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Heihe in Heilongjiang offering free admission to sites for gaokao takers

By Zhou Huiying and Tian Xuefei in Harbin | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-19 09:03

Heihe, in Heilongjiang province, has invited students who took part in this year's national college entrance exam, or gaokao, to visit sites in the city.

Its culture, radio, film and tourism bureau said all of its 28 scenic areas at the national A-level and above are providing free tickets for those who sat the exam until Aug 31.

Among the popular sites listed on the bureau's WeChat account, are the national 5A-level Wudalianchi Scenic Area, and the Aihui Historical Exhibition Hall and the Heihe Sino-Russian Ethnic Customs Garden, both of which are at the national 4A-level.

As a border port city adjoining Russia, Heihe is popular among Chinese tourists for its exotic appeal.

"Bring your ID cards and admission cards, Heihe welcomes you," said Li Liyan, director of the bureau's industry promotion department. "Walking through the streets across the city, you can appreciate Byzantine-style architecture, taste authentic Russian cuisine and buy various Russian goods.

"You can also take a photo with friendly and generous Russian people, experiencing European charm without leaving the country."

Li also touted the other rich natural resources in the city that tourists can enjoy.

"For instance, the 5A-level Wudalianchi Scenic Area is a precious legacy left by volcanic activities that occurred during the Quaternary Period, characterized by typical new and old volcanic landforms," Li said. "In the scenic area, tourists can visit attractions such as the China Volcanic Geological Museum, where they can learn knowledge about the volcanoes and enjoy a cooler climate in the summer."

Zhang Rongkang, an 18-year-old student from the province's capital, Harbin, plans to visit Heihe next month.

"I am satisfied with my performance in the gaokao, and I would like to take a trip after receiving my score," he said. "Once I learned about the free ticket news, I made the decision to visit Heihe."

Zhang added that he's looking forward to learning about the local culture.

"I have never been to the border city, but I'm really excited about experiencing its unique urban characteristics and customs," he said. "I also plan to visit Blagoveshchensk in Russia via the Heihe port."

In September, Sino-Russian visafree group travel services resumed in Heihe, and business from across the border began flourishing again.

It takes just seven minutes on a ferry to cross the Heilong River, known as the Amur in Russia, which separates the two nations.

"I believe it will be a wonderful experience to enjoy the journey with my parents," Zhang said.

Tourism departments across the country have made similar offers to students who took the gaokao this month, with many scenic areas offering free admission.

Beijing Youth Daily has reported that more than 50 sites in Beijing and the provinces of Sichuan, Shaanxi, Henan, Fujian, Hunan, Shandong and Jiangxi are offering such tickets. And some sites are also offering free admission to junior high school students who took this year's senior high school entrance examination.

Some of the more popular attractions that are not offering free tickets have chosen to give discounts.

For example, Beijing Universal Studios has launched a graduation season ticket package for people age 16 to 25 that costs 460 yuan ($63.39), compared with 558 yuan for a standard season ticket.

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