Daqing is usually completely missed by travellers to Heilongjiang province. That should be reason enough to visit in my book. I don’t think it is even mentioned in Lonely Planet, which seems to get everywhere and list everything.
I only really knew about it because when I did my TESOL course in Harbin, some people had previously gotten teaching jobs in Daqing after finishing the course.
It is only a couple of hours from Harbin and is totally worth the trip.
It is a small city by Chinese standards with only about a million people (ha ha that is the population of New Zealand’s biggest city).
I was the only non-Chinese person there and was enough of a novelty that people would call out, ‘Hello,’ from their car windows.
The city is surprisingly far spread out. The train I took stopped at Daqing West Station. After I’d dodged the touts trying to take me to their cars for huge fees I got a marked taxi, I went to the Memorial Hall of Iron Man Comrade Wang Jinxi (what a mouthful). That ride was about 8 yuan – nice price.
After I’d walked around this area for a while and explored the parks, which Daqing has a lot of, I took another taxi.
My internet had been too slow to upload Google maps, so I had the map from the Sheraton hotel website that would actually load. It had the address as well, so I asked to be taken there as it was in the centre of town.
35 yuan later I was there. I’ve never had a taxi ride cost that much except when going to the airport (which from Harbin is about 150) or out to the Harbin Siberian Tiger Park. He didn’t cheat me as taxi drivers can be known to do. He drove straight the whole way. Daqing is just really spread out.
I liked the city; it had lots of trees along the sides of the road, lots of parks everywhere.
The coolest thing about it was the oil machines.
They were everywhere!
Daqing is built on an oil field and is consequently very rich.
I first saw them when the train came in. They seemed to stretch for miles around the city.
I had assumed I wouldn’t see anymore until I left, but they were dotted all through the city as well.
Picture this – driving along in a taxi, everything is standard, then Bilp there is an oil machine poking up between two buildings. Blip there’s another one in the park. Blip there are another 5 in that field.
I think they should be Daqing’s symbol. (Maybe they are).
In the central area there are some lovely parks to walk around and some museums on the history of the oil as well (In Chinese). Without the oil, Daqing would a tiny little village, if that.
On the same street as the Sheraton Hotel is Times Square. There were lots of people flying really cool kites when I was there, and it is a nice park to explore.
There weren’t that many shops, or markets, or places to eat.
As I was leaving however I found that around the main Train Station (I arrived at the West Station) there is quite a nice area with bustling shops and a market and you guessed it, right in front of the train station – oil machines.
Things to see in Daqing
Memorial Hall of Iron Man Comrade Wang Jinxi
(Tieren Wang Jinxi Tongzhi Jinianguan)
Opening Time: 8:30—16:00
Admission Fee: CNY 5
Address: No.8 the second Jiefang Road (jiě fàng èr lù解放二路)
Petroleum Science and Technology Museum
Opening Time: 8:00—17:00大庆科技馆
Admission Fee: Free
Exhibition Hall of Scientific Experiment of Daqing Oilfield Development, west side of Zhongyang Dajie世纪大道, Ranghulu District, Daqing
Daqing Oil field History Museum
Opening Time: 8:00—17:00
Admission Fee: CNY 5
No.32, Zhongqi Road, Sa′ertu District