly in summer.
Harbin, the provincial capital, is a city of contrasts, with Chinese, Russian, and eclectic worldwide influences clearly apparent. Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant churches dot the city.
The long, cold winter is the backdrop for its famed ice sculpture exhibitions. In 2007 already the 8th Ice and Snow World opened to visitors in Harbin. More than 2000 ice sculptures were on display at the annual event.
Wudalianchi Lakes are a series of five lakes formed between 1719 and 1721 when volcanic eruption shaped one section of a tributary of the Amur into five interconnected lakes. The second lake in particular is renowned for its irregular geological sights.
Lake Jingbo, in Ning'an County, is a section of the Mudan River that has been narrowed and shaped by volcanic eruption into a series of sights, including the Diaoshuilou Falls.