Russian tourists flock to China's border city of Heihe for breakfast, shopping

(People's Daily Online) 09:39, October 23, 2023

It may seem surprising, but a growing number of Russians are making the trip to have breakfast in Heihe, a border city in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, before heading back home.

(Photo/CCTV News)

Heihe sits across the Heilongjiang River from the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk. The river is known in Russia as the Amur River. Since the resumption of visa-free group tourist trips between China and Russia in Heihe on Sept. 21, 2023, there's been a noticeable uptick in Russian visitors. A simple boat ride allows for easy movement between the two nations.

Many Russians are attracted to Heihe's breakfast offerings and shopping experiences. They indulge in local breakfast staples such as soybean milk, tea eggs, and Baozi — steamed stuffed buns. Some have even crafted a unique dining blend, pairing Baozi with beer.

(Photo/CCTV News)

Many vendors at morning markets have added bilingual Chinese-Russian signs, and some have picked up basic Russian to better serve their visitors.

Given its strategic location, Heihe has long been a nexus for China-Russia trade. It stands as China's primary supplier of everyday Russian products, which are then distributed nationwide.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has made trade between China and other BRI partner countries increasingly convenient.

(Photo/CCTV News)

Beyond Heihe, many other border areas in China exude an exotic allure. Cities and regions such as Dongxing in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Manzhouli in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Horgos and Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and Mengla county in Yunnan Province have thrived due to the expanding cooperation under the BRI. These places now serve as critical ports connecting China to Southeast Asia, Europe, and Central Asia, and beyond via railways and economic corridors.

(Photo/CCTV News)

Over the past decade, these border regions have directly witnessed, participated in, and benefited from extensive cooperation under the framework of the BRI.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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